Showing posts from June, 2020

George Floyd and the Madness of Crowds

A single death is a tragedy. A million deaths is a statistic. — Josef Stalin, paraphrase Over the last week there have been mass protests and riots in the United States and around the world. Buildings and cars have been burned. Stores have been looted. People have been injured and killed. The reason? A mass delusion. This was not, by any stretch of the imagination, a rational response to real injustice or real social issues. It was a crowd mania. The spark that ignited this insanity was the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody, while bystanders filmed his arrest. He was resisting arrest, and he was placed on the ground and pinned down by three officers while a fourth officer kept bystanders away. One officer had a knee on the back of George Floyd’s neck. They kept him pinned down for 8 minutes, even after he had become unresponsive. He appears to have died while pinned down, although not from direct asphyxiation. The death of George Floyd mi