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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?

Society creates the nation: the murder exposes America’s deepening social cleavages Show more Show less

This approach believes that deep social divisions are at the heart of the issue. The murder has galvanised violence and unrest because of the more intrinsic identities that it represents.
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Rampant capitalism has created a broken society

This is a class issue. For too long American social and political organisation has been built on a single uniting value: the pursuit of wealth at any cost. This has trickled down into every cell of social life, breeding inequality, deprivation and unrest. It has redefined the American state by exclusion and marginalisation; those at the bottom are characterised by their subordination. This is now felt in healthcare, welfare, agency - and the way they are treated within society. The riots are just one element of its collapse and the fight for a more just society, and realignment of American values. The riots are as Professor Cornell West describes it, a call for "what we need is a nonviolent revolutionary project of full-scale democratic sharing — power, wealth, resources, respect, organizing — and a fundamental transformation of this American Empire." Proponents include West and Fox anchor Tucker Carlson.
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    This page was last edited on Wednesday, 3 Jun 2020 at 11:13 UTC

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