Three and a half years after the installation of Donald Trump in the White House, just five months after the presidential election on November 3, in the midst of the worst pandemic of the last century and with 40 million new unemployed, America is more divided than ever: and in name (or with the excuse) of the death of George Floyd each protagonist group (politicians of all kinds and parties, police forces, peaceful demonstrators, armed rioters, media) tries to redesign the power relations within the first world superpower.
Minneapolis and beyond. The wrath of African Americans is shaking America
America has rediscovered the always latent racism with the Obama presidency, which is not free from errors, Trump rode it to win in 2016 (the white and male voters of the Northeast States are decisive) and hate and racial crimes have grown (FBI data) of over 30 percent. In recent years, white suprematism, and updated versions of the Ku Klux Klan, have raised their heads – not only in the southern states – and the attacks on blacks, Latinos, Jews and “foreigners” have multiplied.All this is not enough to explain how a man who died in the hands of the police, after being arrested for attempted fraud (a twenty dollar counterfeit note in a supermarket), pushed tens of thousands of anger and despair after initial forms of peaceful protests have brought into focus entire neighborhoods and suburbs of America’s largest metropolises. There is obviously something more.
For Minneapolis, a city considered by statistics as one of the most livable places in the United States, we can find the answer in the degradation of those areas that once we would have called “ghettos” (word today “not politically correct”), home to some of the largest racial and economic disparities of the entire USA.
It is in this racial and social inequality common to other “ghettos” in every corner of the United States that the agent’s knee Derek Chauvin – pressed on Floyd’s neck to suffocate him, in a mixture of gratuitous and inadmissible violence and (almost) certainty of impunity – he unleashed anger and uncontrolled violence.
In this minefield the words of The Donald (“When the looting begins, the shooting begins”) certainly did not calm the hearts; and they have been seen both by organized white supremacist groups, and by that angrier electorate of his who has come down to the streets and on the streets with arms in hand to contest the various “lockdowns” from coronaviruses, as a free way to participate in violence and looting.
This dramatic weekend ends with a curfew in 25 cities in 16 states, with governors and democratic mayors attacked by the White House for not stopping the violence and with the National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien who accuses “foreign powers” of wanting to exploit the difficult situation.
The republican senator Marco Rubio – interim president of the Senate Intelligence Committee – on Twitter he denounced the “very heavy” activity on social media of three “foreign enemies” on the clashes between factions in the streets: “It is not they who create these divisions. But they are actively fueling and promoting violence “.
Not only Minneapolis, clashes in twenty cities. And now Trump also warns the military departments
While President Trump points out that active duty military forces are “ready, willing and capable” to intervene in Minnesota, there are those who compare what happens today to what happened during the civil rights struggles or the violence that followed the Democratic Convention 1968. The year in which the student revolts, the marches to Vietnam and the black ghettos on fire did not prevent the great electoral victory of Richard Nixon, the Republican president who would later be overwhelmed by Watergate.
There are also those who look even further, to that 1918 in which the “Great Flu”, the “Spanish” influence, killed 675 thousand and compares them to the more than 100 thousand today. Back then, it was at the end of the First World War, in Philadelphia the parade with hundreds of thousands of spectators was not canceled and it was a catastrophe. Today, during the weekend of riots, curfews and police officers under accusation, the pandemic – hastily dismissed by The Donald as a “Chinese virus” – seems to be forgotten. But in two, three, weeks, America will perhaps have to count a new wave of infected people.