George Floyd as Metaphor

By Patrick Hall

Metaphor!  It was Sister Saint Bernadette Marie, my seventh-grade teacher, that I first learned what a metaphor was. However, more than likely, it was probably one of the few times, that I was actually paying attention during our literature lessons.  I wasn’t exactly the sharpest tool in the shed during my grade school years.  But I digress.

Just to review, a metaphor is a figure of speech, that describes an object or action in a way that isn’t literally true, but helps explain an idea or make a comparison.

In the ongoing judicial polemics surrounding the George Floyd tragedy, we aren’t necessarily witnessing an objective adjudication of all the facts, evidence, circumstances leading up to the death of Mr. Floyd, at the hands of Derek Chauvin and the other officers. The corporate media, the political class, and the cacophony of voices from the likes of Rev Al Sharpton, BLM and Antifa have already convicted Mr. Chauvin and the other officers charged with his death. George Floyd is merely a metaphor.

He has become a socio-cultural stand-in for the so-called ubiquitous killing of black men by law enforcement which race autocrats, like Congressman Jim Clyburn (D-SC), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), and even President Biden, use to label our men and women in blue, and by extension far too many Americans as racists.

Race entrepreneurs, many Black Americans, along with their Progressive constituencies will refuse to see the obvious. Despite the death of George Floyd, law enforcement is the least of the multiple of problems, that afflict the lives of everyday African Americans. What is most disconcerting, if not pitiful, is that many African Americans, who scream the loudest about police brutality, are just lying to themselves. They will never admit, that the most tangible and pressing threats to their health and safety aren’t the police or these “infrequent” incidents of police maleficence.  The real existential danger to blacks has always been other blacks.  It has been that way for decades. 1
 
Here are some alarming stats that NPR/PBS, FOX, CNN, and most news outlets will seldom make available to the public. From 1980 to 2013, 262,000 black males were killed in America. In comparison, roughly 58,000 Americans died in Vietnam. In the on-going war on terror, we have lost and additional 2672 American patriots.  Data shows that 93% of the 262,000 black homicide victims were killed by other blacks. Of course, it is a well-known fact, that members of any ethnic group tend to kill their own. What is most disconcerting is that blacks are responsible for over 52% of all homicides nationwide, despite being roughly 13% of the population? According to Bureau of Justice Statistics in many of our nation’s largest urban areas, blacks commit over 73% of all shootings, 70% of robberies, and 45% of assaults. Once again, these criminal activities are primarily committed against other blacks. The year 2015 was a particularly bad for black-on-black homicides. Nationwide, 6000 African Americans suffered at the hands of their brethren.  However, the silence over all these black deaths by Democrats, the cultural left, and their “special-kind-of-stupid” followers, who continue to call for the defunding of the police, is deafening. 2

These numbers are staggering. But they are not worth a hill-of-beans to the race whisperers, driving the judicial theatre taking place in Minneapolis. George Floyd and Derek Chauvin are just socio-political surrogates.  They are metaphors that will do very little to unite us as Americans. To some, black lives only seem to matter when there are taken by the police.

___________
1. Patrick Hall, “Black and Blue,” Commonweal 125(3) (January 13, 1998): 31
2. See.,  A Dangerous Tutorial

[Patrick is a retired University Library Director. He is graduate of Canisius College and the University of Washington where he earned Masters Degrees in Religious Studies Education, Urban Anthropology and Library and Information Science.  Mr. Hall has also completed additional course work at the University of Buffalo, Seattle University and St. John Fishers College of Rochester New York. He has published in several national publications such as Commonweal, America, Conservative Review, Headway, National Catholic Reporter, and American Libraries. He has published in the peer reviewed publications, Journal of Academic Librarianship and the Internet Reference Services Quarterly. From 1997 until his retirement in January 2014 he served on the Advisory Board of Urban Library Journal, a CUNY Publication.]


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