The custodial death of George Floyd, an African-American, by a Minneapolis police officer has sent shockwaves not only in the United States, but all across the world. A White police officer had held a knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes which led to his heart-wrenching death. His final moments were filmed on phones and the incident has caused a sense of outrage and civil unrest in the US.
No one deserves to die the way George Floyd died. Everyone deserves a fair trial, not police brutality.
We also understand the racist angle behind the crime, and such arbitrariness is bound to trigger outrage, for equality and arbitrariness are the sworn enemies of each other. However, what the protests in the US have done is make a hero out of George Floyd. What happened to George Floyd is disturbing, but should he be made an ideal especially when we know that he had prior criminal history?
The ‘Black Lives Matter’ protest in the United States itself has been taken over by nefarious, divisive elements. The protests had started as peaceful protests but soon far left elements like the Antifa came in, and they have been using the ‘Black Lives Matter’ protests for furthering their own agenda, that is, anti-State and anti-Police propaganda.
In many places, violent protesters infiltrated into the protests and only weeks ago, we witnessed how the White House was attacked, leading to the US President Donald Trump being rushed into a bunker. Violent protests took place for about an hour while people supposedly protesting George Floyd’s death gathered outside pelting stones and tugging at police barricades.
It is becoming clearer that certain parts of the protest were not organic, rather they were organised with a particular agenda in mind. Many US media commentators and politicians have blamed George Soros for funding these protests and the Democratic Party for organizing them.
Looting, arson and vandalism took grip of the United States- none of which are really going to help in combating issues like racism and police brutality. Outrageous and outlandish ideas like “Defund the police” have been doing the rounds as anarchy is being openly endorsed on the streets of the United States.
And in this background George Floyd is being portrayed as a hero figure in the US and beyond. But was he a hero? His criminal record suggests otherwise.
Between 1997 and 2005, he was arrested several times and spent months in jail over drug and theft charges. Then in 2007, the Minneapolis Police Union Chief said, “What is not being told is the violent criminal history of George Floyd. The media will not air this.”
In 2007, he was charged with aggravated robbery using a deadly weapon, and according to investigators, Floyd and some other men barged into a dwelling apartment, where he pushed a gun into a woman’s abdomen. In 2009, he was convicted and sentenced with five years of imprisonment.
This is deviant, criminal behaviour which ought not be justified out of a sense of victimisation. But as we said, the ‘Black Lives Matter’ protests have been hijacked by nefarious elements who romanticise anarchy and violent ideas of justice by weakening State institutions.
This is why Floyd is being made into a hero– Rioting is happening in his name, murals are being painted and his Graffiti are being drawn. If you visit his Wikipedia page, you would realise that he is being made into a cult figure.
Floyd was a robber and a drug peddler. His killing was unfortunate but is he a hero?
Today the world is rioting in name of this m man. Murals are being painted, Graffitis being drawn. Tomorrow he’ll be on T-shirts & posters. That’s how thugs like Che’s and Castro’s become heroes
— The Frustrated Indian (@FrustIndian) June 12, 2020
As we say this, we do not lose track of the fact that what happened with him was horrendous and the video of the incident is horrifying, conscience-shaking. The violent extinguishment of his life is outrageous, and it deserves to be protested.
But it doesn’t mean that Floyd should be eulogised, as such eulogium tends to do more harm than good. Ten or twenty years down the line, if Floyd becomes a cult figure just like Che and Castro have become heroes for certain deracinated youths today, then the consequences could be devastating.
Within the United States, there is a tendency among youngsters, both White and Black to get into deviant behaviour- drugs, theft and street wars. The romanticism in the ongoing protests in the United States is normalising such behaviour, by making an ideal out of George Floyd. God forbid, if the American youngsters start falling for such normalisation and romanticism, then it could create a new kind of crisis within the US society.