Well, well, well…
One week is a long time in politics, and this past week has driven that wisdom home. I was still sweating through whether I was going to have a job at the end of this past week, when the ever redoubtable Charles Blain made a post on Facebook, dated 26 May 2020, linking to a story that a black man in Minneapolis, Minnesota had died in police custody while pleading for his life. That man, as we now know, was Houston native George Floyd. Mr. Floyd died a gruesome death, with police officer Derek Chauvin having kneeled on Mr. Floyd’s neck for almost 9 minutes! It didn’t take long for the powder keg to detonate into protests in cities all across America.
But then the protests in many places turned into something else – rioting and looting. Here is one video posted to You Tube, of rioters and looters in San Antonio, who found themselves getting a nasty shock when gunfire broke out in the midst of their mayhem. Here in Houston, Charles Blain went into downtown Houston to get right into the midst of the protests himself this weekend, as did my lawyer friend Keith Strahan. Keith reported on 29 May:
Just got back from walking protests in and around downtown Houston.
Biggest observation: Nearly every incident i witnessed, whether tagging buildings, burning an American flag, or cop cars being vandalized, was incited, if not wholly performed, by white people.
But who were those white folks? It’s hard to say, but many are saying they are Antifa.
For me, Mr. Floyd’s death is not only the latest sorry story about how Black Americans have been treated as fourth class in America for the past 400 years. It’s that the reaction to his death by millions of people across America have put an end to the economic lockdowns related to the COVID-19 virus. Up until these past 2-3 days, my attitude towards the lockdowns has largely been mournful. I felt sad that things came down to this. My attitude completely changed after the rioting and looting. The closest I can describe how I think is summed up in this Spectator article. The rioters and looters across America completely disregarded everything that the authorities and supporters of the COVID-19 economic lockdowns told them to do. Many didn’t bother with wearing masks, and they certainly weren’t practicing social distancing.
At this point, I am fully convinced that the economic lockdowns related to COVID-19 have been the biggest economic fraud that has been committed in America in my lifetime. There isn’t a single person in this world who will ever be able to convince me in any way ever again that the economic damage that has been inflicted on the 35 million Americans who lost their jobs, and the millions of businesses that went under because of the economic lockdowns, can ever be justified. As the Spectator article noted, all those shuttered restaurants and bars proved to be juicy targets for the rioters – this article from Seattle showing a young woman carrying away a cheesecake from a looted shop really just…well, takes the cake!
People, there’s still a pandemic going on! No more than 20 looters allowed at one time in the store please!
I can hear the ridiculous counterarguments now! Neal, you’re a death spreader! Really? What medical school did you go to? Is the Houston Chronicle editorial board still going to wag their fingers at us over a huge spike in predicted COVID-19 cases come next month? Is City of Houston police chief Art Acevedo still going to get on his high horse over how COVID-19 is being handled? Rioters and looters are one thing, but if you even think about opening up a church or your business, then it’s time you get paid a visit from the jackboots.
Nope. All the reasons for the lockdowns now all fall completely flat. 100,000 deaths from COVID-19 says the New York Times? Let there be one million! After all, if the rioters and looters didn’t care, then why should a Dallas beauty salon owner?
Open everything up, and I mean everything – the churches, the nail salons, the swimming pools, the exercise gyms, and for that matter the airports. The moral authority for the economic lockdowns is completely gone, and millions of Americans whose economic lives were tossed to the winds will end up spending years, if not decades, trying to get their lives back in order. Why am I railing about this, but not about George Floyd’s death? It’s not that I don’t care about Mr. Floyd’s death, but absent COVID-19, the aftermath of Mr. Floyd’s death would have possibly played out much like the Rodney King riots.
But it’s not – not in 2020. Mr. Floyd’s death was about much much more than that, and anyone who has any honesty about anything knows it. Derek Chauvin merely lit the match.