Nearly everyone in the West has heard of George Floyd; knows he was a Black man and that he died whilst being arrested in the US. But how many have heard of Tony Timpa? How many know he was a young White man who died while being restrained by police after he called them to say he was off his medication for schizophrenia and depression and needed help?
Why the difference? How is it that one death is seen as justification for vilifying White people; degrading our history and heritage; and re-organising publicly funded organisations so they favour one race over another, while the other has been virtually ignored?
Narrative of George Floyd’s death
George Floyd’s death, on May 25th 2020 following his arrest by police in Minneapolis, was portrayed by Black Lives Matter as evidence of police brutality and systemic racism against Black people. It led to demonstrations and riots in America and across the world.
Supporting the narrative of Black Lives Matter, politicians and the media also described Floyd’s death as racially motivated. Through constant repetition, and in the absence of any successful counter argument as occurred for the Covington boys, his ‘racist killing’ became an unarguable truth. Although he died in the US, many other Western countries were seen to be in some way complicit and were likewise subjected to angry and emotional accusations of systemic racism and police brutality against Black people.
In the UK, governments, businesses and charities used his death to push the message that systemic racism was a serious problem in this country. The language used wasn’t subtle, and not once did these organisations feel it necessary to justify their pronouncements.
Statements by governments and leading institutions, in support of Black Lives Matter and decrying racism within Britain, are reviewed later. First let’s look at the reality of Floyd’s death.
What do the statistic tell us?
Statistics for the years 2017 and 2018 tell a different story to the one pushed by governments, institutions, the press and Black Lives Matter.
For these two years, in the US the number of Black people killed when arrested for violent crime was 3 out of every 10,000. For Whites it was 4 out of every 10,000. If anything you are more likely to be killed when arrested for a violent crime if you are White.
For those unarmed when arrested, there was no difference between Blacks and Whites (2019 data).
Date sources used:
FBI provides crime data for 2017 and 2018 in the US:
Washington Post provides data on people killed by police in 2017 and 2018 in the US:
That Blacks are no more likely to be shot by police than Whites is borne out by an empirical analysis conducted by Roland G. Fryer, Jr. at Harvard University (2016). The abstract is posted below and the paper and appendix can be found at the end of this article. The research did find Blacks and Hispanics were more likely to experience some form of force in interactions with police than were other races/ethnicities. However “On the most extreme use of force – officer-involved shootings – we find no racial differences in either the raw data or when contextual factors are taken into account.”
How White people were killed
It’s not only statistics that expose the lie of the George Floyd narrative. The personal stories of White people killed by police do too. The deaths of Tony Timpa and Daniel Shaver are horrific but they received little media coverage and no condemnation by governments or institutions.
Tony Timpa, a 32 year old White man died in Dallas in August 2016 after calling 911 saying he was off his medication for schizophrenia and depression and needed help. Video footage, only released after a federal lawsuit was filed by Timpa’s family, shows an officer pinning Tony Timpa to the ground with his hands cuffed behind him for nearly 14 minutes. He eventually becomes unresponsive and officers are heard joking that Timpa had fallen asleep, with one yelling “five more minutes, mom!”
A medical examiner ruled Timpa’s death as homicide and listed the cause as “sudden cardiac death” caused by “the toxic effects of cocaine and physiological stress associated with physical restraint”. Officers were allowed to return to active duty after charges were dropped.
City officials argued against the release of the body camera footage, and Timpa’s family had to fight for more than a year to find answers to his death. The released video contradicted the Dallas police defense of the officers. A police incident report from the night of Timpa’s death claimed that Timpa was “aggressive and combative” even though he was already handcuffed by a security guard when police arrived and never threatened police.
Daniel Shaver, a 26-year-old White man, was killed in the hallway of a hotel in Arizona, in early 2016. He was shot five times as he crawled towards officers who were responding to a report of a man pointing a gun out of his hotel room window. It later emerged the rifle was an airsoft or pellet gun not a firearm.
Body cam footage shows Daniel Shaver exiting his room in front of armed officers and immediately lying down on the ground. A series of instructions on what to do, which he seems unable to follow, are shouted to him by the police. At one point Daniel Shaver says “Please don’t shoot me… I’m trying to do what you tell me.” Sobbing he is told to crawl toward the police, and while doing so, moves his hand towards his waist. He is the shot five times with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle. The initial police report said the movement was “a very similar motion to someone drawing a pistol” but it also said that Daniel Shaver’s shorts had fallen around his legs and his movement “was also consistent with attempting to pull his shorts up as they were falling off”.
A police officer was subsequently charged with the murder of an unarmed man in the US state of Arizona, he was found not guilty of murder and the lesser manslaughter charge.
Other Whites killed by police
The killing of Tony Timpa and Daniel Shaver are two distressing cases of White deaths at the hands of police in America. Frustrated by the biased Black Lives Matter narrative, Leonydus Johnson, a Black advocate for post-racial identity, created a thread of other such deaths, specifically looking at White people killed in 2019 who were unarmed at the time:
Using the George Floyd narrative to vilify Whites
With no more than a laptop and access to the web, OurChildrenMatter has shown the George Floyd narrative of ‘a racially motivated killing, proving systemic racism’ to be unproven and unjustifiable. Yet with all the resources at their disposal, businesses, voluntary organisations and governments have been unable ~ or unwilling ~ to see beyond the Black Lives Matter propaganda.
Statements by governments and leading institutions, supporting Black Lives Matter and decrying ‘racism’ and ‘systemic racism’ within Britain are reviewed here. Clearly Floyd’s death is being used, consciously or not, to reinforce Critical Race Theory. Non-Whites are portrayed as victims, Whites as oppressors.
Boris Johnson speaking for the UK Government calls Floyd’s death deeply emotional “a Black man losing his life at the hands of the police“. Rather than stop there he then portrays all ‘minority ethnic groups’ as victims of injustice and discrimination. Clearly the message is White people, uniquely, do not suffer in this way. Indeed they are the perpetrators.
Scottish Government stands with Black Lives Matter. “We must be anti-racist by supporting our minority ethnic communities…” Again the message; non-Whites are the victims, Whites the perpetrators.
Welsh Government reacts to Floyd’s death by announcing an urgent need to audit Welsh heritage and address its connections to slavery, thereby framing slavery as an evil of historic Wales, not the world wide evil it was.
Metropolitan Police assert that what we are seeing in America and the UK is “anger directed not just at police brutality but the racial bias built into the very fabric of our institutions and society [ … ] in education, in health, in the workplace”. The anger is legitimate says Neil Basu, National Police Chiefs Council lead for counter terrorism policing.
Neil Basu, Assistant Commissioner Specialist Operations of the Metropolitan Police Service, and the National Police Chiefs Council lead for counter terrorism policing
Natural History Museum takes pride in being a renowned scientific institution, whose Code of Ethics includes integrity, objectivity and honesty. The museum actively supports Black Lives Matter and, in line with this, portrays the history of Britain and of its own collection, as being rooted in colonialism, slavery and racism. Despite its stated commitment to integrity, objectivity and honesty, the Natural History Museum makes no mention of the enslavement of White people; the world context of colonialism, or the inherent in-group preference of all races.
British Library‘s Chief Librarian states that the killing of George Floyd was a racist ‘murder’. [Neither the racial motivation nor that it was murder have been proven in any court.]
The Chief Executive states that in response to Floyd’s death the British Library needs to show humility, to listen, to learn and then to enact change.
To listen to who?
English Heritage present their role as “protecting, championing and saving the places that define who we are and where we’ve come from as a nation”. Yet on the back of the killing of George Floyd they state that the telling of our history needs to take account of those who are offend by it. Taking a step further they support Sadiq Khan’s Commission for Diversity, which will review what statues and monuments should have a public space, based not on our history, but on the demographics of London in 2020.
As a direct result of George Floyd’s death, and the protests that followed, National Trust announced that they are going to do more to highlight Britain’s shameful past.
Slavery is central to that, but there is no reflection on slavery as a universal failing, rather it’s portrayed as an evil peculiar of Whites.
National Museum of Wales tells us that the Black Lives Matter Movement has led them to “better understand the role that Amgueddfa Cymru, as an institution historically steeped in white privilege, has played in upholding systemic racism.” To address this they intend to build relationships with Black Lives Matter, Cardiff. For completeness a few posts from the BLM organisation, BLM UK and BLM Cardiff are posted below.
National Health Service Chief Executive Simon Stevens talks about the ‘righteous anger’ at the murder of George Floyd and warned us not to think of racism as historical but as a part of modern Britain.
All these organisations were selected because, in their different ways, they are tasked with protecting the people of Britain and our heritage. Without fail everyone of them bought into the ‘George Floyd’s death is evidence of systemic racism’ propaganda and extended it to subscribe guilt to the British people now and through our history.
Not one of them has taken a step back and asked the simple question. Where is the evidence of a racial connection to Floyd’s death?
An Empirical Analysis of Racial Differences in Police Use of Force – Paper
An Empirical Analysis of Racial Differences in Police Use of Force – Online Appendix
Article published 9 August 2020