Charles Dickens wrote in Tale of Two Cities, it was the best of times and the worst of times. 2020 began with celebrations, wishes, and goals to take everyday normality to happier, healthier levels. Then came the restrictions and challenges of the coronavirus pandemic. Then came the unreasonable,vicious arrest of George Floyd and the riots that followed. Those were, hopefully the worst times of 2020. Lives matter and we have hopes that, finally, 2020 will deliver better times.
Data from the 1981 national victimization survey reveal that more whites are victimized by whites (77 percent) than by blacks (17.1 percent), and more blacks are victimized by blacks (77 percent) than by whites (14.4 percent), as noted by National Criminal Justice Reference Service.
Although violent crime by white offenders is apparently strongly intraracial, in that 96.9 percent of the white offenders chose white victims, violent crime by black offenders is apparently predominantly interracial, with 55.2 percent of the black offenders choosing white victims. Black offenders chose white victims in 63.9 percent of robberies, 51.8 percent of assaults, and 58.6 percent of rapes. In contrast, white offenders chose black victims in 8.3 percent of robberies, 2.7 percent of assaults, and 5.5 percent of rapes. These percentages suggest that each of the three violent crimes is strongly intraracial for white offenders but predominantly interracial for black offenders. This finding suggests that the motives behind black assault and rape are different than the motives behind white assault and rape. Reasons why the partially interracial character of violent crime has not been addressed are suggested.
The George Floyd incident was interracial – 4 white and armed police officers using extreme force in killing a black man. Was the motivational force necessary? The officers were arrested. George Floyd was not given his rights to a trial. Instead, he lies in a coffin as his family and peers grieve.
There were protests around the USA. Several were violent. Many attacked police officers, as the group at fault. True, about 77.1% of Police officers are White, making that the most common race or ethnicity in the occupation. Representing 13.3% of Police officers, Black is the second most common race or ethnicity in this occupation. Accortding to thje New York City Police Department, 53% (11,717) are black, Latino (of any race), or Asian or Asian-American. 47% (10,482) were non-Hispanic white. In New York City, Los Angeles and other large urban areas, there are more non-whites that become police officers. Sadly, that does not level for the rest of USA. Generalizing that this was white against black issue is simply wrong. It was 4 white cops torturing and slaughtering a black.
The vast majority of most crimes are committed by a person of the same race as the victim, Bureau of Justice Statistics reports. Intraracial crime is a dominant trend. Unfortunately, white supremacy continues to exist despite laws of equal opportunity. White supremacists frequently like to manipulate crime statistics in order to claim that nonwhite minorities, particularly African-Americans, are far more crime-prone and the source of most violent crime against whites. Statistically, it’s a false assertion. Call it fake news that is marketed well.
As far as looting among protesters, most police sources indicate that looters account for a small percentage of protesters, according to an article in Atlantic magazine. Is it letting anger release? For the most part, looters target neighborhood shops struggling already under restrictions from the COVID-19 pandemic. These looters are as reprehensible as the cops who used choke-holds to down George Floyd. When it comes to looting stores, many lives matter from owners to employed staff and to consumers.
As offensive as the cops were at the torturing arrest that led to the death og George Floyd, George Floyd was no angel either. According to records, Floyd had landed five years behind bars in 2009 for an assault and robbery two years earlier, and before that, had been convicted of charges ranging from theft with a firearm to drugs. Floyd was also linked to two convictions in the 1990s for possession and theft of a controlled substance (cocaine). Minneapolis has since banned choke-holds that led to the coronary that killed George Floyd. According to NPR, Floyd also tested positive for coronavirus-19, from Minneapolis Medical Examiner autopsy report. Yes, lives matter and so far 2020 has been anything but happy.
It is wonderful that Americans have the right and freedom to assemble. Under COVID restrictions, assembly has been denied over infectious fear. Even houses of worship have been shuttered. Wide spread protests are erupting on streets where blacks, whites, all genders and faiths exclaim the death of George Floyd and the racial divides of white cops policing a black community. Of course the streets are the only area to protest. All other places are closed other than social media. These divides exist in all communities in many levels but perspectives are often mired by different perspectives. The George Floyd incident of 2020 is focusing on the tree instead of the trees and all lives matter.
Comedian Bill Cosby was asked by the NAACP to speak in 2004 about the states of the black community. Many don’t know Cosby was educated with a doctorate in Education. His Pound Cake Speech sent tinglers of controversy of a divide in the black communities.
Here’s an excerpt:
But these people, the ones up here in the balcony fought so hard. Looking at the incarcerated, these are not political criminals. These are people going around stealing Coca-Cola. People getting shot in the back of the head over a piece of pound cake! And then we all run out and are outraged, ‘The cops shouldn’t have shot him.’ What the hell was he doing with the pound cake in his hand? I wanted a piece of pound cake just as bad as anybody else, and I looked at it and I had no money. And something called parenting said, ‘If you get caught with it you’re going to embarrass your mother.’ Not ‘You’re going to get your butt kicked.’ No. ‘You’re going to embarrass your family.’
Among the responses to the Pound Cake Speech as how the black middle-class had become out-of-touch with the Black Community. Cosby emphasized personal responsibility, or the lack of it. In his book, Michael Eric Dyson describes Cosby’s remarks as a vicious attack on the most vulnerable among the Black Community.
The sad divides include economies as well as race. Yet USA is chock full of opportunities for all. More Blacks are in the middle classes. Barack Obama was a 2-term USA President. Whether intracranial or interracial, some divides vanish. Vestiges of old thinking remain. Education and responsible choices are(somewhat) free. Police have been put on notice throughout the country. Two pandemics hit us in 2020. We must choose our lifestyles and follow through. George Floyd will be a symbol but now our health and reasoning must be elevated toward optimizing a higher level of consciousness.
Protests and looting do not support social distancing, as is generally recommended as one of the filters to reduce coronavirus-19 spread. After a couple months of quarantine and panic, coronavirus spread concerns frustrated many. The heinous events that led to George Floyd’s death seems to be seen as a valid way to break-out of coronavirus restrictions. Coronavirus made the USA lifestyle come to a screeching halt mid-March 2020. Lives do matter and happy new year has become a grim new year on all levels.
The virus dubbed Coronavirus-19 shows that many lives matter, claiming over 400,000 lives globally, according to Johns Hopkins research. Coronavirus-19 deaths are identified using a new ICD–10 code. When COVID-19 is reported as a cause of death – or when it is listed as a “probable” or “presumed” cause — the death is coded as U07.1. This can include cases with or without laboratory confirmation. Of course this skews statistics. Some people, ages over 60, could have had other respiratory illnesses but, with this convenient classification, most of those deaths occurred because the viral flu resulted in destroying defenses. Over 6 million tested positive but survive. All these numbers represent lives that matter.
Every life matters and every human life, regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity, and belief matter. So far, many of us in 2020 felt like victims. This half of 2020 demonstrates that with filters and restrictions we will meander and forge toward eliminating this virus, memorialize George Floyd, and live healthfully for the remainder of 2020. Happy new year! Be calm and responsible. Normalize your lifestyle and reduce stress. In the best and worse times, every person has the right to add new blessings to humanity’s future.