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Life Arts    H2'ed 4/22/21

Overcoming Delusion: Brotherhood and the George Floyd Verdict

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Justice can no longer reside in domination. Justice as Domination must become a thing of the past. The future rests in the hands of "Justice as Brotherhood." Why? Because there is only one humanity. From Overcoming Delusion: Berea College and the Supreme Court's Destruction of Racial Equality

Euphoria and Delusion

Derek Chauvin, the ex-police officer accused of killing George Floyd, was found Guilty on all counts, by a jury of his peers. On television, I saw Euphoria: people cheering, and jumping up and down. I saw some people weep with joy. Many proclaimed this moment as a pivotal time in our nation when true change will come. Others were more cautious. They asserted that the verdict was good and provided an "opportunity" for change. A few voices argued that the verdict meant nothing unless it leads to massive reform. And some argued for the passage of legislation to ensure this change. But because of my views on delusion, I have a different view.

The problem with Legislative Policy

Do I believe that legislative policy will accomplish the change that is needed? The short answer is "No." As support for this position, I point to the work of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Voting Rights Act of 1964. When the March on Selma resulted in the passage of the Voting Rights Act, that too was a time of euphoria. That Dr. King and his followers had accomplished a massive achievement cannot be denied. But I will only say that it is now 2021. In 1964, I was ten years old. I am now 67. And in the last few months, because of the 2020 election results, 43 states are considering legislation to limit voting rights. And it is not too bold an assertion to say that the bills being considered by these state legislatures are introduced to limit the voting rights of Black people and other people of color.

People and Institutions

Yet, let us say, that these bills are defeated and there is national legislation approved to protect voting rights. There is still another problem. The philosopher Count Hermann Keyserling, in his book Creative Understanding stated it like this:

"Whoever wishes to better external conditions must begin by improving the inner man....Perfect men can make life beautiful by means of the worst institutions, imperfect men not even by means of the best." [i]

I will put it like this: A law is only as effective as those charged with enforcing it. To make this explanation short, I will assert that we may adopt the most perfect police reform bill ever created in history. But if those who have the responsibility for its enforcement don't understand it, or harbor ill-will against it, or even if (as in the case of the Voting Rights Act) those who initially promoted it die off, it will eventually fail. Why? Because true change comes from the inside out. Not from the outside in.

People and Delusion

Racism is a problem of delusion. It is a psychological problem. It resides in an "Us versus Them" mentality. It cannot be legislated away because mental problems are not resolved in that manner. Mental health problems must be "treated." Mental problems must be healed.

Our society has such a hard time overcoming racism because we fail to recognize and act on, this true cause. When I was a young man, we believed that racism was caused by an outdated, obsolete generation and when they died off true progress would appear like the rising of the sun. But history has shown that with regard to this belief, nothing has been further from the truth.

Then we did not understand that racism is trauma induced. We did not realize that the sources of this trauma are legion. We did not know that racism can be handed down from one generation to the next effectively and efficiently through this trauma. We did not realize that we were wrong. And it is incumbent on us now if we truly desire to end racism to get it right.

Brotherhood: The true cause of the George Floyd verdict

Justice was achieved in the prosecution of Derek Chauvin because the prosecutors and the jurors, were people who could perceive true justice. The prosecutors were people of benevolence and compassion who believed and felt the merit in what they were doing: Regardless, whether they were White or Black. In a certain real sense: Only the Just can achieve True Justice. And if there is reason for hope, that hope resides in the fact that so many men and women on the prosecution team were people of true compassion: People who see all individuals as human beings. People who believed in George Floyd's humanity. Derek Chauvin would have been found not guilty if prosecuted (even with the same charges) by people without these qualities.

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Eric Z. Lucas is an alumnus of Stanford University (Creative Writing Major: 1972-1975), the University of Washington (1981: BA English Literature and Elementary Education) and Harvard Law School, J.D. 1986. Since law school he has been a public (more...)

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