Watching from afar what happened with George Floyd and the aftermath in the United States (somewhere I have lived, worked and been educated, and where family and friends live) is incredibly distressing.
Whilst I have seen the last few days coming for many years based on similar policy brutality cases the ever more untenable income and wealth distribution accelerates, among other factors, I can’t help but think that this is an unbelievable moment and period for the future of the US in the lead up to the November elections.
Not only for its citizens of all creed and colour, but for brand USA and its role, relevance, and impact in the world going forward.
Put simply, at the Presidential elections in November, the US will decide which path it wants to continue down. Currently, the White House is occupied by a President who has been inciting violence from the beginning of his candidacy, and now appears to be revelling in the use of force and power against citizens (rather than seeking to bring the nation together).
What better way for him to distract from the 100,000 COVID-19 deaths following one of the most bungled governmental responses of all nations.
Enough is enough.
If, going forward, we can channel our justifiable anger into peaceful, sustained, and effective action, then this moment can be a real turning point in our nation’s long journey to live up to our highest ideals – President Obama
In terms of what happens next, President Obama provides further guidance:
- The waves of protests across the country represent a genuine and legitimate frustration over a decades-long failure to reform police practices and the broader criminal justice system in the United States.
- A small minority of folks who’ve resorted to violence in various forms, whether out of genuine anger or mere opportunism, are putting innocent people at risk
- The elected officials who matter most in reforming police departments and the criminal justice system work at the state and local levels
- We have to mobilize to raise awareness, and we have to organize and cast our ballots to make sure that we elect candidates who will act on reform
- Ultimately, it’s going to be up to a new generation of activists to shape strategies that best fit the times
I am no expert of American history but it feels like America is at a real tipping point. I hope Obama is right, and that over the next few months and beyond, the turning point and real change for the better happens, fast.