I had this in the Chauvin thread but it really deserves its own post. It’s not just a gaffe, it’s an instant hall-of-famer.
So much so that even liberals are in full cringe over it on Twitter this afternoon.
The best part is when she looks up, addressing Floyd directly.
Speaker Pelosi at the Congressional Black Caucus presser after Chauvin verdict:
“Thank you George Floyd for sacrificing your life for justice.” pic.twitter.com/JfapSsKdtX
— The Recount (@therecount) April 20, 2021
She was trying to make the point that his death wasn’t in vain because it raised awareness of police brutality, galvanized social-justice protests, and ultimately proved that a black victim can get justice from a police officer in a courtroom in America. But somehow, after that got run through the Pelosi filter, it ended up with her thanking him for his “sacrifice,” as if Floyd had volunteered to die gasping with Chauvin’s knee on his neck. He didn’t lay down his life, it was taken from him. In her haste to turn him into a progressive martyr, she completely erased that distinction and inadvertently obscured the injustice that was done to him.
Some points are best made in meme form:
The first woman Speaker of the House, the caucus leader who got ObamaCare passed, the Trump antagonist who impeached him twice, and now … the lady who thanked George Floyd for dying on the day his killer was convicted. A legacy unlike any other.
She wasn’t the only Democratic politician this afternoon to insinuate that the world is better off now with Floyd dead:
George Floyd came to Minneapolis to better his life. But ultimately his life will have bettered our city. The jury joined in a shared conviction that has animated Minneapolis for the last 11 months. They refused to look away and affirmed he should still be here today.
— Mayor Jacob Frey (@MayorFrey) April 20, 2021
There’s a cold logic to the idea that a body count may be a catalyst for social progress, but try to imagine Obama, say, “thanking” the children who were gunned down at Sandy Hook for their “sacrifice” because their deaths created some impetus for gun control and therefore “bettered” our country. What we’re seeing in Pelosi and Frey are politicians who’ve lost a degree of their humanity and lapse too easily into treating people as mere instruments of advancing political causes. The day that Floyd and his family got justice in a courtroom isn’t a day to treat him as the main character in a social-justice parable you’re writing. That’s the day to treat him as a human being and feel the loss for which Chauvin will now be punished.
Here’s yet another weird take from a well-known Democrat, the first lady of California:
George Floyd should still be alive today. And while nothing will bring him back or heal the unthinkable pain his killing caused his family and Black Americans everywhere, today’s verdict offers a retribution on toxic masculinity and a ray of light in the fight for racial justice.
— Jennifer Siebel Newsom (@JenSiebelNewsom) April 20, 2021
At least she doesn’t seem to see a silver lining in Floyd’s death. But she has her agenda too, insisting on reframing Chauvin’s conduct towards Floyd as an example of “toxic masculinity” rather than an example of a law enforcement officer abusing his power. “Toxic masculinity” must be a hobbyhorse of hers, and if there’s any occasion when someone simply mustn’t resist riding her hobbyhorse, it’s the verdict in a wrenching trial stemming from a murder that’s haunted the country for a year.
Gotta say, I thought we’d only get truly memorably bad takes if Chauvin had walked and riots had broken out. But between Pelosi thanking Floyd for dying and whatever Newsom is on about, we’re doing okay. And the night is still young as I write this.