An excerpt: https://tinyurl.com/3j6sdu5z
Racism consists of a mindset or a worldview that boils down to impolite and impolitic thoughts and words written, spoken, preached, or tweeted.
If that’s all racism is, you ask, then what was the knee on George Floyd’s neck? Was that not racism?
No, it was not.
Judging from the known facts, the knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck was a knee on a man’s neck. That’s all that can be inferred from the chilling video recording in which Floyd expired slowly as he pleaded for air.
Floyd begged to breathe. But the knee on his neck—“subdual restraint and neck compression,” in medical terms—was sustained for fully eight minutes and 46 seconds, causing “cardiopulmonary arrest.”
There are laws against what transpired between former Officer Derek Chauvin and Mr. Floyd.
And the law’s ambit is not to decide whether the offending officer is a correct-thinking individual, but whether Mr. Chauvin had committed a crime.
About Officer Chauvin’s mindset, the most the law is supposed to divine is mens rea—criminal intention: Was the officer whose knee pressed on Floyd’s neck acting with a guilty mind or not?
For fact-finding is the essence of the law. The law is not an abstract ideal of imagined social justice, that exists to salve sensitive souls.
If “racism” looks like a felony crime, then it ought to be prosecuted as nothing but a crime and debated as such. In the case of Mr. Chauvin, a mindset of depraved indifference seems to jibe with the video.
This is not to refute the reality of racially motivated crimes. These most certainly occur. It is only to refute the legal and ethical validity of a racist mindset in the prosecution of a crime.
Surely, a life taken because of racial or antisemitic animus is not worth more than life lost to spousal battery or to a home invasion.
The law, then, must mete justice, in accordance with the rules of evidence, proportionality and due process. Other than intent, references to the attendant thoughts that accompanied the commission of a crime should be irrelevant—be they racist, sexist, ageist or anti-Semitic.
Ultimately, those thoughts are known only to the perp….
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