Wednesday, August 17, 2022

George Floyd Justice in Policing Act would protect everyone

by Al Weed
| July 15, 2021 12:00 AM

It was enlightening to read David Myerowitz’ informative letter of June 12 relating to the death of Tony Timpa, a White man who died at the hands of the Dallas police in very much the same way George Floyd was murdered in Minneapolis. I have to admit I had not heard of the atrocity until Mr. Myerowitz’ letter. I also have to praise Mr. Myerowitz for acknowledging CNN as a credible news source, although I doubt that was his intent.

Looking into the reporting of the Timpa murder, I found it was widely covered a year ago, and more recently, by multiple right-wing news outlets, including the National Review. Those accounts perpetuated the same propaganda meme repeated by Mr. Myerowitz that “Only Black lives matter.”

For instance, The Liberal, on June 14, 2020, wrote, “Mr. Timpa and his family have received no expressions of public support, no outrage, no protest marches . . . This discrepancy between the reaction to the two cases has many people asking Do White Lives Matter?”

The Western Journal, on April 21, 2021, acknowledged that The Dallas Morning News reported Timpa’s murder a full year before Floyd’s, and then took two full years to report, “Outlets like CNN and USA Today wrote their stories, but none made Timpa the martyr Floyd was immediately painted as.”

Finally, the National Review, on May 6, 2021, reported, “There was no national uproar after Timpa’s death. No national cries for justice and reform.”

OK, there was a dearth of news coverage of Timpa’s murder. Point taken. But who’s to blame? The right-wing absurdly wants to blame Black Lives Matter and “The Liberals.”

However, a more obvious answer is the citizens of Dallas. They simply didn’t care enough about the murder of one of their own at the hands of local police. Had they sufficiently cared about Timpa’s murder they would have launched protests of the same magnitude everyone witnessed in Minneapolis. But, after all, Dallas is in Texas.

However, the blame does not lie entirely with the Dallas populace. Where were all these whining White people before Floyd’s murder, when the Dallas travesty was first called to national attention? It seems they were too busy vilifying the Black Lives Matter movement at the time.

Or, maybe the whiners simply lacked the principles, or guts, to stand up for their own civil rights like BLM did. In other words, the White majority in our country sat on their collective hands when reports of Timpa’s murder were first published, and since they themselves failed to protest, they needed a scapegoat. Therefore, they turn it into a racial issue.

Certainly, the fact that Floyd was Black comes into play in the radical right-wing diversionary cry of “reverse discrimination.” Since Timpa was White, all the radicals can do now is to further inflame its base by playing the “race card,” so to speak, claiming they are the true victims of social and racial injustice. Thus, the right-wing somehow wants to hold BLM responsible for its own lack of action over Timpa’s murder.

They conveniently ignore the fact that unarmed Black people are killed by police at three times the rate of unarmed white people.

Those who persist in the “reverse discrimination” fantacy are quick to claim that the Black community failed to recognize or report the Timpa murder. We see it every day in the twin mantras of “Only Black Lives Matter,” and “Do White Lives Matter?”

The radical right employs that specious argument to characterize BLM, and those who consider BLM to be a just and worthy cause, as the true racists. However, the facts belie that prevarication also.

On June 13, 2020, the following headline appeared in Media Take Out (also known as MTO News) a leading African American news outlet, under the byline of Lyndon Abioye: “Police Murder White Man, Tony Timpa, Same Way As George Floyd!!” MTO further reported the event with all the graphic details included in the sources quoted above, only without the racial connotations, a full year before even the National Review saw fit to rail about the Timpa injustice. So much for Black media insensitivity over the murder of Whites by police.

But all is not lost for those whining about the injustice experienced by Timpa. They should, one and all, be vociferously advocating for passage of H.R. 1280, The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, since it would protect Whites as well as Blacks against police misconduct. Will we hear any echoes of support from any Republicans anywhere? Certainly not in the House of Representatives, where each and every Republican has refused to endorse it.

Mr. Myerowitz, perhaps you have the opportunity to be the first of your persuasion to publicly recommend passage of the law that would remedy the injustice of which you complain.

Writers who outrageously compare the Floyd/Timpa murders as a means to denigrate BLM, or other civil rights activists should be ashamed of themselves. If they are not, it is for one reason and one reason only: racism.

—Al Weed lives in Kalispell

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