Because there isn’t already enough to deal with amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic, in the US cops continue to kill black men with impunity.
The community quickly responded with marches and impassioned pleas for arrests of the peace officers and the ending of institutional racism. But the mood of protest quickly got uglier when the President Donald J. Trump violated Twitter Rules for glorifying violence.
When revealed the Tweet reads:
As noted by the New York Times (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/29/technology/trump-twitter-minneapolis-george-floyd.html) this phrase appears to quote Walter E. Headley, the Miami police chief whose aggressive policies historically caused unrest in the black community. At a news conference in December 1967, as tensions simmered in response to months of police brutality, Headley threatened violent reprisals if the situation escalated: “We haven’t had any serious problems with civil uprising and looting, because I’ve let the word filter down that when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”
In August, the following year as Richard Nixon was addressing the GOP convention across the city, a three-day riot erupted during which the Miami police using shotguns and dogs killing three people and left 18 wounded.
In 2020 the Minneapolis demonstrations and others in major US cities, have splintered when the public assemblies were met with pepper spray, teargas, batons and police armoured vehicles driven into the crowds.
Journalists and media observers also found themselves targeted victims of police abuse, rubber bullets and false arrest, arguably a by-product of the multi-year ‘fake news’ and ‘enemy of the people’ MAGA campaign.
In the ensuing chaos when opportunistic looting, graffiti, damage to various buildings or the burning of vehicles inevitably occurred, these incidents were met with an increasingly aggressive police and state troopers in riot gear: helmets, face masks, body armour, arm & knee pads etc. (No shortage of PPE for riot police unlike front line health workers battling Coronavirus.)
It is noticeable that where protesters have been met with SWAT, American cities have burned, but where there was dialogue between the communities and officials there is more typically a calm. And despite the counter-reaction by some police forces, peaceful protests continue to spread across America, with solidarity demonstrations also taking place in many international cities.
However, rather then statesmanlike appeals for calm from the US leadership, instead we have found wise counsel from Killer Mike (https://twitter.com/KillerMike): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vy9io6VEt58, with agitprop reportage from numerous citizen-journalists as well as Don Winslow (https://twitter.com/donwinslow) and John Cusack (https://twitter.com/johncusack).
Amerika in 2020, is like some weird feverish alt-reality that is ‘The Watchmen’, TV Series II (not yet broadcast), except real-life is stranger.
Words fail ….