George Floyd: what have the protests achieved?
The reaction to the killing of George Floyd, a black man, by a white police officer in Minneapolis on 25 May 2020 reached far beyond the US. People around the world took to the streets to demonstrate against racism and for equality. But taking stock one year after the events, many observers are disappointed.
They have not yet reached their goal
Although it became massive after the death of George Floyd, the Black Lives Matter movement now seems to have lost momentum, Le Monde puts in with an eye to a recent poll by Ipsos/USA Today:
“Only half as many Americans as one year ago (36 percent) now call George Floyd's death 'murder', despite the conviction of police officer Derek Chauvin. The number of people who say race relations have worsened is almost four times higher than the number who think they have improved (40 percent and 13 percent respectively). American society is still searching for a path to racial equality. The goal seems unreachable.”
Time to tackle racist structures
Open racism is not the real cause of the problem in the US, The Economist argues, with reference to the pandemic:
“Covid-19 has killed African-Americans at higher rates than whites or Asian-Americans. The causes are still unclear, but the blame is unlikely to lie with racist doctors, nurses and insurers. Instead, for reasons that include past racism and present-day poverty, African-Americans are more likely to suffer from pre-existing conditions and to have to work outside the safety of their homes, and less likely to have health insurance. Racism remains a curse in America. ... But, since it is lodged in bigoted minds, rooting it out is largely beyond the power of any government. Poverty and the structural legacy of racism in institutions are different.”
We're not as far away from America as we think
On the anniversary of the killing of George Floyd, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) has published a survey called "Your Rights Matter. Police Stops." It compares data on police stops across Europe - and comes to a sad conclusion, writes Der Tagesspiegel:
“While 13 percent of people from non-migrant backgrounds said they had been stopped by the police in the twelve months before the survey, with members of minorities that figure rose to 22 percent. ... Those who take the time to reflect on these sobering figures will realise that it is vital for immigration societies like Europe's to put an end to racial profiling. So it's all the better that the FRA chose to publish its report on the anniversary of George Floyd's death one year ago. And by the way, people die in police custody here too. America is not so far away after all.”