There are certain moments in history. Something happens — a handcuffed man screams that he can’t breathe, the cop presses his knee ever more firmly against his neck, and the cop, I swear, looks so unbothered, so this-is-what-I-can-do-and-you-can’t-stop-me calm, ignoring those onlookers who plead for George Floyd’s life, while still pinning his knee on Floyd’s neck minutes even after Floyd is unresponsive and apparently dead — and people are sickened and disgusted and pained and, most of all, moved to act.
This seems like such a moment.
It was more than just the horror in that eight-minute, forty-six second video in which we saw the cop snuffing out a man’s life for no reason, for allegedly passing a forged $20 bill. It’s the lack of expression, the utter lack of empathy, the — to use the modern term — privilege on Derek Chauvin’s, the Minneapolis cop’s, face that does me in.
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