I never like to see anyone go to prison, even if, by the corrupt terms of our society, they quote unquote deserve it. I do believe in justice and that it’s necessary for a functioning society, but I prefer restorative to retributive justice; I also believe the less violence the state has to do to achieve justice, especially in a society where justice is too often a synonym for sadism, the better it is all around.
So I take no pleasure in Derek Chauvin going away. His suffering doesn’t delight me. I am glad he’s not going to be a cop anymore (unlike other cops who kill unarmed people) and I am glad that the justice system was able to acknowledge that what we all saw on camera, with our own eyes, was the crime we knew it to be, and that no one was able to bully or browbeat the jury, based on the respective identities of the murderer and the victim, into saying it wasn’t.
I do confess to some pleasure in the rage of conservatives over the verdict:
More examples here and here. On the one hand, there are the normie wingnuts, protesting that all they really wanted was justice, unlike the blacks and liberals who are just animals baying for blood — the idea behind comments by Ben Shapiro, Rich Lowry, and other conservative “intellectuals.” (See also Shapiro’s pre-filed column about “the establishment media and the Democratic Party” and their “divisive identity politics agenda" and how they’ll hypnotize black people into burning everything down if they don’t get their way. Shapiro’s sneaky implication is that, if Chauvin is convicted, it will only be to avoid that result.)
On the other hand, there are the even creepier comments from more fascism-forward wingnuts who claim cops should “resign en masses” [sic] because Chauvin’s conviction means cops can’t do their job (i.e. terrorize black people into submission with extrajudicial violence and murder).
The basic difference between the normie wingnuts and the more fascism-forward wingnuts is, the former seek to portray themselves as the last valiant defenders of old-fashioned white America, whereas the latter believe it’s already all over and are handing out tiki torches and calling for race war.
They are united, though, in this: They both think something big has changed.
Not one of them, I am sure, believes Chauvin is innocent, in the classic sense. They don't even think he’s the fun kind of guilty that movie and TV cops who rough up suspects and plant guns on skels are. (Even the biggest Dirty Harry fan would start to squirm a few minutes into the Floyd murder footage.)
But he sure was white and he sure was a cop and Floyd sure was black. And then people got outraged about Floyd, and that outrage spread to encompass the whole rotten system that harasses, hassles, frames, railroads and sometimes murders black people.
That made things serious. So conservatives sought to spin the situation. They decided Floyd really died from a fentanyl overdose. Plus he was no angel. He resisted arrest. (That was the original excuse, remember?)
They they made it about the protests — which were of course all riots, and all the protestors rioters. The rioters burned cities TO THE GROUND — all the liberal cities, New York, Portland, D.C., they’re all ashes and cinders now! The rioters burned innocent people's businesses — bet you liberals don’t think their lives matter! The rioters even killed a bunch of people, or so conservatives heard — no, they didn’t have any evidence, but just look at those rioters, look how young they are, look how much blacker than your suburb they are, think how easily “the establishment media and the Democratic Party” and their “divisive identity politics agenda” can derange them into killing and burning!
They kept this up all summer, all fall. But still their champion Trump fell, and when they tried their coup decent people recoiled. It turned out the country was more in sympathy with BLM than with the Proud Boys. And finally the murder that started all that came to cases, and was called what it was. There was no getting around it now.
Think what it must mean to them. It’s like the jury didn’t just judge Chauvin. It’s like the jury judged them.