This afternoon, former police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted on all three charges for killing George Floyd.
There’s plenty to be said in a nuanced way about how convicting one killer cop after a man was murdered doesn’t feel like “justice” in the sweeping, lofty way we think about it. But in the wake of a ruling this big, there will be a lot of idiotic commentary from the usual sources, but apparently also plenty of idiotic commentary from people supposedly on our side. After I saw this simply nauseating quote from a live Nancy Pelosi presser circulating:
I had to check the tape. It’s even worse than I imagined!
The Speaker of the House said:
“Thank you, George Floyd, for sacrificing your life for justice. For being there to call out to your mom—how heartbreaking was that—call out for your mom, ‘I can’t breathe.’ But because of you, and because of thousands, millions of people around the world who came out for justice, your name will always be synonymous with justice.”
It’s a hell of a thing to thank a man who shouldn’t have had to die for nevertheless teaching us a valuable lesson about “justice.” It’s also a hell of a thing to shout out the absolutely wrenching part of the tape of Floyd’s death where he calls out for his mother and to follow that with the word “but.”
Pelosi also looked up to heaven as she said this, as if speaking to Floyd directly. Astonishing.
The weirdness didn’t end there: Pelosi also called Floyd’s brother, who testified in court about his brother’s killing, “a star” and said she spoke to the Floyd family ahead of the verdict and praised them for “appealing for justice in the most dignified way” and said “thank you, God bless you, for the model that you are.”