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How do we think about the George Floyd murder? Show more Show less
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On May 25 2020, George Floyd was suffocated to death by the police. Floyd had been arrested on suspicion of using a counterfeit $20 bill. In chilling footage that would go viral within 24 hours, officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for more than 8 minutes ignoring Floyd's repeated pleas for him to move. The asphyxiation led to his cardiac arrest. Floyd's death has so far inspired protests across more than 75 US cities, calling for an end to police brutality and institutional racism. The responses to these riots have included state-wide curfews, the threat of military intervention, attacks on the media and civilian arrests. The situation has given rise to a complex debate with commentators arguing over what precisely it has exposed about contemporary America. So, who are these groups, what do they stand for, and why?

Leaders create nations: the murder exposes the ongoing American political crisis Show more Show less

This approach believes that political machinations are responsible for civil unrest and social stability. In this case, the response from political leadership has allowed the murder to grow into a national catastrophe.
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Poor leadership has led the nation into chaos

The issue lies in the failure of President Trump to understand the gravity of the unfolding crisis, or, to care for the cries of protestors. As former Vice President Biden said of Trump's erratic and despotic behaviour on the issue: “This president today is part of the problem and accelerates it.” Rather than unite the nation in a time of chaos, Trump has seeded division. Proponents include Biden, and Jewish and Christian leaders including Rabbi Jack Moline, President of the Interfaith Alliance.

The Argument

For the duration of the nationwide protests following the death of George Floyd, it seems that President Donald Trump appears mostly apathetic to the cries for change. During a statement he made on the economy, he went on to say that George Floyd would approve of the latest numbers. [1] It was a statement that undoubtedly offset protesters and supporters of the Black Lives Matter Movement as it seemed to make light of his death. The placement of this statement alongside an update on the economy serves to make it all the more jarring. What happened to George Floyd sparked unrest throughout the nation. It is arguably a dialogue that the President should have kept separate. Putting the topics of the economy and George Floyd's death together in the way that he did only served to inflame an issue that is already a sore spot amongst Americans. President Trump has also routinely tried placing blame on groups such as Antifa for the outbreaks of rioting and looting, despite there being no evidence for their involvement. [2] Trying to blame organizations that have no hand in the protests, combined with inflammatory statements, paint a picture of a leader disconnected from his people. It shows that the President is not heeding the words of protesters. Instead of addressing the problems protesters believe are meaningful, he is showing more concern for what he believes is meaningful. Capable leaders take the time to listen to the people they are charged with serving. This disconnect in Donald Trump's leadership is part of what causes people to perceive him as a poor leader.

Counter arguments

Counter to the view that suggests President Donald Trump experiences a disconnect with the country, the President has at the same time been open to discussing reform. In June, he held a roundtable with law enforcement officials in the White House, expressing openness to suggestions regarding policing. [3] Organizing the roundtable seems to attest to a well-meaning effort by President Trump to address the change protesters sought.

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/06/politics/trump-george-floyd-maine/index.html
  2. https://www.businessinsider.com/read-trump-response-why-george-floyd-protesters-demonstrating-fox-news-2020-6
  3. https://www.npr.org/2020/06/11/874413290/trump-to-address-disparities-at-dallas-event

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This page was last edited on Tuesday, 15 Sep 2020 at 01:30 UTC

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