The decline of the rule of law and justice in America can be traced in a straight trajectory from Thomas Preston to Derek Chauvin.
Chauvin, as nearly everyone in the world knows, is a convicted murderer who was just stabbed and seriously injured in federal prison on Friday. No information has been released about who stabbed him or why, but it virtually certain that his attacker was someone who hates him for murdering George Floyd, the black serial offender and drug addict whose death, apparently at Chauvin’s hands, touched off nationwide riots in 2020 and gave significant impetus to the idea that America was beset by “systemic racism.”
Despite his criminal record and lack of accomplishment in life, George Floyd has become a hero and a secular saint, a symbol of the injustice against which all decent people must struggle. Scholarships are now offered in his name at North Central University, Alabama State, Oakwood University, Missouri State University, Southeast Missouri State, Ohio University, Buffalo State College, Copper Mountain College, and other allegedly academic institutions. Murals honor Floyd in Minneapolis, Houston, Naples, Belfast, Manchester, England, Dallas, Miami, Idlib, Los Angeles, Nairobi, Oakland, Berlin, and Pensacola.
All this and much more has happened despite the readily demonstrable fact that Chauvin is not guilty. Chauvin is supposed to have murdered Floyd by holding his neck on Floyd’s neck despite the victim’s cries that he could not breathe. The autopsy report, however, showed “no life-threatening injuries” and no “blunt force injuries” to the neck; thus if Chauvin had murdered Floyd, he did it with extreme subtlety. The great man, however, did have fentanyl in his system; could that have had anything to do with his death?
We didn’t get the answer to that question at Chauvin’s trial, and the outcome of that trial was a foregone conclusion. Chauvin was white, Floyd was black. Chauvin was a police officer, and Floyd was a serial criminal. The Left, meanwhile, was pushing the idea that police were systemically racist, as was the whole country. Chauvin’s supposed murder of Floyd was Exhibit A in the case against not just the accused cop, but against all white Americans and the United States itself. Chauvin and Floyd were too valuable as symbols for Chauvin possibly to get a fair trial, and he didn’t. Today, Chauvin remains too valuable as a symbol to have his conviction overturned and be released, because no matter what the evidence says, to exonerate him would be to confirm all of the Left’s charges about racism and white privilege in America. So Chauvin not only remains in prison, but is left vulnerable to attacks from other inmates, for protecting him would be likewise racist.
America isn’t supposed to work this way. It is supposed to be, and for a considerable period largely was, a nation in which an accused person could get a fair trial no matter how unpopular he was, or how much he was associated with an unjust cause. This principle, in fact, has been part of the United States since before the Declaration of Independence.
On March 5, 1770, and angry crowd of American patriots got into a hostile confrontation with a group of British soldiers in Boston. The unnerved soldiers ultimately opened fire, killing five Americans in what came to be known as the Boston Massacre. After the incident, the soldiers, who were commanded by British Captain Thomas Preston, were more hated than ever, but one American patriot, whose loyalty to the cause of independence was beyond question, stepped up to be their defense attorney: John Adams. Largely due to Adams’ efforts, six of the British soldiers were acquitted; two others were convicted of manslaughter, but their sentences were reduced.
Adams later commented:
The Part I took in Defence of Cptn. Preston and the Soldiers, procured me Anxiety, and Obloquy enough. It was, however, one of the most gallant, generous, manly and disinterested Actions of my whole Life, and one of the best Pieces of Service I ever rendered my Country. Judgment of Death against those Soldiers would have been as foul a Stain upon this Country as the Executions of the Quakers or Witches, anciently. As the Evidence was, the Verdict of the Jury was exactly right. This however is no Reason why the Town should not call the Action of that Night a Massacre, nor is it any Argument in favour of the Governor or Minister, who caused them to be sent here. But it is the strongest Proofs of the Danger of Standing Armies.
Yes. And just as a “Judgment of Death against those Soldiers would have been as foul a Stain upon this Country as the Executions of the Quakers or Witches, anciently,” so the conviction of Derek Chauvin in these latter days is a foul stain upon the late and declining republic, and an indication that it has discarded the rule of law that Adams’ defense of Captain Preston and his comrades so courageously upheld.
Derek Chauvin could have used the help of a John Adams. But we have no such men today; only a treasonous class of aging socialist corruptocrats who are too busy fattening at the public trough to see to trivialities such as justice. And so Derek Chauvin is recovering from his wounds, but neither he or we are out of the woods yet.
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