Background:You may have already seen both videos, the first of which came out as a response to national protests against police brutality and the death of George Floyd (May 2020). In this first video, Candace Owens shares her thoughts about the protests, Black Lives Matter involvement, George Floyd’s criminal background, and the “myth” of racially motivated police brutality. Her main argument seems to be:”You are defying common sense to believe that [George Floyd] somehow suddenly became an exemplary character, but he happened to be high on fentanyl and methamphetamine and trying to use a fake bill to purchase something. So, in my opinion, George Floyd was a criminal. Just because he was a criminal doesn’t mean he deserved to die at the knee of a police officer, but it does mean that I am not going to play a part of the broken black culture that always wants to martyr criminals, that wants to pretend they were these upstanding human beings that just wanted to help society…[Floyd] has a rap sheet that is long, that is dangerous. He was a violent criminal his entire life, okay? Up until his very last moment. I want to be clear, this is not a defense for Derek Chauvin…but why are we pretending that this criminal should be upheld as a citizen of black America, a martyr for a fake narrative? Police brutality, racially motivated police brutality, is a myth, okay?”And her perspective goes on. The second video is Dave Chappelle’s response to the death of George Floyd, police brutality, racism, and the rhetoric Candace Owens uses in the first video. Notably, he says:”When I watched that tape, I understood [George Floyd] knew he was going to die. People watched it, people filmed it. And for some reason I still don’t understand, all these police had their hands in their pockets…[To those police officers] what are you signifying? That you can kneel on a man’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds and feel like you wouldn’t get the wrath of God? That’s what’s happening right now. [These protests are] not for a single cop, [the protests are] for all of it…I watched everything everybody said, I’ve seen Candace Owens try to convince white America with ‘don’t worry about it, he’s a criminal anyway.’ … I don’t care what [Floyd] did…She told George Floyd’s rap record on the internet. ‘Oh, he was this, he was that… he’s not a hero, why did you choose him as a hero?’ We didn’t choose him! You did! They killed him, and that wasn’t right, and he’s the guy. The black community doesn’t need any hero. Any [black individual] who survives this nightmare is my goddamned hero.”After watching these two videos, evaluate each of these individuals’ thoughts and arguments, and form your own opinions on the issue of police brutality and the lives lost at the hands of police. How did you feel after listening to Owens’ point of view? How did you feel after listening to Chappelle’s point of view? Do either of these individuals make valid points? If so, what points are valid and why?In your opinion, is police brutality an issue in this country? How do you know it is, or isn’t?In your opinion, do police departments across the nation need to be restructured or abolished? (READ LETTERS A-C BEFORE ANSWERING THIS QUESTION).If you think police departments should be restructured, what are some changes you can think of and why those changes? (for example: police officers should not carry guns; instead of police officers responding to non-violent calls, social workers or therapists or some other entity should respond, etc.)If you think police departments should be abolished, then explain your perspective. How will society keep order or ensure the safety of citizens without police departments? Explain.If you think neither, explain your stance and support your stance with clear and strong arguments.Share any other thought you feel is relevant to this discussion. You can also reference outside sources, news reports, and so on.The purpose of this discussion is to engage in a conversation that is culturally and socially relevant. You are provided with two different points of views, now here is your chance to add your voice to the conversation.Candace Owens:Candace Owens: https://youtu.be/JtPfoEvNJ74 (Links to an external site.) Dave Chappelle: https://youtu.be/3tR6mKcBbT4 (Links to an external site.)
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