The Washington Post took a shot at making its own version of the 1619 Project for George Floyd.
“Born with two strikes – How systemic racism shaped Floyd’s life and hobbled his ambition,” the paper owned by the richest man in the world falsely claims.
Floyd, you see, wanted to be a Supreme Court justice. But a racist country just kept arresting him for drugs, theft, and… armed robbery.
But the Post does its best to dance around that by writing about anything and everything except Floyd’s crimes.
“Early in life, he wanted to be a Supreme Court justice. Then, a pro athlete. At the end, he just longed for a little stability, training to be a commercial truck driver.”
There actually is a black man on the Supreme Court. Despite the best efforts of the Washington Post to keep him off it.
Floyd might have been a Supreme Court justice, but, unfortunately systemic racism made him turn to crime instead.
“Throughout his lifetime, Floyd’s identity as a Black man exposed him to a gantlet of injustices that derailed, diminished and ultimately destroyed him, according to an extensive review of his life based on hundreds of documents and interviews with more than 150 people, including his siblings, extended family members, friends, colleagues, public officials and scholars.”
Did the Post speak to the Latino women he robbed? One of them at gunpoint. Nah.
These are not the gauntlet of injustices we’re looking for.
So the Post has to reach really, really far.
Floyd was born in Fayetteville, N.C., in 1973, a time when Whites-only service at restaurants and segregated seating in movie theaters were fresh wounds.
The Civil Rights Act had been passed a decade ago. Clearly Floyd was held back by the end of segregation a decade before his birth.
When Floyd was two days old, Maynard Jackson was elected mayor of Atlanta. It was the first time a major Southern city would have a Black leader.
So clearly he was held back from birth.
There are pages and pages of how racist America is. Yet none of it has to do with Floyd, his life choices or his supposed gauntlet of injustices.
Schools remained deeply unequal as Floyd moved through predominantly Black classrooms in the 1980s and early 1990s. At Yates, a former “colored” school named for a minister who was born enslaved, test scores were low and dropout rates high, with the 1989 valedictorian — who was seven months pregnant at the time — noting in her graduation speech that more than half of freshmen had failed to graduate.
Could the 7 month pregnant high schooler have something to do with this failure to graduate? Or did an incubus of systemic racism impregnate her?
By the time Floyd left high school in 1993, he wasn’t academically prepared to go to college. But his athletic skills earned him a place at a two-year program in South Florida before he transferred closer to home — to Texas A&M University-Kingsville, a small, mostly Latino school known as a pipeline to the NFL.
To summarize, Floyd didn’t belong in college, he got in to a school anyway. Because America is racist. It’s so racist that if you’re a non-Asian minority, you’re more likely to get into college than a white or Asian student with the same test scores
Systemic racism, y’all.
What did Floyd do with this opportunity?
Floyd, a tight end, went to practice every day, but he wasn’t making the grades or completing the credits that would have allowed him to get on the field.
The gap in high school graduation rates has narrowed dramatically in recent decades. But it has persisted at the college level, with only 41 percent of Black students completing their degrees, compared with two-thirds of Whites, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.
Because college has less promotion and standards than your local public school. So the answer will be to eliminate standards at the college level.
None of this would have helped Floyd, and isn’t doing anybody any favors, except the college-industrial complex.
Colleges admitting unqualified students just wrecks their lives. It’s the equivalent of having the NFL accept me out of high school. It wouldn’t have done me or the NFL any favors. But less so for me than the NFL.
To whatever extent it wrecked Floyd’s life, that bit of systemic racism is on the Left.
Floyd’s time in college ended with neither a degree nor a draft into professional sports. With his two planned routes out of Third Ward blocked, he moved back to Cuney Homes in 1997.
The only gauntlet of injustice is that Floyd never received a viable career track beyond the unrealistic platforms of professional sports or a college degree.
This is a profound failure at the high school level. Democrats decided they want to route all students to college. And Floyd was one casualty of that. Most people should not go to college. (These days, I’m not sure anyone should.) They should have viable career options in high school to transition to.
It didn’t take much time before he was in trouble with the law. Police — described by residents as an omnipresent force around Cuney Homes — arrested him in August 1997 for delivering less than a gram of cocaine.
Obviously the fault of the cops, not of Floyd, for deciding to go to work for drug dealers.
You can guess the rest. Lots of stuff about how arresting drug dealers and mules is racist. And how racist the country is. Nothing about the impact of drugs on the black community. Or the fact that we’re only fighting a drug war because the black community wanted one.
And with good cause.
Then the Post, which has spent entire pages documenting events in the 19th century, quickly brushes over the high point of Floyd’s criminal career.
The most serious charge that Floyd faced was in 2007, for aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon. Prosecutors said the then-33-year-old and four others forced their way into a private home and that Floyd had held a woman at gunpoint while others ransacked the place, looking for drugs and money.
One measly paragraph. No mention that the women were Latino. That the woman he held at gunpoint was allegedly pregnant.
These are not the injustice gauntlets we’re looking for.
After a plea deal, Floyd would spend four years at a privately run prison nearly three hours northwest of Houston.
Four years. For robbing a woman at gunpoint.
Systemic racism. Right?
Here’s a part of the account that the Post seems less interested in.
“The largest of these suspects forced his way into the residence, placed a pistol against the complainant’s abdomen, and forced her into the living room of the residence.
This large suspect then proceeded to search the residence while another armed suspect guarded the complainant, who was struck in the head and side areas by this second armed suspect after she screamed for help.”
This tells a whole other part of the Floyd story.
Was this Floyd’s first armed robbery? Statistically speaking, probably not. What about the experiences of these two Latino women? They don’t matter.
The Post wraps up the story of Floyd by mentioning that he wanted to stay clean, without ever mentioning how much drugs he was on at the time of his death. Unlike all the 19th century stuff, no one needs to know that. What we all need to know is that America is racist. Systematically racist. So racist it sent Floyd to college, kept freeing him every time he committed a crime, but he was still somehow born with two strikes against him.
I have known guys like Floyd. They’re not necessarily bad guys with a capital B. They go back and forth from prison, meaning to change, but never have the skills or determination to do it. They do bad things, but they’re remorseful. They’re not the soulless monsters who open fire on streets and kill 3-year-olds and then smirk their way through court sessions. By their forties, they’re especially regretful. They feel like they wasted their lives and that life has passed them by.
And they’re not wrong.
Most of their friends are gone. The old neighborhoods have changed. They try to make some changes, get religion, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.
But no system did this to them. That’s a claim, as Jason Riley recently put it, made by upscale black and white leftists. They did it to themselves. They’re not alone in that. And we should have a conversation about the growing lack of purpose and meaning in American life. But this is not systemic racism. Floyd wasn’t kept down by the system. The system enabled him until he broke it and himself. It shouldn’t have enabled him.
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