Opinion: Charles Dickens wakes up in 2021
April 25, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.
Compression ratio: 20%. 2 min read.
On many fronts this week, news of progress was counter-balanced by new threats and concerns. The conviction of Derek Chauvin in the killing of George Floyd was immediately followed by police shooting incidents that raised questions. With more than half of Americans having received at least one vaccination, there were alarming signs of Covid-19's spread internationally. And on climate change, discouraging data coincided with forward movement.
Was this week a story of justice achieved, with Derek Chauvin's conviction in the killing of George Floyd?
We don't know what Biden will say from the House podium, but we do have clues from his past speeches, such as the one he gave this week after Derek Chauvin's conviction.
"Here's what you are not going to get in a major address from President Joseph Biden: textured rhetoric woven with references to the classics; eloquent, poetic phraseology ringing like heavenly music and leaving its listeners with echoes of Shakespeare, Lincoln and Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. ," wrote Gene Seymour.
It was less than a year since the world watched a video showing another handcuffed man, George Floyd -- who cried out for his mother and said he couldn't breathe-- while Chauvin kneeled on his neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds.
"This is what accountability looks like," wrote Van Jones.
Issac Bailey understood why people "burst into celebration," but, he wrote, "I'm not in a celebratory mood -- because it took overwhelming evidence to convict a police officer, evidence so clear even his former boss and colleagues testified against him.
"The truth is that there are many others like Derek Chauvin," wrote Cariol Horne.
She was fired from the Buffalo, New York, police force after a 2006 incident when she "stopped a fellow officer from choking a handcuffed Black man during an arrest.
Horne pointed out that last year, the city of Buffalo passed "Cariol's Law," establishing that police officers must intervene when they see a fellow officer using excessive force.
"Police officers' jobs depend on our community believing and trusting us to both protect and serve," Horne wrote.
Legal analyst Jennifer Rodgers wrote that Chauvin is likely to appeal his conviction on several grounds.
Rocah, district attorney of Westchester County in New York, asked, "What led a jury to convict Chauvin of murder when less than 2% of the police killings every year since 2005 have resulted in charges even being filed against the officers?"
"Three factors: The prosecutors did their job and treated this case and Chauvin's actions like any other case, without special treatment because he was a police officer; the murder was recorded on video; and an unprecedented number of that Chauvin's actions were antithetical to police practice and standards. "
"According to police officials and bodycam footage shared with the public, the teenager was holding a knife and charged two other females," wrote Peniel E.
"It's true that a startlingly small number of people — academy members and audiences alike — have seen this year's nominees," wrote Ann Hornaday in the Washington Post.
"Five years after #OscarsSoWhite first gained momentum, Garret Bradley, the documentary filmmaker behind 'Time,' the late actor Chadwick Boseman and filmmaker Chloé Zhao all stand to make history -- the kind that's long overdue and much-needed for women filmmakers and people of color. " Neophytou argues that the Oscars --and the industry -- are badly lagging in another category: creating opportunities and recognition for women composers.