Steve Sheldon, Yesterday, while running some errands, I witnessed a group of young, mostly white “protesters” peacefully demonstrating at a major intersection during the middle of the day.
Out of roughly 40-50 people, approximately three were black, there were a few white males, and a couple of “older folks.” The rest were young high-school-aged white females. They were holding up signs that read, “I can’t breathe” and “Black Lives Matter.” For the record, I am generally against all kinds of protests like this, not because I don’t believe in the reason behind the protest, but that I believe it to be a general waste of time. I’m not convinced that anyone drives by a sign that says, “I can’t breathe” and suddenly changes their mind about people’s right to breathe because some pink-haired high-school girl was holding up a sign. Is there any decent person on the planet who is against people’s right to breathe?
Protesting in this way does little but make the protester feel like they are doing something important, yet does nothing substantial for the cause. News Flash: “raising awareness” might be great to draw attention to the dangers of radon gas in the home, but it is safe to say that most Americans not in a coma know about what happened to George Floyd while in the custody of the Minneapolis PD. I’m going to crawl out on a limb here and assume that literally no one is for police officers standing on the neck of an unarmed human being until he dies.
I did attend an “open up” protest at my statehouse so I guess that makes me a hypocrite about protests. For the record, I mainly did it to get out of the house and thoroughly enjoyed incessantly honking my horn while driving around the statehouse after months of being locked up. Other than that, it was a total waste of time and did nothing to convince the governor to reopen our state.
Witnessing this corner gaggle of new policy experts on race relations and policing, I considered stopping and asking a few questions. However, the infinitesimally low risk of me getting COVID-19 from anyone there still outweighed my interest in starting a debate with someone whose vocabulary is currently predominated by the words so, and like.
Since then, I have pondered what my man on the street interview questions would have included.
Here’s the list:
Why are you here and what are you trying to accomplish?
First, let’s agree on some parameters. Do you agree with the definition of racism as being the idea that a person’s race determines one’s characteristics, values, or abilities that are superior or inferior to those of another race? Do you believe that another definition of racism is discrimination or prejudice based on race?
If you are here to fight racism in America, what policies would you recommend that we as a country implement in order to change the tide of “systemic racism?”
Can you describe the policies implemented during the eight years of the Obama/Biden administration to fight racism, and were they successful? Why or why not? Joe Biden has been an elected official for over 40 years. Can you name the things he has done to fight racism? Considering why you are here today, would you say these policies have been successful? The state of Minnesota and specifically the city of Minneapolis have been run by Democrats for years. Can you tell me why they haven’t implemented policies to prevent this tragedy considering how long they have been in charge?
What statistics would you use to prove or disprove the claim of “systemic racism?” Do you know how many black versus white unarmed victims die in the hands of the police per ten thousand people? Would that be a fair number to use to prove or disprove the claim?
Did you ever stop to consider that the officers involved in the death of George Floyd might just be really bad cops and perhaps they would have done the same thing to anyone regardless of race? Did you ever consider that they might just be equal opportunity offenders? What if all your assumptions about what happened in this situation with George Floyd were wrong? What if the officer seen in the video with his knee on the neck of Floyd, regularly used the same technique against most people he arrested, does that then make you a racist for assuming he was doing it in this instance for racial reasons? What if he’s not a racist at all but just a sadist?
Do you believe that there is “systemic racism” and George Floyd was actually killed purposefully with malice solely because of the color of his skin while three other officers, two being minorities, did nothing to prevent it because they too were racists?
If the three officers who stood by and did nothing should be charged as accomplices to Floyd’s murder, should the people standing around watching rioters loot and burn while doing nothing to stop them, be charged as accomplices too?
How is America a systemically racist country when NFL and NBA athletes are predominately black yet their audiences are predominantly white?
When a black comedian makes fun of white people, do you laugh? Does that make you a racist? Did you ever consider that it’s funny because in some instances it’s true, and that’s what makes it funny?
Is it racist to have a (insert any race here) Student Union or a (insert any race here) Caucus in congress, or any other organization based on skin color alone?
Do you know the percentage of black men who are killed by other black men as opposed to being killed by whites?
Do you know the percentage of white doctors who kill black babies during abortions? Is that racist?
Can you name an actual white supremacist leader? If this belief were so prominent and systemic among whites, shouldn’t you be able to quickly identify people who believe they are superior to blacks and other races? Did you know that the KKK was started by Democrats? Outside of the KKK that was started by Democrats, can you name another organization whose current goals are to eradicate black people? If they exist and you are informed on the subject of race in America, shouldn’t you be able to easily and readily name them? Was there even one group that issued a press release condoning the death of George Floyd? If America were systemically racist and “White Nationalism” actually existed, wouldn’t these examples be everywhere?
Are the majority of your friends of the same race as you? Does that make you a racist because you prefer to hang out with people who share the same skin color as you?
Is it racist when a white person assumes all blacks are thieves and looters? Is it also racist to assume that all law enforcement officers treat blacks differently than whites? If neither is true then isn’t it also correct to conclude that there is no such thing as systemic racism, but rather isolated incidents perpetrated by a very small number of offenders?
If a white person and black person are side by side vandalizing and looting private property, should they both be treated equally under the law, or should the black person receive special treatment or not be arrested at all because he has led a life of oppression? If you believe the latter, then aren’t you a racist for assuming that the black man has been oppressed because he is black? If the police are letting people of color get away with looting, then is this preferential treatment based on skin color by government employees, also known as institutional racism?
Is forcing blacks or other minorities to attend low-quality inner-city schools a form of institutional racism? Do you know which political party supports these policies and rejects the ones allowing minorities to go to the school of their choice? As a result of learning the truth about how blacks and other minorities are forced to attend low-quality schools, are you willing to support political candidates and parties who are against this practice? If not, doesn’t that make you a racist and part of the “systemic racism” culture?
Would your answers be different, or would you take the tone of my questions differently if I were a black person versus a white one? Why? Does that make you a racist?
What happened to George Floyd was horrible. Literally everyone agrees with that. What everyone does not agree upon, including me, is the assumption that his death is representative of “systemic racism” that is ostensibly prevalent in America today where the “remedy” is lawlessness, violence, death, and destruction deemed justified by those on the Left. The minute we stop justifying anything based on the color of one’s skin and begin judging people based on the content of their character is the day racism is dead in America as Dr. Martin Luther King so eloquently suggested more than a generation ago. I hope that day comes very soon.