Why Did Biden Honor George Floyd but Not Tony Timpa?

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Last week, President Joe Biden marked the anniversary of George Floyd’s death with several social media posts and a statement issued by the White House. He reiterated a story about meeting Floyd’s daughter during his presidency.

“The day before George Floyd’s funeral, his young daughter Gianna told me, ‘Daddy changed the world,’” Biden said. “Four years after her father’s murder, there is no doubt that he has.”

The implication was that Floyd sparked awareness about the killing of black men by police. However, such claims were deemed by some as left-wing propaganda wielded by Democratic politicians for political leverage. While videos of encounters between black men and police often go viral, this might explain why George Floyd’s name is widely known, unlike Tony Timpa’s. Biden’s interest in Floyd appears to be rooted in racial considerations.

Timpa also died in police custody in a manner similar to Floyd. As with Floyd, a police officer’s knee was involved, and Timpa also pleaded for his life, stating he couldn’t breathe. Despite this, Timpa’s death did not gain the same level of attention, even though a video of the incident was accessible to the public. Timpa, however, was white, which didn’t align with the political narratives that some left-wing circles and Democrats sought to promote.

Due to Timpa’s race, his death did not capture Biden’s attention, nor that of other politicians. He wasn’t provided with a gold coffin or a public funeral, nor did he receive presidential statements marking the anniversary of his death. Timpa died in police custody in August 2016 and faded from public memory.

Timpa’s life was seemingly marginalized, particularly among Democrats. It should have been acknowledged equally to Floyd’s, but it wasn’t, largely because narratives around police violence against black men were politically potent. Democrats couldn’t exploit Timpa’s death to fuel a powerful sociopolitical movement focused on claims of systemic threats to black men by police.

This narrative, incidentally, has been challenged and debunked multiple times. Nonetheless, what persists is the emotional and political capital derived from such stories. Despite more people resembling Timpa being killed by police each year, a substantial portion of the public believes otherwise.

Timpa’s life should have had equal significance. It was no less important because of his skin color. Yet, this nuance seems lost on Biden and other Democrats, who exploit racial tensions for political gain.

The point isn’t to compare the gravity of Floyd’s and Timpa’s deaths—both were tragic and occurred under dire circumstances. The issue lies in how Biden and Democrats manipulate these tragedies for political advantage, perpetuating racial divisions.

Biden’s so-called empathy for Floyd appears to be mere campaign strategy. The targeted audience continues to be swayed by this seemingly insincere compassion, misled into thinking they are seen as more than political pawns. The president’s compassion should not be based on the victims’ race.

People should view Biden’s consistent racial rhetoric with skepticism. His pretended concern is primarily for political gain. One hopes that this realization dawns on the public sooner rather than later.

Christopher Tremoglie
Christopher Tremoglie
Commentary Writer. Christopher is a former intern for the Department of State and a frequent guest on radio and television. His work has been featured in the Philadelphia Inquirer, National Review, and the Daily Caller and has appeared on Fox News and One America News. He graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania as a double major in political science and Russian and East European studies.

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