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PostCiting Floyd's Drug Use Does Not Mean He "Deserved" to Die (from Gary Moore) (John Eipper, USA, 05/05/21 7:15 am)
Gary Moore writes:
Is Cameron Sawyer (May 4th) accusing me of saying drug addicts should be killed? Whoa. Something very poisonous--but unfortunately very important--is going on here. We're left with the vehemence in the eruption and its baffling irrelevance to what I did say (and thanks to John E for gently pointing out that irrelevance in his comment).
One way to read the response I awakened is that what I did say was so difficult to confront that it had to be swept off the table--by putting a completely different argument into my mouth, and then responding to that. Which might be startling enough, but there's also the fact that the argument that was put into my mouth is reprehensible. The accuser edged toward fulminating that anyone saying what I had just said was really advocating that "bad people" deserve to die. Whoa again (and for the record, testimony seems to agree that George Floyd, in personal interactions, was far from being a "bad person," but was often kind and considerate--and all that has no bearing whatever on how a drug-ravaged body fits into cause of death).
That a towering intellect would grow so irrational as to despise me on unrelated grounds is certainly a subject worthy of further scrutiny. But who would have the wisdom?
And by the way, if Cameron thought my drug list on Floyd was intolerable as posted in the Forum, he should have seen the addendum, sent privately to JE as an afterthought--on more drugs. It went something like this:
I forgot heroin, the drug that sent Floyd to the hospital with an overdose on March 6, less than three months before his death, in pain so severe that he was doubled over, too incapacitated to drive to the hospital. Along with the more discussed drugs in his system at the May 25 death (fentanyl and methamphetamine) there was free morphine, a metabolite of heroin, meaning ingestion at a point leading up to May 25, along with the meth and fentanyl ingested on the day itself, and marijuana. It hasn't been reported which of these drugs might have been involved the preceding January when, in rapid succession, Floyd was pulled over for speeding and lacking proper licensing, and then a few days later crashed into a vehicle at a stoplight, saying he had fallen asleep. Should we censor from the picture of his bodily state at death the fact that fentanyl-meth pills were proved by his DNA and saliva to have actually been in his mouth during the bizarre shouting eruption that began his death?
The larger question--the intractable cultural question--is why such censoring of the picture exists, and why any attempt to paint a full picture is called unfair sniping. County Councilwoman Angela Conley tried to get Medical Examiner Andrew Baker fired for honestly including the drug levels in Floyd's autopsy. The reasoning seems to go something like this: The cops choked him, so any mention of drugs is shielding the chokers--so it's not lying at all to hide the drugs; it's being noble. Baker is one of the most noted pathologists in the country, specializing specifically in asphyxia, and he came within a hair of losing his job [June 9 - June 11]--because he was honest.
JE comments: I'd like to be the peacemaker here, but it's a tall order. If there's one thing we've learned in the last year, it's that medicine and politics are inextricably linked. Primarily regarding Covid, but also tangentially in the George Floyd case. Interestingly, the expected political divide does no apply to the Moore-Sawyer polemic. Gary's arguments are not of the usual "they should just behave" type, and Cameron in turn is anything but a knee-jerk "snowflake."
So, can we just all get along?