George Floyd: The new wave against racism in the world
Following the death of George Floyd at hands- and under the knee- of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin that sparked protests and demonstrations throughout the world, racism seems on the peak. Racism is not story of today, but is has been segment of the history. Additionally, it is not just issue of USA but it is issue of whole the world. Exclusively in USA, scarcely any week goes without death of African-American at hands of US police or vigilantes. Here the questions arise: will demise of George Floyd alter the course of history? Will protests and demonstrations help low-status races to garner their due basic rights?
Racism is a belief that some races are better than others.
Historically, racism was at the heart of North American slavery and colonization and empire-building activities of western European, especially in 18th century. The idea of race was orchestrated to magnify the discrepancy between people of European origin and those of African descent whose ancestors had been involuntary subjugated and transported to the Americans.
By the 19th century, racialism became mature and spread throughout the world. Those seen as the low-status races, especially in colonized areas, were exploited for labor, and discrimination against them became a common pattern in many areas of the world.
Since the mid-20th century, many conflicts across the globe have been interpreted in racial terms.
Sorrowfully, 21st century also could not leave racism behind in the course of history. It is still prevalent in the world as, these days, systematic racism in the shape of deaths of African-American people and many more.
To gauge the racism, it is sine quo non to reckon disparity between African-Americans and Americans.
According to recent study by Brookings Institute, as of 2016, the net worth of a typical white family is nearly ten times greater than that of black family. Moreover, US accounts 5% of the world’s population, but it is home to 21% of world’s incarcerated people- one third of whom are African-American.
Amid Covid-19, the death rate of black people is three times greater than that of whites, because low-status races – not only in US but across the world- have substantial number of unemployment and poor housing and living condition. In consequence, the virus has been more deadly for low-status races in comparison with the dominant races. Furthermore, low-status races are deprived of their basic rights. On the contrary, dominant races enjoy exclusive access to political power, economic resources, high-status jobs and unrestricted civil rights. In accordance with a research, every year US police shoot and send to cemetery nearly 1000 people.
Regretfully, the tally of police shooting is escalating. In 2020, with a total of 429 civilians being shot dead, 88 of whom were blacks, as of June 4, 2020 – the number of African-American is higher than any other ethnicity. Astonishingly, the quietus of George Floyd has altered some things: First, Global tributes and protests: people are protesting with one message- Black Lives Matter. People had protested in the past but this time it is different. Second, in UK and US statues and monuments of people with links to slavery are being toppled by demonstrators. Third, companies standing in solidarity with BLM. Fourth, police officers- Derek Chauvin and his abetting murders- have been charged. Fifth, police departments are making changes: Minneapolis city council coerced the police department to ban chock holds and neck restraints. Unannounced police raids, known as “no-knock warrants” have been scrapped in Louisville.
Sixth, you are racist: more people are speaking out about the every day’s racism and discriminations they have faced.
Seventh, streets names changed: Black Lives Matter Plaza is now name of the street in Washington DC leading up the White House. The Mayor of New York says a street in each borough will be renamed as ”Black Lives Matter.”
Last but not least, the racism has been legacy of white supremacists. It is Augean task to leave legacy of their ancestors. Optimistically, this time protest will alter the course of history and provide low-status races their due fundamental rights.