A Point of Departure, or a Setback?

By Professor Abdu Mukhtar (Sudan)

We – in the Third World – used to view the USA as a ‘model’ for a relatively ideal state for all nations yearning for a state of law and equal citizens. However, the recent brutal killing of George Floyd by a white policeman that triggered violent protests, along with previous several similar incidents over years, indicates that the practice might be growing into a pattern of anti-black/racist behavior that might jeopardize America as a coherent society and a stable state.

The critical point here is that what has aggravated the psychological impact on the black all over the world is the imprudent attitude of president D. Trump. Instead of feeling stigmatized and express sympathy with the victim, he turned out to talk of the use of force to crush the demonstrations.

The author visiting Freedom House during his 2019 visit to Washington, DC

Nonetheless, it is good that many white Americans have participated in the anti-racist protests. This signalizes that Americans seem to converge over their ‘melting-pot’. However, as the President represents the American nation, he is the symbol of America. But by his racist stance, he harms this symbolism. By killing a black citizen, the white policeman is killing the values of America and distorts the image of its civilization.

Thus, one may argue that America is no longer that ‘ideal’! It has for a long time symbolizes the cradle of liberal democracy, freedom, justice and equality.

Another point is constitutional or related to the legal system.  Having no death penalty encourages committing murder crimes easily particularly in a country where there is an easy access to weapons. This legal shortcoming should be tackled to maintain security.

Speaking at American University’s School of International Service in 2019, at an event hosted by the Africa Research Cluster

Finally, this ‘official’ white crime against a black citizen raises a question of the future of America’s harmony of its diverse nationalities/identities that has been holding America together over two hundred years. This also challenges some US scholars who believe that “… the United States of America constitute the one dramatic exception to the pattern of ethnic harmony” – as Howard Handelman (emeritus of politics) maintains. Hence, the US scientists have to check these postulates.

Abdu Musa is the author of 9 books, notably Darfur: from a Crisis of a State to Super Power Clashes (400 pp, in Arabic). Doha: Aljazeera Centre for Studies. He received his undergraduate and postgraduate studies at University of Khartoum.

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