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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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President Trump is weaponising the crisis for personal gain

Trump has made a series of unfounded claims, variously blaming the violence on Democrat officials, Antifa and former Vice President Joe Biden. He has also called out Democrat governors and mayors for being weak in the face of crisis, and refusing to crack down with more militaristic measures. In doing so, he is creating a false dichotomy between the 'weak left' and 'strong right'. Many see his response as political opportunism in the lead-up to the 2020 election. Proponents including CNN reporter Marshall Cohen and Guardian DC Bureau Chief David Smith.

The Argument

The current president of The United States has been weaponizing the ongoing crisis in America. He has been doing this by repeatedly using rhetoric such as describing protesters as “left-wing mobs’ and trying to pitch himself as the leader who will bring “law and order”[1] Trump’s vice president Mike Pence stated “The hard truth is you will not be safe in Joe Biden’s America” as he is trying to pit American citizens against Biden.[2] Trump has also blamed the swell in Covid-19 cases on protests, even though he has been repeatedly pushing to reopen the national economy.[3] Trump has tweeted multiple times stating that the protesters are “thugs” and “scum” even labeling them as “terrorists” in one tweet.[4] He has a history of tweeting harsh things about peaceful protesters, such as a series of 18 tweets through September and October 2017 complaining about the peaceful protest of kneeling during the national anthem, displayed by multiple NFL players.[4] However, after the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, where protesters chanted “Jew will not replace us.” and one of the protestors drove his car through a crowd of people, his response was “there are good people on both sides”[4]

Counter arguments

President Trump is not the one weaponizing this crisis, because Joe Biden blamed Donald Trump for these riots, so he is the one weaponizing the protests currently going on in America. Biden also stated that these protests are “right and necessary” allowing these violent protests to continue.[5]

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://pressroom.usc.edu/election-2020-how-racial-justice-protests-could-influence-the-vote/
  2. https://wusfnews.wusf.usf.edu/politics-issues/2020-08-30/fact-check-trump-and-bidens-records-on-criminal-justice
  3. https://wusfnews.wusf.usf.edu/2020-07-22/trump-blames-protests-ignoring-his-own-push-to-reopen-as-virus-surges
  4. https://www.brookings.edu/blog/fixgov/2020/06/05/donald-trump-does-not-hate-protests-he-hates-dissent/
  5. https://dailycaller.com/2020/09/04/democrats-media-donald-trump-riots-protests-responsible-unrest-american-cities-kenosha-portland/

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This page was last edited on Thursday, 10 Sep 2020 at 06:51 UTC

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