The viral video of police officer Derek Chauvin holding his knee on the neck of George Floyd for 8 minutes and 46 seconds shocked America, but it is a far cry from the systematic and brutal murder of millions of Jews and others at the hands of the Nazi regime under Adolf Hitler. There simply is no comparison. So, why did the Holocaust Museum in Maitland, Fla., erect a massive tribute to George Floyd’s death — right by the entrance, no less?!
As News 6 reported, “When you walk inside the Holocaust Center in Maitland, you’ll be able to see some of the faces of those who mourn the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis on Memorial Day. His death sparked protests across the city and around the country.”
Unbelievable: the Holocaust Museum in Maitland, Florida has added a George Floyd section
To align Floyd’s tragic death with the massacre of 6million Jews is hugely insensitive
But it’s also political: it positions police as Nazis. Awful decision
— Martin Daubney (@MartinDaubney) November 22, 2020
The death of George Floyd became a seminal moment in American history, galvanizing the Black Lives Matter movement. Peaceful protests erupted across the country, but so many of those protests devolved into riots based on the dubious premise that America is systemically racist.
The riots have proved the most destructive (in terms of insurance claims) in U.S. history. While leftists repeat claims of “institutional racism,” the riots have victimized the black community. The destruction disproportionately hit black communities in Kenosha, Wisc., Minneapolis, and Chicago. The riots destroyed black lives, black livelihoods, and black monuments. At least 26 Americans have died in the riots, most of them black.
While Chauvin’s actions rightly outraged Americans, it remains unclear whether or not the knee on the neck was entirely responsible for Floyd’s death. An autopsy revealed that Floyd tested positive for a host of drugs, including Fentanyl and Methamphetamine, and his direct cause of death was a heart attack. None of that justifies Chauvin’s nearly nine-minute-long kneeling on Floyd’s neck, but it does complicate the narrative. Chauvin also likely knew Floyd personally — they both worked security at the same nightclub, which burned down in the riots.
Floyd’s death and Americans’ responses to it are indeed historic and deserve commemoration, but such an exhibit does not belong in a Holocaust museum.
There simply is no comparison between the real plight of black Americans — who enjoy the same rights as everyone else under the law — and the Jews, Roma, homosexuals, and others whom Hitler’s Nazis herded into concentration camps. The Nazis systematically dehumanized their victims, starving them, working them to death, and slaughtering them en masse. Millions died.
The Holocaust Memorial Resource & Education Center of Florida describes its mission as “to use the history and lessons of the Holocaust to build a just and caring community free of antisemitism and all forms of prejudice and bigotry.” Perhaps the center’s directors aimed to combat racism by telling the story of George Floyd.
Yet the Black Lives Matter narrative of police racism twists the facts on the issues.
In 2019, police killed a grand total of nine unarmed black men and 19 unarmed whites. The vast majority of the 1,004 people shot by police in 2019 were armed and dangerous. By contrast, there were 7,407 black homicide victims in 2018. According to the Manhattan Institute’s Heather Mac Donald, a police officer is 18.5 times more likely to be killed by a black male than an unarmed black male is to be killed by a police officer.
This is not to defend Chauvin’s actions or to claim that police are perfect, but the few incidents of unarmed black men killed by police do not warrant claims of systemic racism or even the slightest hint of a comparison between George Floyd’s death and the Holocaust.
Sadly, Americans often resort to exaggerated rhetoric, smearing their opponents by tying them to Hitler and the Holocaust because these evils represent the most notorious oppression in human history. It is far too easy for leftists to brand President Donald Trump Hitler, and it is no better when conservatives strain to link figures like Barack Obama to the heinous Nazi dictator.
Tragically, an entire movement exists to smear America as “fascist” simply because police officers enforce the law. Antifa has engaged in wanton rioting and destruction on the premise that America is akin to Hitler’s Germany. Some have even compared ICE detention facilities to concentration camps in the Holocaust.
In this context, it is egregious and unacceptable for a Holocaust Center to include a George Floyd exhibit. There is simply no comparison between Floyd’s tragic death and the Holocaust. As a descendant of Eastern European Jews who survived Pogroms, this kind of attack is particularly disgusting to me.
The Holocaust Center should move this worthy exhibit on George Floyd to a place where it truly belongs.
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Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.