Anti-racism protests spread, attract wider, multi-racial support
Protests against police brutality especially against young black men in the United States have not only spread across the country, they are attracting wider support beyond the borders of the US, but also from people of all races.
Millions of people have been protesting across all US major cities to show anger and dissatisfaction at the police in the way thousands of young black men are targeted and killed by police officers. The protests were triggered by the killing of a 46 year old George Floyd when a Police officer Derek Chauvin suffocated him by kneeling on his neck for more than 8 minutes.
US news outlets the scale of the anti-racism protests have not been seen since the 1968 assassination of rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
From the remarks of Pope Francis to solidarity protests in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and white Americans risking their lives in this age of COVID-19, Millions of Americans have expressed rage and called for unity and an end to systemic racism.
Speaking from the Vatican, Pope Francis said: “Dear brothers and sisters in the United States, I have witnessed with great concern the disturbing social unrest in your nation in these past days, following the tragic death of Mr. George Floyd,” the Pope said from the Vatican.
He added that he was praying for “repose of the soul of George Floyd and of all those others who have lost their lives as a result of the sin of racism”.
“My friends, we cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism and exclusion in any form and yet claim to defend the sacredness of every human life,” he added.
In the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson expressed support for Black Lives Matter when he was asked why his government has not made a comment.
Johnson is quoted by the BBC for having said: “Of course black lives matter and I totally understand the anger, the grief that is felt, not just in America but around the world and in our country as well…
“The only point I would make to the House is that protests should be carried out lawfully and in this country, protests should be carried out in accordance with our rules on social distancing.”
In the northern city of Liverpool, players knelt on one knee, in a show of solidarity with those calling for racial equality in the United States.
Former President George W. Bush has called on the US to examine its ‘tragic failures.
“It remains a shocking failure that many African Americans, especially young African American men, are harassed and threatened in their own country,” Bush said in the statement expressing anguish over the death of George Floyd, suffocated beneath the knee of a white policeman in Minneapolis on May 25.
Bush added: “This tragedy — in a long series of similar tragedies — raises a long overdue question: How do we end systemic racism in our society?” Bush, who was president from 2001-2009, wrote.
Without calling him by name, Bush appeared to take swipes at the incumbent Donald Trump when he noted that those who are silencing the voices of those who are hurting, don’t America.
“Those who set out to silence those voices do not understand the meaning of America — or how it becomes a better place,” he says.
“The heroes of America — from Frederick Douglass to Harriet Tubman, to Abraham Lincoln, to Martin Luther King Jr. — are heroes of unity.”