Anthony McIntyre reflects on current disturbances taking place in the United States.
America is turning into a police state in front of our eyes. Many might well feel it has been such for quite some time. The unaccountable actions of the racist police have caused huge frustration in which resentment took strong roots and in recent years has been articulated through the Black Lives Matter movement and campaign.
Where black lives don't matter very much is in the minds and intentions of those who sustain the systemic racism that has so characterised US society but which officialdom has sought to depict as being something from a bygone age. America is led, and continuously misled, by a racist president. The national leadership in America that was happy to allow a cretin to assume the office of president and brazenly lie every day of his incumbency has a lot to answer for.
For days now our television screens have served up incessant footage of nation wide disturbances as I Can't Breathe protestors flock to the streets.
From Los Angeles to Miami to Chicago, protests marked by chants of "I can't breathe" - a rallying cry echoing the dying words of George Floyd - began peacefully before turning unruly as demonstrators blocked traffic, set fires and clashed with riot police, some firing tear gas and plastic bullets in an effort to restore order.
At this very moment right across the US, those protestors are being confronted by mobs of Pig Power activists in police uniform. The public lynching of George Floyd in Minnesota last Monday was the catalyst but this time bomb had been on a slow burning fuse. For years we have been hearing of black men and women being murdered by the cops as US society's endemic institutionalised racism, always lurking like a croc just beneath the surface, pounced on its prey. Accountability is as rare as an honest creationist.
The charging of the brutal cop, Derekkk Chauvin, has done nothing to alleviate tensions. He is being prosecuted on a charge of third degree murder which is basically manslaughter. The lawyer representing the family of George Floyd has called for the charge to be upgraded to first degree murder. George Floyd was publicly garrotted by a racist cop. Everybody watched it. Chauvin knew what he was doing: he heard his victim's anguished gasps for breath and ignored them, appearing to derive sadistic satisfaction from the life ebbing away beneath his knee.
Watching Pig Power jackboot through the streets of American cities, equipped with state of the art protective apparel, the contrast has not been missed. Health workers, who really were trying to make an authentic contribution to society, refusing to discriminate on the grounds of colour, were compelled to operate on the front line often with little more than garbage bags to protect them from Covid-19.
There is much at stake for the legitimacy of Western society when its supposed flagship state is licencing race war and unleashing the Pig Power Movement on its own citizens.
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Fucking great piece AMReplyDelete
Like so many other people around the world, you and Carrie clearly see what's happening here in the states: the police are engaged in another phase of the war against black people in this country. Slavery created a latent cancer, and it will never be eliminated or excised. No amount of magical thinking and mendacity from the white plutocracy can wipe away the stain of slavery and its legacy. Jim Crow rests but does not die. The rage continues, and justifiably so.
As I watched the footage of George Floyd's murder last Tuesday, my blood pressure set to explode, I did not expect to see our cities convulsed by protests, destruction, and these running battles with the police. Stupid me. This always happens, Watts and 1968 and South Central replayed. Now of course we're in an even worse place, divided into warring camps during a pandemic with a complete absence of federal leadership. You write, "America is led, and continuously misled, by a racist president. The national leadership in America that was happy to allow a cretin to assume the office of president and brazenly lie every day of his incumbency has a lot to answer for." Yes, exactly.
In my opinion, Mitch McConnell and the Republican senators are the most culpable. They have failed miserably and with disastrous consequences, sitting on their hands and allowing a buffoon to violate the Constitution and stoke the flames of hate and bigotry. Trump's enablers are a criminal class beholden to religious fanatics, gun nuts, and knuckle draggers, the "white trash" used as muscle by the obscenely wealthy. More hell today for sure.
Repubican Senators had their opportunity to put country before party during the impeachment proceedings against Trump and they failed miserably and pathetically.
How come Noraid criticise the Psni & Ruc, yet are as quiet as church mice when it comes to criticising the American military and Police ?ReplyDelete
Is it because that's where their offspring are employed ?
The hypocrisy of Irish Republican supporters in America is legendary. Wasn't Provo supporter No 1 in Congress, Peter King, an advocate of putting all Muslims on an FBI watch-list or such like? As legendary as their racism.
I couldn't agree more. The evidence of a Ukraine shakedown was substantial, but McConnell and his GOP cronies made a farce of the Senate trial. They allowed horrible, opportunistic slugs like Alan Dershowitz, the bold defender of Claus von Bülow and O.J. Simpson, to grandstand while barring actual witnesses and evidence. There was no real Senate trial. Now, in a further violation of the nation, they sit on their hands while Trump bungles through the pandemic and threatens to shoot those who protest police brutality. The cult party has sold us down the river. They want the Confederacy, not the United States of America.
Fintan O'Toole's phrophecy of a Roman Empire-style denouement for the USA looks more starkly likely by the day. I fear there will be a rerun of the events pof the 1968 Chicago Democratic convention at this year's GOP convention.
Did Fintan O'Toole recently publish a piece positing such a denouement? If so, I'd really like to read it. I've taught ancient history for nearly twenty years and have long thought the United States is the modern iteration of the Roman Empire and that we Americans are going through Rome's decline in an accelerated way. To my mind, the "barbarians" - in a threatening sense - are not Hispanics driven to the southern border for myriad reasons but rather homegrown poor whites, the "white trash" whose unabashed quest for certain freedoms (e.g. guns) paradoxically wages war on the freedoms of so many. As for the conventions, we'll have to see if they happen. Trump is stepping on Charlotte's neck, but any sane person would say no, no damn way. Right now we're in 1968 on overdrive, so the Mayor Daley mayhem of Chicago, as you suggest, may follow.
While I agree with the sentiment of the rioters, I fear they're about to get a crash course in state violence. A lot of people caught on video are about to get the unwelcome noise of the door going off the hinges at five in the morning followed by getting the shit kicked out you for a few days.ReplyDelete
Yes, Fintan O'Toole published that article in the Irish Times which (I think) was reproduced in TPQ.
But you should Google it as his words are so prescient.
When I heard Joe Biden's speech today (not everyone's favourite I accept) I almost felt physical relief at hearing some words of common sense at last. A reelection of Trump is too awful to contemplate.
Sean Mallory suggests Anthony Grainger: police misconduct case over shooting collapsesReplyDelete
Sean Mallory saysReplyDelete
I remember Rodney King and the film footage of his murder. I understand that a lot of water has flowed under the bridge since Rodney King but with this killing has American society changed? It would certainly seem to have become a lot less tolerant to a section of its society rather than trying to understand it and have itself become more receptive.
Having watched very little of the coverage of this as to me it is a continuation of what is the norm in the USA, there is absolutely no chance of the cop being found guilty ... in fact I wouldn’t hesitate to suggest that they are all re-instated when this parody of justice is over and that includes appeals.
The land of the free being a euphemism for white domination. Even the white trailer trash have more rights than Samuel Jackson!
The ruling elite tolerate Trump as he makes them millions of dollars, if he were not to be doing so then his arse wouldn’t hit the chair in the oval office.
On a different note I can’t help but choke on the sick when the Brits report on it. Their voices change to that of someone at a wake fully sympathising but emphasising that it must be protested within the confines of the law. They don’t tend to adapt that tone when it’s happening in their own back yard - Hillsborough proved that.
Rodney King was badly beaten by the LAPD, but he was not killed. He survived his beating and the officers went on trial. They were acquitted and the people of South Central Los Angeles, which includes Compton, began rioting. We would not have known about the beating of Rodney King if not for the person who taped the incident from an apartment window on the other side of the highway where the LAPD pulled over King for drunk driving. The circumstances of the case and the all white jury that sat in a court far from the scene of the beating and King's neighborhood allowed the defense team for the LAPD officers to win their case. It was a travesty of justice.
The Derek Chauvin and George Floyd case, however, is different. The video clearly shows Chauvin murdering George Floyd. Millions of people around the whole world have seen the footage. Chauvin is currently under arrest and being held in a Minnesota jail. Massive protests sparked by the murder have rocked the country for over a week now. Chauvin will be prosecuted. So should the other three officers who are accessories to Floyd's murder.