By Ken Mufuka
The murder of a black male at the hands of the police is a common occurrence, and the aftermath is so predictable that one can write the story ahead of time. The arrest of George Floyd, Tuesday, by the Minneapolis police, for passing a fake $20 bill at a black convenience store, follows a pattern.
A store video shows Brother George walking for his car in handcuffs towards a police van. There is no sign of struggle. Then something happens, George is laid face down on the tarmac, an evil policeman Derek Chauvan has his knee on his neck for eight minutes. George cries out; “I can’t breathe! Don’t kill me.”
The video is so gruesome, white Americans are in a state of denial. It can’t happen here.
A woman standing by shouts to the policeman to let go. The evil policeman shows no sign of relenting. George goes limb. An ambulance first aider comes and writes in his report that “George showed signs of medical distress” as they worked on him, George was “unresponsive and pulse less.”
The image of a white man with his knee on a 6foot 6inches 250 pound healthy Afro male comes straight from slave lore. The Mangigo (Afro-male) is lawless and must be “subdued.” I am not making this up.
There were three other officers, one of Asian extraction Alexander Keung. He offered to turn his body sideways for better breathing but the evil Derek refused. This is how Afros must be subdued. That is the picture, every black male child knows in his heart, and it is the picture which white Americans find abhorrent and a reminder of an evil past of slave masters. Many whites opted to elect President Barak Obama, hoping to wipe away this past.
But demons do not go away, they keep on coming back when least expected.
White man’s defensiveness
This image of course is unacceptable to the white audiences. It was a white woman who shouted at the police to let the man breathe.
The reaction, therefore, follows a pattern of denial, step by step.
The first step is to deny what happened. It was murder pure and simple, with intent. The reaction of whites is that something that the video is not showing must have happened. Surely, no human being (assuming Derek Chauvan to be human) can possibly behave in this manner without some justification.
Therefore, with time, they deny what they saw on video. A similar case once happened in Chicago, and a black man, on the other side of the road was called by police, and in the process, shot dead. A woman judge refused to accept the video as evidence. She said the video showed only a few minutes of the event and was therefore partial.
There is a repertoire of words that begin to emerge. Notice that the medical team does not say that George was dead. They say George was in medical distress. Later on the coroner added other words. George may have had “underlying conditions” which caused his medial distress. For God’s sake, George was murdered by Derek, pure and simple. Everybody has underlying causes somewhere and we will all die one day, but George was choked to death.
The police chief, a Hispanic, reviewed the report, sacked the four officers, but did not find reason to place them under arrest.
The district attorney, a 30 year veteran muses loudly. “I am trying to find out if a crime was committed.” Now dear readers, you have heard it from the horse’s mouth.
That same attorney, when an Australian woman was shot dead by a black policeman, did not hesitate to place charges of unlawful use of force and negligence of a criminal and abusive nature in the course of duty. The black man is in a jailhouse even as we speak.
Yes Sir, this is called the color of the law.
Unless blacks react to each and every miscarriage of justice, nothing will be done. Dr. Martin Luther King said it well. “Rioting is the language of the voiceless.”
Another brother, footballer Colin Kaepernick, put it differently. “When civility leads to death, revolting is the only logical reaction.”
Colin also reacted to whites calling for peace and good order. A police station was burned down, and rioters had their minds set on the Mall for the Americas (the largest mall in the world). Good men, he mayor and the governor, call for peace.
Colin has an answer. “The cries for peace will rain down, and when they do, they will fall on deaf ears.”
The prophet said it well. “Where there is no justice there is no peace.”
It is surprising that in all the cases under review, there is always more than one policeman. In this case, while the evil policeman Derek was choking Brother George, officers Thomas Lane, Alexander Keung and another Jim Toutham were watching calmly.
The only conclusion we can draw from this attitude is that this behavior towards blacks is acceptable among US police forces.
As I write, a white woman married to a brother in Florida has published the following story. She sent her husband (black brother) to fill in her car with petrol. He drove the car, with their two little children tied up in the back seat. A white woman at the gas station said that the brother had looked at her “suspiciously.”
The police came and arrested the brother. A crime had been committed in the area. The police did not notice that there were two little children in the back seat. It was the store owner (a white man) who came out of the store to point out these facts. The police released him from handcuffs and apologized.
The wife’s complaint is that the police talked to everybody except her husband. It was the white store owner who vouched for his release.
There is nothing unusual in all this. In one of the famous Supreme Court cases, Judge Roger Taney, 1857, said: “It is too clear for argument,” that the Negro was never intended to be included in the declaration that all men are born equal. Just to make sure that he was understood he added that: “The Negro has no rights which a white man is bound to respect and that the Negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his own benefit.”
Every time a tragedy involving the ill-treatment of a black occurs, white Americans tear their gowns, wear sack cloth in anguish. The historian laughs in his sleep to remind them that the past is the present.