BY TONY BOUZA
America has been plunged into riots, pillaging, arsons and killings by the death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police. The incident created an explosion whose reverberations radiate to this moment. The event goes to the heart of America’s No. 1 problem. Racism.
America desperately needed a debate on racism, and Floyd—an unlikely candidate for such a pivotal role—nevertheless filled it.
We settle our big issues through debates—which often (maybe necessarily) take the form of riots, protests, disorders and other forms of social disarray. We need only look at such recent events as the Vietnam War for an example. Protests force our attentions on the problems.
In all likelihood all the violence, destruction, arson and death will lead to incremental change. But that won’t be enough.
The plight of the Black person in America requires fundamental transformation.
Incrementalism has brought us slavery, Jim Crow, civil rights and voter rights and other milestones of progress. Also, incarceration.
Is it enough?
Haven’t we made real progress?
What will it take?
Why don’t you ask a Black person?
The Floyd case had every element of our dilemma—
A Black male with no great prospects committing a small crime.
White cops—hired by an overclass to control Blacks—led by a meat-eater while the grazers grazed. Black demagogues racing to the photo ops posing as leaders but actually serving as exploitive Judas goats. A family plunged in grief but likely to succumb to squabbling as the promise of untold wealth emerges from the ashes of this tragedy.
In a real sense, the Floyd case encapsulates the dark forces animating our body politic. Yet, out of it might emerge the only thing that can save us—true equality for our Black brothers and sisters.
We really all are in this together.
Those protesting can be demonized, but actually need to be understood. The large body contains anarchists, terrorists, bums, criminals, arsonists and genuine enemies of the state—think Umbrella Man—but the majority are striving for a better, more just, America. We need to be sophisticated in our analysis. Folks—like your president and police union presidents everywhere—love to dab all protesters with the broad brushes of their insults. Don’t believe them.
America is truly a great country, but perfect? Not yet.