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George Floyd one year on: Anti-Black racism as deadly as ever

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A year has passed since George Floyd was murdered by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

By Richard Sudan

(Richard Sudan is a journalist, writer, and TV reporter for Press TV.)

The world is marking the one-year anniversary of the murder of George Floyd, who was murdered by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, in an act of brutality which has been described as a modern-day lynching.

A Lynching, because it was viewed by many as a public execution plain and simple, by a police officer who was confident that despite being filmed, he would have the full weight of the law and justice system on his side and could act with impunity, while taking the life of a man who posed no physical threat to him.

And the reality, is that this system exists because for too long, the odds have been stacked against Black people in the United States, who have had to deal for hundreds of years with a racist system which views their lives as inferior, and expendable, treating Black men women and children as targets, as less than human, and as property.

This state of affairs is a direct continuation of the culture set in stone since slavery, which is a history that has never been accounted for, and as a result, has utterly corrupted modern policing in the present day.  Calls to defund the police are not made lightly.  Many argue that the police as an institution are irredeemable.

The lynching of George Floyd was filmed. But, were it not captured on camera, which was the most important piece of evidence in the case against Derek Chauvin, it is doubtful whether Chauvin would have faced any accountability at all. 

The very fact that there were ever any question marks whatsoever, as to whether or not Chauvin would be found guilty, on all charges, speaks volumes about the state of play in the United States. 

The fact that one victory against one officer can also be hailed as a monumental victory, also speaks volumes.  Each and every officer who breaks the law should be accountable to the law.  The deadly effect of anti-Black racism, prevalent in policing is almost constantly visible.

And while people continue to celebrate the conviction of Chauvin, it’s important to remember that he has yet to be sentenced.

And to be clear, a sentence that sees him spend anything less than the rest of his life behind bars, or the part of his life which really counts, will for many people represent an injustice for the family of George Floyd.

Many have hailed the conviction of Derek Chauvin as some kind of landmark or watershed moment in American history, regarding the fight for justice for Black people, and the descendants of enslaved African people.  This is because seeing a police officer face any kind of accountability is itself, something we rarely see.

But unless the same kind of accountability and justice also translates into all of the other cases of fatal police brutality and the killings of Black people, the case of George Floyd and the conviction of Derek Chauvin, even if he receives a just sentence, will be purely symbolic.

It will be a measure of justice for the Floyd family, no doubt, but it will do nothing to heal the deep pain in the Black community, and ultimately, unless the police face the full measure of the laws they are supposed to uphold, there is nothing to suggest that the racist killings of Black people will stop, and that the deep culture of racism will face any serious overhaul.

People might be hopeful of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Bill, but it’s clear that the culture of racism within the US police force is so entrenched, that new laws and rules are not going to be enough.

And we are long past the point, where steps and gradual reform are good enough. The problem is critical, and needs a radical solution.

Human rights lawyers recently described anti-Black policing as a crime against humanity. And they did not arrive at their conclusion lightly.

The FBI has produced successive reports warning of the extent to which white supremacists have infiltrated law enforcement. 

President Joe Biden and the Democrats hold a lot of political sway right now, and people believe that more could be done, if the political will existed.

Biden suggested that he would welcome the family of George Floyd to the White House to commemorate the death of George Floyd. But the reality is that anti-Black racism in the US, needs more than a commemorative photo opportunity.  

Recently, we saw an anti-Asian hate crime bill signed into law in the US. Yet Black people have been on the receiving end of anti-Black racism in the United States for hundreds of years.  And have received nothing of the sort.

The only thing that can tackle the injustice is economic reparations for descendants of African slaves, and a serious overhaul of the police with a commitment and plan to remove and punish white supremacists from within its ranks. One year on from the death of George Floyd, and nothing less will do.


(The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Press TV.)

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