The pulse of the drama is offered rather, as already for the tragedy of the coronavirus, by the governors. How Andy BeshearDemocrat and white leader of Kentucky, the state where in March Brionna Taylor, a hospital technician, fell under bursts of bullets from agents who broke into the house in search of a suspect who had already been arrested elsewhere. “I can’t pretend to understand people’s frustration and their burden in the face of centuries of inequality, to be treated and judged differently,” he said.
The fate of Arbery, which took place in Brunswick in Georgia, was another, recent demonstration of this reality: he was jogging when three whites, including a former agent, chased him in the car, blocked and shot him. The vigilantes suspected he was a thief.
The return of the “color line”
The spiral of protests and unrest has thus reopened, as periodically happens, an unhealed wound in America, the “color line” of discrimination and racism identified by generations of exponents of the struggle for civil rights from the late nineteenth century to today. A wound that will accompany the country to November elections and beyond, with which both the Republican leaders, who struggle to break through ethnic and democratic minorities, who sometimes take their support for granted, will have to deal. Moreover, it is an even more open wound in the days of the coronavirus: the victims of the disease are everywhere disproportionately among the ethnic minorities, often poorer, disadvantaged and with less access to health care. In Kentucky 8% of the population is black and almost a fifth of Covid’s deaths are. Unemployment and the risk that the lost jobs will never return will in turn weigh more than elsewhere. And the essential workers at risk, less protected and less paid, from nurses to staff in supermarkets and deliveries, are mostly minorities. With these racial and social lacerations of which George Floyd has become a symbol, with the reforms and changes they require, America will once again have to face. Trump and his democratic rival Joe Biden will have to face each other. In short, who will want to be leaders after the November elections and which country.