Earlier this week the Derek Chauvin (the officer who knelt on the neck of Geroge Floyd for 8 minutes 46 seconds as he died) was found guilty on all three counts thus confirming that we ALL watched him murder a man last May. I want to preface this blog by saying, this isn’t a time for celebration. George Floyd is more than a symbol; he was a man and he’s never coming back. Derek Chauvin was convicted of a crime he committed but it’s only a start.
In my youth I experienced the LA Riots in absolute terror. I was too young to understand what was going on but it made an impression. As I got older I learned that the anger was a reaction to people witnessing the Rodney King beatings and seeing the excessive force but were left feeling powerless after the police officers involved were acquitted on all but one account (which amounted to a slap on the wrist).
In the thirty years since, we’ve seen violence on smartphones, body cams and dash cams. We’ve seen empty hands, wallets, and hoodies mistaken for guns and a gun mistaken for a taser. What we haven’t seen is accountability. A police officer’s job is a dangerous and difficult one. However, to accept no accountability means that an average citizen who has no training with firearms, de-escalation or conflict resolution would have a higher level of responsibility than the average citizen.
Something strange happened with the death of George Floyd, while I experienced tremendous sadness people argued from hilltops representing political platitudes. It has come to be the oddest reaction I’ve ever witnessed. For those suggesting that Chauvin should not be held accountable for his crimes, the opposing point of view is that a police officer should have the power to murder someone for a crime that isn’t punishable by death; the police officer should also (as per this way of thinking) be allowed to enforce this level of punishment without a trial thus acting as judge, jury and executioner.
In reality, I don’t think anyone would want the reality that represents. The reason that the reaction was as such seems as though supporting law and order and opposing protest appears to be aligned with right wing or (republican politics). Similarly discussing race issues seem to be considered a political topic. This is strange as telling someone that I’m an Italian Canadian seems about as political as saying fried chicken is dope.
This was a common reaction as sports reporters such as Adrian Wojnarowski and Adam Shefter announced the verdict on their twitter feeds. The result of which was a loud minority of the responses saying some variation of “stick to sports”. This is a strange reaction to a person’s social media feed which is inherently personal and is additional content that is offered for FREE. If you don’t like what someone posts on social media, know that you don’t have to engage. You can keep scrolling, you can stop following that person or you can create an echo chamber by following accounts of people who agree with you.
As for us at Hot Sauce Sports, we made things clear from jump street. We’re going to talk about what we want to. Our sponsors know what we are about and you, our patrons also get it. We love sports, comedy and we have diverse interests that we’ll discuss at our leisure. We have a talented group of bloggers, podcasters, graphic designers and so on who I trust to discuss their opinions about anything they are passionate about.
Our team is composed of people from different backgrounds, faiths, beliefs and political leanings. Not Sauce For Work is a great example as Terry, Eagle and myself all have VERY different political leanings. That’s right the political spectrum is wider than simply the dichotomous “leftist snowflake” or “right wing nut-job”. Moreover, you can associate and work with people who have different views and beliefs.
In the end, we’re proud of our diversity and will continue to create our content as such. If this offends you, feel free to move along Karen. I do hope that we will get to a point where we can evaluate issues outside of a preconstructed political spectrum. Some things, such as human lives are far more important than political ideology and it’s sadly a lesson we collectively have yet to learn.
As for the conviction itself, it’s a positive step. Justice can only begin when we have accountability. So it is our collective responsibility to assure that this is the beginning of a journey rather than the destination. This was a start but remember that all that occurred was that the jury did the right thing. Change unfortunately happens at the speed of the oppressors if we want to see it happen quickly we need hold the responsible accountable. It took us 30 years to see accountability, let’s ensure that the next evolution won’t take so long.