‘I can’t breathe’ – It is quite difficult to conceive the prevalence of racism and the acts of holding a particular community or group as subordinate in this twenty-first century. Under the garb of progressiveness, but society possesses a regressive mindset. The recent happenings in the USA, the gruesome lynching of George Floyd by white cops stand exemplary in this regard.
The tragic death of George Floyd has caused an outbreak of protests all across the world. Two white cops cruelly got killed Floyd for being black. The mob, although, had cared to film the entire incident, none stepped forward to save the man.
However, the torture that was inflicted on George Floyd is reminiscent of many such similar incidents of torture inflicted upon black lives. Indians cannot forget how Gandhiji was rebuked for his color.
Although the USA seems to be progressive in fields of economy, technology, and science, the racial superiority amongst the whites still lingers somewhere in their sub-conscious even after years of the abolition of slavery.
In this regard, it will not be wrong to blame the law-making system of the country which practices deprivation of people of color from voting or participating in democratic protests and are denied of proper political power.
Tap on the history of the USA will bring into our notice how black lives which constituted almost 85% of the entire population were enslaved, and the handful of ones who managed to escape slavery and receive proper education were not allowed to vote or participate in elections.
Such was the scenario until 1870. However, centuries which followed witnessed no progressions or amelioration in the status of blacks in the society except the explicit forms of torture became implicit.
The promise of reconstruction was not fulfilled:
As mentioned earlier, the explicit forms of torture turned implicit. The end of civil war had heralded a new era of American freedom which preached inclusivity. Black lives were not treated as ‘other’, the prohibition of disenfranchisement and providing them education, facilities, jobs, and respectful positions in the society. The federal government made sure to insulate blacks from white nationalist terrorism.
Unfortunately, the efforts of the federal government and the lawmakers were short-lived. The election of President Rutherford b strangulated the evolution that was still in its dormant stage.
Hayes as the president who replicated the dark history in the current times. This marked the death of reconstruction, and blacks were again subjected to the resentment of white people who considered them nothing more than parasites.
Understanding the violence against blacks in 2020:
The dealing in resentment of the black lives has been en-cultured into the whites over the years. The hatred for people of color is almost exhibited instinctively. The violence against the blacks in 2020 is although replication of the 1960s varies in nature and geographically.
Today’s racial violence is mostly interracial. Latin American, African American, and Asian Americans tend to unite because of the commonality of bitterness from past colonial oppression they share. The kind of tortures or bitterness blacks incur from the whites today is termed as ‘systematic inequality.
The geography of violence has changed. Earlier when it took place only in black neighborhoods, the bitterness has now extended to urban landscapes and downtowns where blacks and white co-exist.