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Letter to the Editor – The Case of (former) Police Officer Derek Chauvin

The case of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin

To have witnessed the murder of George Floyd by Derek Chauvin was to have witnessed the removal of the dressing that hides a rot within our society. Before uncovering the nature of this corruption, perhaps a little history is in order.

Five thousand years ago the Empire Era of humanity as it is known began. It replaced the gift economy of the Hunter-Gatherer Era with a commodities economy. Thus the idea of ownership came into being with all its hierarchical aspects. This came into place and is maintained through the mechanisms of brute force (war), monotheism (one god), slavery, money and punishment. We are all traumatized because of this ethos and live in a world filled with fear and hate.

I believe the Empire Era is at its end as witnessed by the dysfunction of nation-states which have delivered us perpetual war, civil unrest, climate change, the Sixth Extinction and a multitude of other injustices. Indeed humanity has come a long way. However, the constraints with which our civilization has yoked us prevents the dream we know is possible – that dream being equity and justice for all.

The murder of George Floyd is an indictment of our civilization. It attests to the depravity we permit. It’s time for me to take stock of who I am and what I partake in and what I am willing to tolerate.

Yes, most certainly the murder of George Floyd needs to be reckoned with, but so too does the system that created Derek Chauvin. Until fear and hate are replaced with love, the killing will continue – killing not only of each other but of the Earth itself.

Bill Kucha, Depoe Bay

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