Friday, June 26, 2020

The trope of the drug-crazed Negro

I posted evidence that George Floyd died of a combination of heart disease, Covid-19, and a fentanyl overdose, and that Minneapolis police followed recommended procedures for saving his life.

Not everyone agrees. So I am posting a NY Times op-ed denying the overdose:
My heart sank when I read the prosecutors’ criminal complaint against Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who is charged with killing George Floyd. It suggests that drugs were one factor contributing to his death.

Not again, I thought. I have seen the “drug-crazed Negro” script trotted out too many times when a police officer kills a black person.

And it could happen again in the Floyd case. ...

The trope of the drug-crazed Negro is old and durable. A hundred years ago, people believed that cocaine made black men homicidal, exceptional marksmen, and impervious to some bullets. ...

He also had 11 nanograms of fentanyl in his blood. ...

What’s more, the same amount of fentanyl that produces euphoria in a tolerant user can result in an overdose in a newer user. ...

There was a time when we had virtually no scientific data on drugs. This allowed racists and others to exaggerate drug effects in the name of subjugating black people. Now, we do have data — and yet, the scarecrow of the drug-crazed Negro persists.
Okay, maybe Floyd had developed a tolerance, but the fentanyl in his blood was triple the lethal dose for a new user.

The article says "11 nanograms", but it is really 11 ng per mL. If the author doesn't know the difference, then he is no expert on the subject.

The autopsy also confirms that Floyd had severe heart disease, and Covid-19.

I don't like to jump to a conclusion until I see both sides of the issue, but this article just convinces me more that fentanyl was the main cause of death. It doesn't give any reason to believe that the police contributed to Floyd's death. It does say that the medical examiner called it a "homicide", but he specifically denied that use of that term had any legal significance. In particular, he found no neck injuries.

The main argument is just that the drug-crazed Negro is a trope.

This is crazy. Opioids are killing 47,000 people a year, and 35,000 of them are White. 6,000 are Black. Floyd was one of them. Anyone who does not recognize this as a possible outcome of the court process is just lying to you.

The news in 2020 has degenerated to ignoring the facts, and just calling people racists instead.

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