By Seddiq Hussainy
America has become a crucible of civil unrest over the past few weeks. Demonstrations against police brutality have erupted across the United States following the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in Minneapolis after he was placed in a chokehold by police. The US is in turmoil over Floyd’s killing, exposing the reality of America’s abject racism and its predominant culture of white supremacy.
The epidemic of systemic racism and discrimination against people of color has long poisoned the US political atmosphere under the patronage of white supremacists and with their tacit connivance. They have perpetuated discriminatory laws and legitimized racial segregation by giving immunity to convicted police officers. An African American is far more likely to be arrested or killed by police than a white man in the United States. This rings terrifying alarm bells of a deep-seated hate. America has been in chaos for decades. From Martin Luther King to Eric Garner and George Floyd, racist killings are an echo of the past. The pattern of racial discrimination is chiseled into its political creed and laws. Police in the US intentionally use lethal force such as chokeholds when arresting black people – much of it is based on the incorrect assumptions that come from the same racist patterns. As police brutality is rarely subjected to scrutiny, racial violence continues to abound.
Racial discrimination and subjugation are the antithesis of all that humanity stands for, and now, millions of the oppressed are countering that racist rhetoric in America . The fight for racial and social equality is interwoven in recent American history. George Floyd is the latest of a string of victims of racial violence. In 2018, another black man, Stephon Clark, was shot 20 times by police in Sacramento, igniting a wave of protests all over the country. Incidents of murder perpetrated by police and the ensuing unrest before and after such incidents create a tragic vicious cycle.
The US administration’s response to civil unrest has been terrifyingly chaotic and utterly totalitarian. Donald Trump has responded to demonstrations against police brutality with more brutality. There have also been assaults against journalists, with dozens arrested and some even having projectiles and tear gas shot at them by police in the ongoing protests. These are clear violations of human rights.
This wave of anti-government feeling seems insurmountable. The chaos on US streets is the outcome of a crippling anxiety over the senseless tragedies and violations of civil rights that continue to happen, and which need to be rectified, not abetted and exacerbated. Tens of millions of people who live under the curse of injustice are now frustrated and upset at the tyranny of the police and the country’s leadership.
But xenophobic alienation and racial discrimination in the US goes beyond police brutality. Segregation has its roots in history. American leaders have continuously turned a blind eye to racism and partly fuelled it by allowing rampant segregation in the legal, economic and social systems to thrive. The entire system subjugates Americans of African descent. The legal system is plagued by racial injustice. The healthcare system is rigged against African-Americans. The state-regimented economic system marginalizes minorities, and deliberately hinders upward social mobility. Once again, the sanctimonious guardians of human rights have destroyed the tenets of civil liberty and freedom.
Americans want justice, just like any 21st century human being who is living under the tentacles of the United States’ intrusion, deadly expansionism, proxy wars and cold wars that have unleashed destruction upon millions.
US governments have seldom been reticent in giving condescending advice to other governments on how to deal with dissidents. The Trump administration, and the entire American political apparatus, have been the agitators of terrible conflicts in the Middle East, Latin America, South Asia and many other tumultuous regions for decades. Their destructive interference all over the world has bred misery and death to an unfathomable degree. All the countries that have been at the receiving end of the US’s atrociously pompous homilies about democracy and freedom are suffering under their imperialist and expansionist whims – which have caused wars and conflicts. The turmoil in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China was a result of the direct interference of the United States. Unrest in Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Libya and other countries is happening only because of US interference and its pursuit of global hegemony.
American leaders seldom remember the principles of human rights in dealing with lawful demonstrations on their own soil. They are committing similar atrocities by trying to deprive millions of their right to seek social equality. Indignant protests and civil unrest are creating a revolution that has embedded itself in America’s narrative. This all signals an urgent need for structural administrative and police reforms. US policymakers should quickly end the pattern of police violence and unconstitutional acts by reforming laws and bringing an end to police impunity. Legal justice is needed as desperately as economic justice. Long overdue economic and health reforms are also needed to raise up minorities. Racial inequalities should be rectified. Violent police behavior should be outlawed. This must be an era of change and action for civil rights, and of an end to America’s interventions overseas.
–The Daily Mail-People’s Daily news exchange item