I have to admit that I am a bit shaken by Rod Dreher’s post yesterday — and more by the vehemence with which, today, he is doubling and tripling down on even the worst of its claims.
If Rod had simply wanted to explain why he thinks the new bodycam footage will serve to exculpate the officers charged in the death of George Floyd, I would have no problem with that. But he decided to yoke that argument to a ranting attack on George Floyd, a determination to blame Floyd for what happened to him, even when offering sequentially two incompatible views of why he was at fault for his own death. (First it was because he resisted arrest; then, later, it didn’t matter whether he resisted arrest or not, he was about to die anyway. So whether it’s by resisting arrest or by taking drugs, “George Floyd is dead today almost entirely because of George Floyd.”)
In responding to friends — Leah Libresco and me — who challenged him on his attitude, Rod wildly misrepresented half of what we said and wholly ignored the other half. The more feverish and rage-filled of his commentators, though, he seems to trust wholly.
Well, that’s Rod’s call. Nothing I can do to change it.
I still love Rod, and will not give up on him, because I just don’t give up on people — God, after all, did not give up on me. But I’m not reading his blog any more, and I can no longer defend him — which Lord knows I’ve spent enough hours doing over the post few years.
Finally: On principle I don’t sign manifestos, but if Matthew Loftus turned this into a manifesto, I would sign it.