mong all the societal underpinnings of the George Floyd murder trial was an aspect that impacts you and me nearly every single day in the modern world. Whether the issue rises to the level of race in America or police relations, I’m not sure, but it is a stealth like issue that is impactful on nearly every aspect of our lives.
One of the aggravating circumstances of the case is that the Minneapolis Police Department issued a press release about Floyd’s death. The press release said, in part, “Man Dies After Medical Incident During Police Interaction.” It went on to say, “a report of a forgery in progress. Officers were advised that the suspect was sitting on top of a blue car and appeared to be under the influence.” It continued with this explanation about the interaction with the police, “(Floyd) physically resisted officers. Officers were able to get the suspect into handcuffs and noted he appeared to be suffering medical distress.” It ended with “No officers were injured in the incident.”
We all now know enough that this press release was certainly not completely true, but also reflected a biased view of the event. I’m not arguing the facts of that case. What I am pointing out is that government institutions have gradually become in charge of writing their own stories in the last 10 years and it is dangerous. It’s a compromised point of view that used to be filtered by traditional media.
We see it every day locally. Police departments, sheriff’s departments, local governments and schools are all over social media, telling you all the great things they have done today. They never tell you when things go bad. They just don’t. Their “stories” are often heavily shaded in their own viewpoint and they provide a misleading conclusion to nearly every event.
Some school accounts only report their athletic victories, never reporting on the losses. Police and sheriff’s departments blast out case details on social media and brand the “innocent until proven guilty” as “assumed guilty” before they even get charged by the prosecutor. It’s an overreach by local departments that is legally questionable and threatening to many of our societal norms.
If you think it is just government, think again. Corporations are big on this too now that they have megaphones of Facebook and Twitter to announce their “stories.” NFL teams now provide the most access to their own “beat writers,” paid for by the clubs. You think they are telling you the true background? Of course they aren’t.
The “traditional” news media have not helped their case by becoming partisan to a fault, but the entire process has made getting the “true” story more difficult than ever, despite the abundance of information and ways to communicate.
I wrote that serious stanza because I’m trying to become a better person. I can only assume that my time on this planet is limited after last weekend. My wife and I went to Pleasant Hill to shop for yard art. I had no idea I was “shopping for yard art” years old, but here I am; apparently near the end of time.
Anyway, they sell a bunch of metal junk from Mexico on weekends at a place called the Cactus Shack. They give you free beer and/or margaritas. There were lots of cigarettes and Trump T-shirts, so plan accordingly but I assumed you knew that when I said Pleasant Hill. I bought like $250 worth of the “art.” My part of this decision process was to simply shake my head in agreement to my wife and provide a valid credit card. If you are need of Mexican metal “art/junk” it’s my recommended go-to.
I also am a big proponent of the synergy of providing free beer and selling you things you might not “need.” Beer can sway the subconscious “want” into a “need” very quickly; highly recommended if you are selling “wants”.
(Guy Speckman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or displaying tacky yard art)