How Do I Rationalize This? - A White Man Dies A George Floyd Death

In the wake of the All Lives Matter vs Black Lives Matter discussion… I find a heartbreaking video of a man dying at the hands of police, being pinned and pressure placed on his back and neck… but this time he was white and I did not even know he existed.

This happened in 2016, but the Dallas PD fought for 3 years to keep the video from the public. They finally lost and the video was released in 2019 so the tactic worked and the rage is quelled I guess. :mad:

The video is JUST as sickening as the officers make fun of the man, laugh and joke about him “passing out” and "sleeping"after the man begged for his life and then went silent.

So many similarities to George Floyd save for the publics reaction.

But I feel like somehow I am not supposed to care as much for this incident as I do for George Floyd because of what… white privilege?

How should the average white or non black American feel about this and for that matter what should the average african american feel like?

I am conflicted here.

I understand the message of BLM, I agree that african americans are proportionally at greater risk in run ins with the law and I know I would be using a racist dog whistle if I say All Lives Matter… but damnit I am a human first and Tony Timpa deserved something more than he got… in terms of police caring for his life, in terms of holding the officers accountable (charges dismissed) and in terms of our response as a society.

We should be addressing the problem of the police killing suspects and covering up the killings.

We should also be addressing the racism within the police department and society that causes black people to be the victims of police killings at a far higher rate than white people.

Police are too often brutal. Period.

People of color are more likely to come up against that brutality, but I don’t think anyone is saying you can’t be just as pissed about a white man being brutalized.

But I do think that the timing here played a big part in the number of people protesting. We were already sitting on a powder keg with the virus and the unemployment etc. A lot of people with nothing to do and just itching to get out and be social.

Sometimes it takes a white person being killed in a horrible way for white people to get on board with being against anyone being killed this way.

Sad, but true.

I would think about it this way:

Think about the horror and terror of being killed that way. Not just the fact of your imminent death, but the dehumanization and denigration that is involved in your murder.

Now, imagine that, due to the color of your skin, it’s far more likely to happen to you than to a white person.

Every death is a tragedy, the ones due to police abuse even more so. We should be doing our best to prevent all such incidents, but we should start where the problem is most acute.

I don’t disagree that reminding white people that cops kill us too is a bad way of keeping us on the side of being against police abuse. If cops only abused and killed black people, then it would actually be a bit harder to get buy-in from and unaffected majority.

Just remember how you felt when you heard this story, and then remember that, as white people, it is extremely unlikely that we will ever be in that situation, unlike the more marginalized groups of our fellow citizens.

If you’re really angry, you should join one of the marches. They aren’t marching to stop police brutality against black people. They’re marching to stop police brutality.

In fact, Minnesota has now banned all choke-holds from police procedures and now requires cops to step in when one of them is using excessive force. I could check the article, but I don’t think that’s only if they’re choking black people.

So, be thankful and grateful that white suspects will also benefit from the police reforms that may be happening!

I don’t know why you think you shouldn’t care as much – I haven’t seen the video and I don’t plan on watching it*, but assuming the circumstances were similar to Floyd’s, it’s just as tragic. Just because black lives also matter, doesn’t mean that white or Hispanic (or whatever) lives matter less. This isn’t a zero sum game, where increasing happiness and well-being of black people means that other groups have to become less happy or worse off.

  • I haven’t watched the Floyd video either, just read the description and saw some stills. I find videos of people being tortured, beaten, chased, killed to be extremely upsetting!

Sorry for the repeated posts. I want to make one further point.

One of the big stories coming out of these protests is from Buffalo, where the cops knocked over an older white man and left him on the ground bleeding. It’s getting a lot of airtime, even though the man who was mistreated by the cops was, gasp!, a white man.

So, I think we can all relax now. The needs of mistreated white people will still get airtime.

Your story from Dallas may have played out very differently if someone was there filming it and the video was release right away.

It sounds like you underestimate the problem of police brutality in America.

You find one example of a white man brutalized and jump on the “Why is Blackman Floyd so special?” train.

What you overlook is that MANY people, of various colors are brutalized by police in this country, and MOST of them go ignored. The question isn’t Why was your guy ignored?; the question is Why are so many brutalizations of whatever color ignored?

Do “White Lives Matter”? Sure! If you go marching with BLM, maybe they’ll come march for your white guy also. Are you?

Black people are already engaged in fighting for the rights of white victims of police brutality, as I described in the other recent thread on the same general theme started by chargerrich:

White Americans in general haven’t noticed these efforts, because white Americans in general have largely ignored the problem of police brutality, irrespective of the race of the victims. Because random danger from police is culturally coded in America as a problem of black people, and white Americans are culturally conditioned to regard problems of black people as problems we can ignore if we want to, as long as we take precautions to insulate ourselves from them.

White people die by cop more than Black people.

So your was should be out there protesting police brutality.

White non-poor people think of police brutality as a problem for black people and poor white people. We believe our class signals will protect us. Nice White Lady armor.

I grew up in the North Texas area. I have had the distinct pleasure of being pulled over at gun point, dragged from my car and then just “let go” without any indication of what’s up. North Texas police were legendary in the day, so much they spray painted “Watch out for Pigs” on the highway leading into a town with such legendary police. There weren’t many people of color where I grew up, so they largely went after the poors instead, which they would run license plates to get the “right zip code”.

I grew up in that poor zip code, so I know all about the police pulling you over and robbing stuff out of your car, breaking the interior of your car after they don’t find the drugs they were looking for, being terrified when they pull that dreaded U-turn.

Police brutality is everyone’s problem. They love the application of the police boot to the poor folks. If we can change that, we have to.

You can’t deny the bad ones really love giving it to people of color though.

I would suggest that you don’t have to use the “____ lives matter” format in every instance where a person dies and that you recently started a thread about how you having trouble with push back to the use of “all lives matter” that maybe you’re not as conflicted as you claim.

It makes you think though why do white people not care when white people get killed by cops unless they can use it to play the “all lives matter” game? This man’s name has been trending for about a week on social media, mostly through a meme pic that asks why nobody cared when it was a white guy. Before that it wasn’t mentioned since mid-2019 and that wasn’t more than the same article shared on a few news pages. Nobody cared then really. It was “justified” because he was on drugs and combative. So everyone forgot until it was convenient to use the case for their whataboutism shot.

You’re not supposed to care less about this incident. You’ve already written an explanation of why this specific incident didn’t make waves, but apparently haven’t grasped that this happens all the time and that only a small number of cases make big news and usually not for long, no matter the race of the victim.

What is it you actually feel the need to rationalize?

Are you worried these demonstrations will lead to police reforms specifically about black people? “No choke holds when arresting minorities”?

Are you conflicted about the broader goal of creating a more just society? “We should end police brutality, but I don’t want my tax dollars to fight poverty”?

I mean these as a sort of argumentum ad absurdum, by the way. Not a suggestion that I think these are your positions, but a prompt to explain where you are coming from, as it’s hard to understand what you are concerned about based on this one post.

What’s so tragic about Tony Timpa’s death is that he literally CALLED THE POLICE FOR HELP because he was having some sort of drug freakout or something. And they subdued him and ultimately killed him. He could have gone and sweated it out somewhere quiet and avoided all of it, but he called those who he thought could help him, and they killed him and laughed about it. Read the 2017 Dallas Morning News investigative report(what broke the story) if you want something pretty heart-rending.

That doesn’t make it any worse or better than any of the other police killings, just one that’s got a lot of investigation behind it. Black, white, or something else, nobody deserves to die or be injured at the hands of the police without adequate reason. And adequate reason certainly doesn’t extend to being “disrespectful”, “black”, “shady” or anything other than a situation where the use of force is unquestionably warranted. And even in those situations, there needs to be a clear and documented chain of escalations, or some sort of imminent/emergent threat that can be corroborated by body cams, witnesses, etc… who are NOT part of the police department. And every use of force like this needs to be investigated- if it’s found to be in error, that cop needs to permanently lose his peace officer licensing and be fired, as well as face more stringent charges than a normal citizen would for the same use of force.

Cops employ violence and escalate situations needlessly all the time.
They just are more likely to do those things to young black males.

Not really such a good look for the whataboutists, though, is it? “Hey, if all of us are willing to remain sunk in complacent callous apathy when cops murder an unarmed white man, how dare you expect us to sympathize with your outrage when cops murder an unarmed black man?!”