The many Floyds of America who can bring about change
Ben Crump, despite being visibly proven, did not use mincing words during the funeral rite of his client, George Floyd: “A pandemic of racism led to his death” he chanted loud and clear from the pulpit of the Fountain of Praise church in Houston
Hard, firm words that broke the silence of eight minutes and 46 seconds, the period of time in which the 46-year-old African American was held on the ground with an agent’s knee on his neck while he was in custody of the Minneapolis police, of the hundreds of people rushed to the ceremony for the last farewell to man who became a symbol of the fight against racism in the United States.
Meanwhile, a few blocks away, the three policemen accused of helping and promoting the murder of Floyd with whom Derek Chauvin, who physically suffocated the victim, is accused, appeared in court for the bail, set at $ 1 million. . An emblematic decision, which launches an indisputable message: discounts and protection are enough for the lawyers who commit abuse.
With one knee on his neck and his head against the concrete, George Floyd has become the face of one of the greatest riots in modern American history.
The United States, already at the mercy of the economic crisis due to the coronavirus pandemic, which mainly penalizes black Americans, disproportionately affected by the increase in deaths and loss of jobs, 42 million people no longer have a occupation.
African Americans, already subjected to generations of systemic racism, are still victims of what the American historian Carol Anderson called “the longest saga in American history”.
The mobilization that came to life after Floyd’s killing has turned into a protest against the violence of law enforcement and the racism of institutions and, in general, of American society.
But can we say that this time something has changed irreversibly? The US in Minneapolis has seen racial terror materialize like never before: a violent policeman with a knee on the neck of a helpless man, a soulless gaze, an inhuman indifference to life. The anguish and pain of that terrible death marked a turning point: minorities will no longer accept in silence that black Americans run the risk of being killed by the police and subjected to other forms of violence just for the color of their skin.
More and more witnesses and victims are reporting abuse in the past, people have understood that it is the right time to be heard and get justice.
That the awareness generated by this new wave of protests can truly change the United States, starting from the November elections, is all in the making.
It should be pointed out that the same groups have always manifested that contest and contrast the consequences of the 400 years of racial domination that have characterized American history.
The majority of the electorate who voted for Donald Trump do not share these ideals and will hardly take to the streets to defend them or turn their backs on the tycoon.
But the Black Lives Matter movement is evolving, many more white people are seen at the demonstrations
than in the past. The same that call for important police reforms, such as the abolition of suffocation and
racial profiling. In a recent poll released by CNN, most Americans, including a majority of voters from the Republican Party, declared themselves on the side of democratic legislators, led by the dem presidential candidate of November Joe Biden, who proposed a series of changes to the police departments in the United States. In detail, 82% of Americans want to ban the police from using asphyxiation, 92% want the federal police to be required to wear cameras, and 75% want the victims of police misconduct to be allowed to report the departments responsible for damages.
In general 39% of respondents support the proposal to completely dismantle the police departments and transfer some funds currently allocated to the police budget to social programs, thus ensuring greater financial support for programs for the homeless, mental health and domestic violence .
In short, a radical change in American society is not to be expected, but something is moving. And that 14% more preference that Biden would have over Trump in the run for the United States presidency is an unequivocal sign.