“The core sadism & power madness totally on display…”

In an image from 25 May 2020 video provided by Darnella Frazier, then-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneels on the neck of George Floyd who was pleading that he could not breathe. (Darnella Frazier via AP)

What’s Past Is Prologue

I detect a smug look of self-satisfaction on Derek Chauvin’s cop face as George Floyd’s life ebbs away. (He may have already been dead at that point.) That’s the look of a sadist inflicting pain on his victim and enjoying every minute of it. (How George Floyd Was Killed in Police Custody | Visual Investigations)

Below are a few spot-on quotes from a reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times in a 31.5.20 article: How could he do it? Riots don’t touch key question. Listening to the police scanner during Saturday’s riot, trying to make sense of it all.

Police represent society, for good and bad. They represent us, our values. So let’s ask again: How could he do it? Easy. Because George Floyd wasn’t a person. To Chauvin, he wasn’t human, he was black.

How could he do it? He was trained. Not at the police academy, maybe. But by America, and its 400 years of systemic dehumanization and enslavement. Those go together and endure, a legacy baked into everything today. Of course, 40 percent of Americans ignore facts; they always have. You can’t be a self-satisfied slaveholder otherwise.

A Canadian friend and colleague, looking south of the border with shock and dismay, sent me this note:

You know, Mark, it occurred to me, this police officer in Minneapolis… Do you have any difficulty picturing how he would have conducted himself as a solider posted to Iraq in 2003 or to Viet Nam in 1970? The core sadism and power madness totally on display and on record. Chilling.

Or Afghanistan in 2002 or in the Philippines in 1901, etc., ad nauseam. Chilling, indeed. Fueled by hatred and a concomitant sense of superiority.

Sadism & Power Madness 345 Years Ago in British Colonial America

You could add many other countries to that list, not to mention many other periods of US history going back to the beginnings of settler colonialism in New England. I have no difficulty picturing how Chauvin would have conducted himself as an English soldier on 26 May 1637 at the Mystic Massacre in 1637 or in King Philip’s War (1675-78), AKA the First Indian War, Metacom’s War, Metacomet’s War, Pometacomet’s Rebellion, or Metacom’s Rebellion.

A painting of the Great Swamp Massacre (Source: Wikipedia)

This includes a battle known as the Great Swamp Massacre fought on 19 December 1675 against the Narragansett tribe in present-day Rhode Island. An estimated 300-1000 Native Americans died from gunshot wounds and exposure to the elements, after their fort (winter camp) was set on fire. The vast majority were women and children. The tribe’s website notes that Following the massacre, many of the remaining Narragansett retreated deep into the forest and swamp lands in the southern area of the State. (Much of this area now makes up today’s Reservation). Many who refused to be subjected to the authority of the United Colonies left the area or were hunted down and killed. Some were sold into slavery in the Caribbean, others migrated to upstate New York, and many went to Brotherton, Wisconsin.

Since the 1930s, Narragansett and Wampanoag people commemorate the battle in a ceremony initiated by Narragansett-Wampanoag scholar Princess Red Wing.

Shalom (שלום), MAA

One thought on ““The core sadism & power madness totally on display…”

  1. By Mike Hastie, a US veteran of the US War in Viet Nam:

    The History Behind the Murder of George Floyd

    I can’t breathe…

    I can’t breathe…

    Klansman Derek Chauvin does not care.

    There are many people at the scene who

    are begging Derek Chauvin to stop torturing

    George Floyd.

    People are live streaming cell phone video

    to document this nightmare.

    It’s the nonchalant attitude and body

    language of Derek Chauvin, especially

    with his hands in his pocket that is so

    repugnant of the immoral tormenting

    years of slavery in America.

    It is Derek Chauvin’s arrogance of

    ownership of property.

    He is so confident that there will not

    be any repercussions for his blatant


    It makes absolutely no difference

    that he is being filmed, because

    the cops will not be charged.

    He knows the routine all too well.

    To Derek Chauvin, George Floyd is

    just a “nigger.”

    The other three cops at the scene do

    nothing to challenge Chauvin’s behavior,

    so no doubt this has been done many

    times before.

    As I am watching the video on the

    National News, I have a vision for

    who Derek Chauvin really is, and the

    powerful support behind his sick


    This is what you will see when you

    click the attachment.

    Mike Hastie

    Portland, Oregon

    May 30, 2020

    A riot is the language of the unheard.

    Martin Luther King Jr.

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