In a column posted on The Blaze this Tuesday, June 22, sports journalist Jason Whitlock believes the statues of George Floyd had more political meaning than the racial ideologies it should have been representing, calling for their removal.
Whitlock cited the statues erected last week in Newark, New Jersey, and Brooklyn, New York, which aimed to venerate Floyd, saying, “The deification of George Floyd harms black people and America.”
Floyd was a black citizen who died while being held under the knee of police officer Derek Chauvin. His death has since fueled a movement for social justice which alleged that America had an underlying system of hatred, racism, and white supremacy.
The statues purported to be a reminder of the still problematic racism in the country, as described by local educator Kevin Blanks while introducing one of the sculptures in New York.
“Racism is still very much problematic today, still very much embedded in the DNA of this country,” said Blanks about the six-foot statue of Floyd erected in Brooklyn last Sunday, June 20.
But Whitlock noted that Floyd’s death does not symbolize racial injustice.
“George Floyd was a victim—of his drug addiction, self-destructive behavior, and Derek Chauvin’s misconduct,” wrote Whitlock.
According to the medical examiner, Floyd’s death did not entirely come from the moments he was held down by officer Chauvin.
“The combined effects of Mr. Floyd being restrained by the police, his underlying health conditions, and any potential intoxicants in his system likely contributed to his death,” a statement from the medical examiner said.
From Whitlock’s view, the character of Floyd is used for impure motives.
“George Floyd is a prop corporate media uses for attention, a pawn liberal politicians use to push policy, and a punching bag social activists use as a symbol to explain black people and promote themselves,” he said.
The veteran journalist noted that Floyd’s life before his death was remote from warranting deification, considering his drug problem.
“Floyd is not Jesus. He’s not Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, or Medgar Evers, black men who died tragically in service of promoting racial fairness. Floyd isn’t Crispus Attucks, the first man killed in America’s Revolutionary War. Floyd isn’t Emmett Till, an innocent victim of anti-black bigotry.”
“I’m shocked the sculptor didn’t put a crack pipe in one hand and a 40-ounce of beer in the other,” derided Whitlock as he mentioned the statue in Newark, New Jersey, which depicted Floyd sitting on a park bench in a tank top.
Demanding the sculptures to be removed, Whitlock said, “It’s offensive to build a statue celebrating a man whose most memorable accomplishment is having a policeman kneel on his neck and back for nine minutes. It’s insane.”
Two of the artworks that honor Floyd in Brooklyn, New York, and Newark, New Jersey, was reported vandalized this Thursday, June 24, by ABC 7 New York, including the one that Whitlock mentioned in his column.