Stephen Lendman | Clarion India
Public rage in dozens of US cities goes way beyond the killing of African American George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. Like countless others in the US, Floyd was a victim of institutionalized racism, inequality and injustice.
Notably three other Minneapolis cops complicit with Floyd’s killing remain free uncharged. Chauvin alone was arrested, belatedly because of days of public rage. Charging him with 3rd degree murder and 2nd degree manslaughter by no means assures that justice will be served.Rarely ever are cops convicted by the US judicial process, especially not for killing Black Americans.
Days of protests reflect generations of pent up rage over state-sponsored inequality and injustice against America’s most vulnerable, notably its Black population. Time and again, Trump’s shoot-from-the-hip remarks lack supportive evidence.
Claiming “violence and vandalism (in US cities) is being led by…radical left (elements) who are terrorizing” others ignores pent up rage over generations of institutionalized racism, inequality and injustice in the self-styled “land of the free and home of the brave.”
According to the USA Today, most arrested individuals nationwide are locals, not out-of-town white supremacists or other radicals. There’s no ambiguity about America’s racist roots.
From colonial America to today, Blacks have gone from chattel to wage slavery, Jim Crow to its modern-day version, and mid-19th century emancipation to mass incarceration in the world’s largest gulag prison system — operating globally.
Law Professor Michelle Alexander earlier explained that “(m)ore black men are in prison or jail, on probation or parole than were enslaved in 1850 before the Civil War began.” Racist drug laws largely affect “poor communities of color.”
In America’s inner-cities, most Black youths can expect criminal injustice prosecutions one or more times during their lives — because of the color or their skin and opportunities denied them by institutionalized racism. Over 60% of Black men born in 1965 or later without high school degrees (following passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act banning discrimination) have prison records.
Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura explained what a highly educated Black American told him. Before setting off in his car, he places his driver’s license and vehicle registration on the passenger side seat beside him. It’s so if stopped by a cop for driving while Black, he doesn’t have to reach for it in the glove compartment and risk being shot — police pretending he may be reaching for a weapon.
It’s inconceivable that a white American would take similar precautions for his or her safety — what their African-American counterparts endure daily, one of countless examples of a nation off he rails.
Fantasy democracy from inception, America transformed itself into a police state — based on Big Lies. Inner-city streets are battlegrounds — Blacks, other people of color, and immigrants from the wrong countries terrorized by racial hatred and discrimination.
Since Floyd’s May 25 brutal murder, protests raged in Minneapolis and numerous other US cities nationwide — including in St. Paul, NY, LA, Detroit, Phoenix, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Denver, Boston, Philadelphia, Louisville, Memphis, Miami, Milwaukee, Oakland, San Francisco, San Diego, San Jose, Washington DC, and elsewhere.
In Chicago, protestors gathered near Millennium Park, a few miles south of where I live. Signs read “Justice 4 George” and “Black Lives Matter.” Crowds shouted: “Say his name! George Floyd,” also chanting: “I can’t breathe.”
As of 10 PM Friday, police reported no arrests. In response to Trump’s racist tweet about when “the looting starts, the shooting starts”, Mayor Lori Lightfoot accused him of “foment(ing) violence,” adding:
“I will code what I really want to say to Donald Trump. It’s two words: It begins with F and ends with YOU.”
“I will not remain silent while this man cynically tries to turn this incredibly painful moment into one for his own political gain.”
Thinned-skin Trump notoriously tolerates no criticism. Will he retaliate against Lightfoot by denying Chicago badly needed federal aid? Nothing is too low for him to stoop, notably how his war on humanity operates at home and abroad.
Chicago protesters marched down Michigan Ave. on the city’s south side, near the Loop business district. “No justice, no peace. Prosecute the police,” they shouted in Minneapolis, ignoring a curfew imposed by Governor Tim Walz.
Trump’s racist tweet and other unacceptable remarks further inflamed things, instead of calming tensions and urging accountability for culpable cops whenever incidents like Floyd’s killing happens anywhere in the US.
Sending combat troops to Minneapolis and/or other US cities will make a bad situation worse if he takes this step. Hundreds of National Guard forces were sent by Minnesota Gov. Walz to protect infrastructure near where protests are ongoing.
Rage against the system on city streets reflects separate and unequal America, the growing disparity between privilege and exploited masses to serve the nation’s wealth and power interests. The United States of inequality and injustice reflects the deplorable state of the nation.
Both right wings of the one-party state share guilt. When predatory capitalism prospers at the expense of ordinary people, economies are hollowed out. Neofeudalism follows. The US and other Western nations are headed toward becoming ruler-serf societies, enforced by police state harshness.Their power elites never had things better, at the expense of ordinary people, exploited to serve them.
In the US, Blacks, Latinos, and immigrants from the wrong countries suffer most. Hardwired inequality and injustice, along with war on humanity, define today’s America.
Poverty and debt are its leading growth industries. In the last 30 years, the national debt increased from $3 trillion to nearly $26 trillion. When Alan Greenspan became Fed chairman in 1987, its balance sheet was around $250 billion.
Today, it exceeds $7 trillion because of money printing madness, handing near-unlimited amounts to Wall Street banks and other corporate favorites by buying financial assets and other actions.
Long before today’s public health and economic collapse crisis, David Stockman summed up the neo-liberal 90s through well past the 2008-09 financial crisis, saying:
“What has been growing is the wealth of the rich, the remit of the state, the girth of Wall Street, the debt burden of the people, the prosperity of the beltway, and the sway of the three great branches of government which are domiciled there – that is, the warfare state, the (corporate) welfare state and the central bank.”
“What is failing, by contrast, is the vast expanse of the Main Street economy where the great majority has experienced stagnant living standards, rising job insecurity, failure to accumulate any material savings, rapidly approaching old age and the certainty of a Hobbesian future where, inexorably, taxes will rise and social benefits will be cut.”
“And what is positively falling is the lower ranks of society whose prospects for jobs, income and a decent living standard have been steadily darkening.”
Dystopia is the new normal for most Americans today, notably for its least advantaged — especially for people of color with African Americans topping the pecking order for exploitation, incarceration, and impoverishment. That’s what public rage in the streets is all about, things worsening, not improving. As long as what’s unacceptable continues, perhaps things will boil over from sea to shinning sea as the only hope for changing the dirty system. It may be the only way, a popular revolution for change because everything else tried failed.