ALPERN AT LARGE-I'll be happy to go on record as saying I don't give a damn if anything bad happens to Derek Chauvin,
the man who "took a knee" on George Floyd's neck for far too long, and ignoring all pleas to let that sufficiently-restrained man avoid being needlessly suffocated to death.
Chauvin never should have remained a cop as long as he did (lots of prior complaints about this thug), and is a criminal, pure and simple. Floyd was no saint, but Derek Chauvin played "Judge Dredd" (judge, jury, and executioner) to someone who did NOT deserve death...and Chauvin would probably have done that without any hesitation to anyone reading this--black or non-black.
If Black Lives Matter or any other vigilantes were to "take out" Chauvin, or if lethal vengeance were to occur to Chauvin in prison, I could argue that it's against all of our legal statutes and processes ... but I wouldn't shed a tear. It's a pity that Minnesota abolished the death penalty, because if Chauvin did a "Jeffrey Epstein" and checked out, or if Minnesota were to figure out a legal way to execute Chauvin (not gonna happen), I also wouldn't shed a tear.
I will also be happy to go on record as supporting the best intentions of Black Lives Matter, but am increasingly alarmed at how some (not all!) of their leaders are going way beyond good intentions ... and appear to be aiming to "one up" Chauvin at being a thug. Chauvin wore a badge and became a vigilante. Is the dragging down the intent of Black Lives Matter towards anarchy any better?
Things might be going well for Black Lives Matter's clout and finances, but it's less certain whether that success bodes well for the nation, based on recent events:
1) Yes, Hank Newsome (the president of Greater New York Black Lives Matter) threatened to "burn down this system" if "the country doesn't give us what we want". But let's hope he's speaking figuratively, because the violence, looting and destruction is harming black American businesses and lives more than any other group.
And while it might give a few of those reading this a warm feeling in their hearts to know that Black Lives Matter activists recently stormed a Beverly Hills residential neighborhood screaming to "Eat the Rich!" and "Abolish Capitalism Now!" it's hard to wonder if mob rule is ANY better than police overreach.
Is this the best that Black Lives Matter can do for leadership and tactics?
2) J. Alexander Kueng, who stood on Floyd's legs while Chauvin suffocated Floyd, was recently confronted in a grocery store, and he arguably was polite when appropriately challenged by a woman who confronted him. Frankly, that confrontation is long overdue!
But that same YouTube video also correctly reports that Chicago has 104 people shot over the weekend prior, with 14 dead.
Over 270 New York City police officers are filing for retirement, and a flurry of violent crimes is raging in New York. A post-pandemic surge of crime and COVID-19 transmission are a certainty and it's no secret that black Americans will suffer in greater proportions than other Americans from both violence and the COVID-19 virus.
So while Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who is black, and New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio, who is married to a black woman, might proclaim unity with Black Lives Matter, they don't appear to be caring about the carnage of black Americans who do NOT deserve to die from any violence or virus because of their negligence and lack of leadership.
And maybe I'm missing something, but I don't hear enough Black Lives Matter leaders or our big-city mayors confront and decry the weekly crime and deaths suffered by black Americans in our urban cities (and where Republicans, either Trump Republicans or Never-Trump Republicans, can be found and blamed) with the same furor as to when police officers act like thugs.
So clearly ALL Black Lives Do NOT Matter.
So, allow me to suggest that taking the disproportionately high numbers black Americans' shooting, suffering, and deaths for granted is flat out RACIST.
So, if any Black Lives Matter or virtue-signaling Mayor wants to allow black Americans' misery and death to be "par for the course"--particularly for a government official to deem it acceptable...
...well, you're not much better than Derek Chauvin.
3) It should be emphasized that the anti-police furor that created the moronic "CHOP" in Seattle, and with violence and chaos ensuing, is NOT predominantly a Black Lives Matter effort, or for that matter an initiative that is black-supported or black-created. These are left-wing WHITE losers doing most of "the crazy"...
...and these white looters and loser are supposed to be acting in George Floyd's name?
Or are they just capitalizing and exploiting a nightmarish tragedy to their personal gain and power?
Defunding the police? Even in Los Angeles, where community-based policing has been the trend for years?
The ever-increasing army of virtue-signalers, particularly the white virtue signalers, are absolutely full of false narratives and phony promises. At least Atlanta Mayor Keisha Bottoms (who happens to be black) is trying to be tough on both inappropriate police officers and inappropriate looters-- who are clearly as violent as any law enforcement protocol violators.
Because law enforcement protocols should be improved, and yet lawlessness is NO answer to police overreach--especially when HONEST statisticians acknowledge that the overall numbers of police shootings do NOT conclude there are any racial differences.
There ARE a few "problem officers" who must NOT be allowed on ANY police force, and they accumulate most of the occurrences of excessive use of all overreaching bad practices.
But NO death is "OK" when it's avoidable...whether it's due to law enforcement or looters/criminals.
And that includes death to police officers, or for bystanders, or for business-owners trying to protect their livelihoods (and who mostly are black!). If George Floyd's family, who proclaim him to have been a "gentle giant", understood this then so can the rest of us.
The answer? Invest more in black neighborhoods, and get more diversity in entrepreneurship. Most of my career in the medical world has involved working for black superiors and physician leaders...and it's been delightful. They were and are great leaders and role models.
I've had a small role in the changing medical world of greater medical care for black Americans, and it's part of why I helped fight for an Exposition Light Rail Line to bring Westside, Mid-City and Downtown communities of all colors together.
But I'll be damned if I let any unspeakable thing happen to a young black man at the hands of a thuggish police officer any more than I'll tolerate a young black man get hurt or killed at the hands of a white looter or a "black on black" killing.
ALL Black Lives Matter, and if the less appropriate leaders of Black Lives Matter and any virtue-signaling politicians won't do right by the memory of George Floyd, then we need to find BETTER Americans who will do right by him.
George Floyd deserves better. So does his memory and legacy!
(CityWatch Columnist, Kenneth S. Alpern, M.D, is a dermatologist who has served in clinics in Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside Counties, and is a proud husband and father to two cherished children and a wonderful wife. He was termed out of the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC) twice after two stints as a Board member for 8-9 years and is also a Westside Village Zone Director. He previously co-chaired its Outreach Committee, and currently is Co-Chair of its MVCC Transportation/Infrastructure Committee and Vice-Chair of its Planning Committee. He was co-chair of the CD11 Transportation Advisory Committee and chaired the nonprofit Transit Coalition and can be reached at Ken.Alpern@MarVista.org. He also co-chairs the grassroots Friends of the Green Line at www.fogl.us. The views expressed in this article are solely those of Dr. Alpern.)