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US admins opposed to black civil rights throughout American history: Scholar

Daniel Kovalik, an international human rights lecturer at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law

The US administrations have invariably been opposed to the civil rights of black people throughout the American history, says an American human rights and peace activist.

Daniel Kovalik, who teaches international human rights at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, made the remarks in a phone interview with Press TV on Sunday.

Kovalik was commenting on ironic civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, who had warned before he was assassinated in 1967 that “a riot is the language of the unheard.”

Dr. King predicted that as America postponed justice, it could only expect recurrences of violence and riots.

“We have to remember that Martin Luther King himself was assassinated and clearly there was the hand of the FBI in that assassination. The point is that the US state has been opposed to black civil rights really for the entire duration of the American Republic,” Kovalik told Press TV.

“There have been advances, certainly, and the Civil Rights Movement of the 50s and 60s did help advance very important legislation but there was always going to be a pushback by those in power, who were not happy with those reforms and so you know what we've seen over time the advances that were made were rolled back,” he added.

Stressing that black civil rights have been violated “by both Republican and Democratic administrations,” Kovalik said, “[Former US President] Bill Clinton rolled back very important welfare reforms. He was the one that really began mass incarceration of African Americans and also he was the one that created the program in which police obtained military hardware, which they're using to this day.”

The American scholar underlined that the only way to stop the violations was keeping “constant pressure” on the US government and “pressing for greater democracy and greater change.”

Americans around the country have been protesting the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man who died after a white police officer pressed his knee into his neck for more than eight minutes late last month.

His death has sparked mass rallies in the United States and across the world, reigniting long-felt anger over police killings of African Americans and breathing a new life into the Black Lives Matter movement.

The sheer scale of the protests– breaking curfews and defying National Guard troops – suggests that Floyd’s death is already proving a defining moment in America’s racial politics.          

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