Absolving the accused of intent to kill further fuelled protests with rioting, arson and looting across US cities.
Absolving the accused of intent to kill further fuelled protests with rioting, arson and looting across US cities.
AFP

Even as it grapples with the worst medical emergency in decades, the US is being torn asunder by race riots following the police brutality against a black man in Minneapolis who was arrested for using a fake 20 dollar bill. The police officer knelt down on his neck with his knee despite passers-by protesting that he cannot breathe. The video of his death soon went viral, sparking riots in cities across the US. President Trump, unsurprisingly, poured petrol on fire, tweeting that ‘when the looting starts, shooting begins’, a throwback to the dark days of the slavery. Four police officers were dismissed. Following protests, the errant police officer was arrested. But so deep-seated is the anti-black sentiment in the ruling establishment that that he was charged with a third degree murder, a lighter charge absolving the accused of an intention to kill. This only further fuelled the protests with acts of rioting, arson and looting spreading to all major cities. What is most encouraging is a good percentage of whites joined the protests even as the mainstream media strongly condemned the ingrained police hostility towards blacks. An inordinately large proportion of blacks are in the US jails, with the police showing extra zeal in booking them for petty crimes. Racism lingers in the American society just below the surface while people like Trump find it hard to hide their base instincts. Some time ago, the US President had equated white supremacists with the liberal-left activists. Cleansing the system of an inherent bias against the blacks is a long and arduous process. There should be no let-up in this struggle.

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