Among the times Americans most need their president to be presidential and a calming voice is when resolution is reached on a contentious issue that has created national divisiveness. Such a leader needs to calm the seas of emotion, telling people what they need and want to hear. President Joe Biden, in office for less than 100 days, has faced two such opportunities to provide such a calming influence.
The first opportunity for Biden came with his inaugural address. He did deliver a message of hope that day, telling the nation in the aftermath of a bitter election, it was now time to heal. Sadly, however, his subsequent actions spoke louder than his words. He embarked upon undermining his message by immediately signing off on dozens of executive orders, sans debate, to reverse what his predecessor had accomplished, creating at least one major crisis in the process.
Biden’s second opportunity came late in the day on April 20 in the aftermath of the jury’s verdict in the trial of white police officer Derek Chauvin, accused of murdering black suspect George Floyd. On one hand, the nation breathed a collective sigh of relief upon hearing a guilty verdict had been reached on all counts, defusing a tense situation, set to erupt into violent riots had he been acquitted. On the other hand, since Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., had encouraged confrontation days earlier if Chauvin were acquitted, the issue is now left open whether Chauvin’s jury was so intimidated by threats of violence as to find him guilty. This argument will most definitely be made by Chauvin’s lawyers as they seek a mistrial.
As the jury deliberated, Biden said he had been praying the “right verdict” would be delivered. He made it clear that in his mind, “guilty” was the right verdict. Praising Chauvin’s conviction, he then sought to increase the size of the group responsible by accusing the U.S. of deep-seated “systemic racism,” adding that verdicts such as this are “too rare.”
The nation had turned its eyes to the White House podium Tuesday evening to hear some thoughtful and healing advice from Biden, but there would be none. Instead, he sought to blame an allegedly racist America and racist cop while voicing not a single word about the victim that fateful day, a felon, high on drugs and resisting arrest. In his statement, Biden said:
“It was a murder in full light of day, and it ripped the blinders off for the whole to see the systemic racism the vice president just referred to. The systemic racism that’s a stain on our nation’s soul. The knee on the neck [Correction: It was actually Floyd’s shoulder, not his neck Chauvin kneeled on, but Biden obviously felt saying “neck” was more demonizing] of justice for black Americans.”
There was no healing tone in Biden’s volley aimed at white America. It also was a bit hypocritical to hear such a claim coming from a man who treasured his role in an unjust 1994 Crime Bill, responsible for increasing the number of black men, from three generations, sent to prison and which Donald Trump sought to undo. But even more remarkable is that Biden used the opportunity to condemn America for systemic racism when the issue was one never even raised during the trial.
Meanwhile, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., held a post-verdict press conference in which she outrageously thanked George Floyd for “sacrificing your life for justice.” Ever since Floyd’s death in 2020, Pelosi has sought to do whatever she could to lionize him. In an act one thought only possible of occurring in a liberal’s bizarro world, Pelosi even gave Floyd’s family a folded American flag – an honor usually reserved for heroes – when they visited Capitol Hill.
While Waters has obviously given Chauvin’s attorneys ammunition for a mistrial and other politicians, such as Pelosi and Biden, have poisoned the waters of objectivity for future juries if a mistrial is granted, there is one more party also responsible for the poisoning – the media. And, based on a 1954 case involving media overreach leading up to a defendant’s trial, Chauvin still may have a chance to walk free.
Although the trial of Dr. Sam Sheppard, accused of murdering his wife – later spawning the television series “The Fugitive” – resulted in conviction, the U.S. Supreme Court held he had not been shielded from an overwhelmingly hostile media, denying him a fair trial. Sheppard ultimately walked. Thus, should a similar mistrial determination be made in the Chauvin case, it will be due to the collective efforts of liberal officials and a liberal media acting unfairly by influencing public opinion and trying to tilt the judicial playing field against him.
We have heard many liberal voices clamor for justice for Floyd. It would be the ultimate irony should these liberals – so committed to disallowing the constitutional protections a defendant deserves by their words and actions – be responsible for handing Chauvin the keys to his cell.
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