Washington | police Violence, everyday racism, past slavery: the United States will commemorate on Friday the abolition of slavery in the midst of the tensions and awareness of discrimination suffered by the black community.
Thousands of people are expected to attend multiple events planned from New York to Los Angeles for the 155th anniversary of “Juneteenth” (a contraction of June and 19 in English), this day in 1865 when slaves in Galveston, Texas learned they were free.
But this year, several tragedies have forced the country to make its examination of conscience on the racism that has marked his past and permeates the society.
George Floyd, African-American 46-year-old, was asphyxiated by a white policeman during his arrest at the end of may in Minneapolis. He died after having stayed more than eight minutes in the knee of Derek’s Chauvinistic, to which he repeated: “I can’t breathe “.
The broadcast of the scene, filmed by passers-by in its entirety, has caused a wave of shock in the country and demonstrations against the everyday racism and police violence.
“The sad truth is that this is not a unique case,” explained the brother of the victim, Philonise Floyd, at a meeting on racism and the police of the United States convened by the Council of Human rights of the UN in Geneva. “The way my brother was tortured and killed in front of a camera is the way black people are treated by police in America.”
With cries of “Black Lives Matter” (The lives of black matter), several million people took to the streets to denounce the racial inequalities. The mobilization, interspersed with violence and looting, has cast a harsh light on the methods of the police and their attitude vexatious in the face of minorities.
In Atlanta, another fact-various on June 12 has caused the anger: a white policeman was shot twice in the back Rayshard Brooks, an African American who was attempting, a Taser in hand, to escape his arrest for drunkenness.
As in Minneapolis, the police officer has been sacked and then charged with murder.
Even though he has denounced the deaths of Floyd and Brooks, Donald Trump has missed the opportunity to present to the president a unifier. He is rather taken with the protesters, in language that was reported as having connotations that are racist.
The billionaire republican has even put oil on the fire by scheduling in the day of “Juneteenth” in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a mass meeting of the campaign for his re-election in November. The city is marked by the memory of one of the worst race riots in history, where up to 300 African-Americans were massacred by a mob of white, in 1921.
This choice has been denounced as a provocation, forcing Mr. Trump to postpone the meeting to next day.
The gatherings have also pushed the Americans to immerse themselves in the history of a country that is torn on the issue of slavery, a system which has ensured its economic growth.
The calls have multiplied for the déboulonnage of monuments to the glory of generals and responsible for the confederates during the american civil War (1861-1865), which abound in the south of the country, and some have been destroyed.
The championship car Nascar banned the flags of the confederates on his circuits, often agitated by the crowd in the South, where it is very popular. And the head of the democrats in Congress ordered on Thursday the removal of the portraits of four former presidents of the House of representatives who sided with the confederates.
Despite the progress made with the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s, the black minority (13% of the population) is the most overlooked prosperity. More poor, more sick, it is under-represented at political level and victim of imprisonment of mass.
The crisis of the sars coronavirus has further accentuated the ills of the black community: the unemployment rate has skyrocketed with the shutdown of the american economy and, by occupying many of the jobs that are considered essential, but poorly paid, Black americans are more exposed than others to the Covid-19.