Category: struggle against racism
A year after George Floyd’s death, pent-up rage remains as Louisiana faces its own policing issues

https://www.nola.com/news/politics/article_7f9b0e84-bdac-11eb-a7a3-637858ff7f44.html

A year after George Floyd’s death, pent-up rage remains as Louisiana faces its own policing issues

It began with a few dozen protesters shouting into traffic on North Claiborne Avenue in New Orleans, four days after George Floyd was killed last May under a police officer’s knee in Minnesota.

Hours later, a wave of rage over Floyd’s death and the policing of Black people in America began spilling across the state.

Thousands of protesters poured into the streets in Lafayette and hundreds more in Lake Charles, Shreveport and the state Capitol in Baton Rouge. Smaller groups took to the courthouse in Houma, the civic center in Monroe, a gritty corner in the West End of New Iberia.

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Protesters gather around a Henry Lipkis mural in Jackson Square depicting the slain George Floyd.

In New Orleans the protests ran for weeks into the summer, including a clash on the Crescent City Connection in which police lobbed tear gas and fired projectiles.

The cry that echoed loudest at those protests was Floyd’s: “I can’t breathe.”

The pent-up outrage that was unleashed over the Floyd killing one year ago remains, fueled most recently by Louisiana’s own horrific contribution: police body cam footage unearthed by the Associated Press last week showing Black motorist Ronald Greene dying in a brutal, long-hidden 2019 encounter with White Louisiana State Police troopers.

How much Floyd’s death, or that of Greene, has altered attitudes in Louisiana over police accountability is uncertain — though there are indications of a shift.

Lawmakers this week are debating a host of policing reforms, including tight limits on chokeholds and no-knock warrants. Advocates also are pushing for legislation to end the “qualified immunity” that shields misbehaving police officers from state lawsuits seeking damages.

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This undated handout photo provided by Christopher Harris shows George Floyd. (Christopher Harris via AP)

The bills came out of a task force the Legislature set up a month after Floyd’s killing, as a debate over the use of excessive force by law enforcement roiled nationally.

“This is really about being who we say we are as a country,” said Judy Reese Morse, president and CEO of the Urban League of Louisiana. “Quite honestly, the proof is in the pudding, and the pudding just doesn’t taste good right now.”

A survey released in April by LSU’s Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs found a wide gap between how Black and White respondents viewed racial discrimination in various contexts. But on one point the majority agreed: Black people are treated less fairly by police.

Ted Quant, a longtime civil rights activist in New Orleans, said the video of Floyd’s final moments provided evidence that couldn’t be explained away.

“People witnessed George Floyd being murdered. They could see it. And it couldn’t be covered up, it couldn’t be lied about,” Quant said. “I think it was an education for the people of America.”

The nonprofit E Pluribus Unum, founded by former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, released its own survey this week. It found similar divisions across the Southern states.

While a large majority of Black respondents said Floyd’s killing and others prove there is a systemic problem, “Whites have a tendency to want to say it’s a few bad apples,” Landrieu said of the survey results.

Still, Landrieu pointed to a broader agreement for the notion that Floyd was wrongfully killed and that more reforms need to happen, as well as support for getting rid of total civil immunity for offending police officers.

“One of the things the public is demanding now, across racial and party lines, is transparency — before you can get to accountability,” Landrieu said. “People do not think we have done enough. Everyone wants the police to treat people with great respect and great dignity. That’s a pretty high line of common ground.”

The family of African American George Floyd appealed on Tuesday for sweeping police reform on the anniversary of his murder by a white officer as they met President Joe Biden at the White House.

https://news.cgtn.com/news/2021-05-26/George-Floyd-family-urges-police-reform-on-anniversary-of-murder-10zjgzSuFfG/index.html

George Floyd’s family urges police reform on anniversary of murder
Updated 14:54, 26-May-2021
CGTN

Philonise Floyd, the brother of George Floyd, talks to reporters alongside other family members and lawyers after meeting with President Joe Biden at the White House, May 25, 2021. /CFP

The family of African American George Floyd appealed on Tuesday for sweeping police reform on the anniversary of his murder by a white officer as they met President Joe Biden at the White House.

The president and Vice President Kamala Harris hosted several of Floyd’s relatives in the Oval Office after the family spoke to top lawmakers hoping for progress on police reform.

“If you can make federal laws to protect the bird, the bald eagle, you can make federal laws to protect people of color,” said Philonise Floyd, George’s younger brother, after a private meeting in the Oval Office.

Floyd’s mother, siblings and his daughter Gianna, along with family lawyers, had earlier gathered at the U.S. Capitol with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic members of Congress.

A mural reading “I Can’t Breathe” at George Floyd Square in Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 25, 2021. /CFP

“We have to act. We face an inflection point,” said Biden in a statement issued by the White House after meeting the family nearly a year after their first encounter ahead of Floyd’s funeral.

Biden said he was “hopeful” that a deal could be struck on the police reforms after the Memorial Day holiday this weekend, though the president reportedly had set Tuesday as a deadline for passing police reform legislation.

Floyd, 46, who died in handcuffs with his neck pinned to a Minneapolis street under the knee of Derek Chauvin – a white policeman, has become the face of a national reckoning with racial injustice and police brutality in the U.S.

Chauvin, 45, faces up to 40 years in prison when he is sentenced on June 25. The three other officers at the scene have pleaded not guilty to aiding and abetting Chauvin, and will go on trial next year.

Local leaders and politicians, including New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, seventh from left, kneel for more than nine minutes to remember the murder of George Floyd in New York, May 25, 2021. /CFP

How the U.S. remembered Floyd

In Minneapolis, a foundation created in Floyd’s memory by some in his family organized an afternoon of music and food in a park near the downtown courtroom where Chauvin was convicted last month of murdering Floyd.

Later on Tuesday, mourners gathered for a candlelight vigil at the stretch of road where Floyd passed away.

By the afternoon, small crowds were gathering at the intersection for a festive, sunny afternoon of music and children’s activities. A man set out paint ready to create a fresh mural in the square, which has been closed to most vehicle traffic for a year and is filled with flowers and art commemorating Floyd and other Black victims of police violence.

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz and Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey were due to join activists in a city park for a silence of nine minutes and 29 seconds – the time that Chauvin knelt on Floyd, in memory of Floyd’s murder.

Demonstrations were planned in New York City and Mayor Bill de Blasio joined activists in kneeling in silence for nine minutes and 29 seconds. Earlier on Tuesday, Shaun Donovan, a Democratic candidate for mayor, was among a group of five protesters arrested for blocking traffic near a major tunnel into Manhattan.

A bullet casing is seen after shots were fired in George Floyd Square on the one-year anniversary of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis, May 25, 2021. /CFP

Events at George Floyd Square were briefly interrupted by gunfire on Tuesday. One person was reported injured as at least 20 rounds were fired. Police said the incident remains under investigation, and it is unclear if the shooting is connected to events in the area commemorating the one-year anniversary of Floyd’s death.

Legislation has been pursued in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia to increase the accountability or oversight of police, and 24 states have enacted new laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The laws have included the mandating of body-worn cameras for officers, banning neck restraints or making it easier for the public to see police officers’ disciplinary records.

Read more:

U.S. House approves police reform bill named after George Floyd

(With input from agencies)

Protesters arrested after clash erupts in downtown Washington
worker | April 18, 2021 | 7:02 pm | struggle against racism | Comments closed

https://news.cgtn.com/news/2021-04-18/Protesters-arrested-after-clash-erupts-in-downtown-Washington-Zzag5uL5Pa/index.html

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Protesters arrested after clash erupts in downtown Washington
CGTN

Several protesters were arrested late Saturday after a clash with police in the Chinatown section of downtown Washington, local media reported.

These protesters were demonstrating against police violence against Black people.

China calls on U.S. to solve its own racism, discrimination
worker | March 18, 2021 | 8:08 pm | China, struggle against racism | Comments closed

https://news.cgtn.com/news/2021-03-18/China-calls-on-U-S-to-solve-its-own-racism-discrimination-YJvwDKit2w/index.html

China calls on U.S. to solve its own racism, discrimination
CGTN

China on Thursday said it hopes the United States can listen to voices from its citizens and the international community and take concrete actions to solve its own issues of racism and discrimination.

Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, made the remarks in response to a recent report from the forum Stop AAPI Hate that revealed nearly 3,800 incidents were reported over the course of roughly a year during the pandemic.

In the past, racist incidents towards Asians, including Chinese, have emerged frequently, and these ugly behaviors are infuriating and pathetic, Zhao said, noting that there had been reports of barehanded elderly Asians being violently attacked.

We are deeply concerned about the lies and fake information about China that incite racism and hatred, Zhao said. He called on the U.S. to protect and guarantee the safety and legitimate rights and interests of Chinese nationals in the country.

Black US doctor dies of Covid alleging racist hospital care
worker | December 24, 2020 | 7:59 pm | COVID-19, struggle against racism, Struggle for African American equality | Comments closed

 Black US doctor dies of Covid alleging racist hospital care

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-55443339

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Dr Susan MooreIMAGE COPYRIGHTFACEBOOK
image captionDr Susan Moore passed away from Covid complications on Sunday

A black physician in Indianapolis has died with Covid-19 weeks after she accused a doctor of denying her proper medical care because of her race.

In a video from her bed at Indiana University Hospital North, Susan Moore said she had to “beg” for treatment.

Offering its condolences, the hospital said it took accusations of discrimination very seriously but could not comment on specific patients.

Black people are at greater risk from Covid than white people, studies show.

Dr Moore, 52, passed away at another local hospital on Sunday.

In her 4 December post on Facebook, she described how her pain had been downplayed by the doctor, whom she said was white, though she had been crying and having difficulty breathing.

“He did not even listen to my lungs, he didn’t touch me in any way. He performed no physical exam. I told him you cannot tell me how I feel,” she wrote.

A statement from the hospital said “as an organisation committed to equity and reducing racial disparities in healthcare, we take accusations of discrimination very seriously and investigate every allegation”.

“We stand by the commitment and expertise of our caregivers and the quality of care delivered to our patients every day,” it added.

Dr Moore is survived by her 19-year-old son, Henry, and her parents, who suffer from dementia, according to a GoFundMe page set up to help cover the family’s expenses. The page has already raised more than $102,000 (£75,000).

‘This is how black people get killed’

Dr Moore tested positive for Covid-19 on 29 November and was admitted with a high fever while she coughed up blood and struggled to breathe. But even as a physician herself, she said she had struggled with getting care.

Dr Moore said she had had to plead for antiviral Remdesivir doses and request a scan of her chest. The doctor at one point reportedly told her she did not qualify for the drug and that she should go home.

“He made me feel like I was a drug addict,” Dr Moore said in a Facebook video. “And he knew I was a physician. I don’t take narcotics. I was hurting.”

Dr Moore wrote she had requested a medical advocate and had asked to be transferred elsewhere. She was eventually discharged but had to return hours later after experiencing a drop in blood pressure and fever.

“This is how black people get killed,” Dr Moore said. “When you send them home and they don’t know how to fight for themselves.”

Her post later included an update saying the hospital’s chief medical officer had said staff would receive diversity training. But a promise for an apology from the doctor she accused of discrimination fell through.

“I put forward and I maintain, if I was white, I wouldn’t have to go through that,” she said.

Dr Moore’s experience and death has sparked an outcry over US healthcare disparities faced by black Americans.

The virus has disproportionately affected black and other minority communities in the US. Black Americans are three times more likely to die from the virus than white Americans.

An analysis by the Brookings Institution reported “in every age category, black people are dying from Covid at roughly the same rate as white people more than a decade older”.

A 2015 paper published in the American Journal of Public Health found “most health care providers appear to have implicit bias in terms of positive attitudes toward Whites and negative attitudes toward people of colour”.

The Circus
worker | November 2, 2020 | 9:46 am | struggle against racism, USSR | Comments closed

Black in the USSR
worker | November 1, 2020 | 2:24 pm | Africa, African American Culture, African American history, struggle against racism, USSR | Comments closed

https://rtd.rt.com/films/black-in-the-ussr/

Black in the USSR

Stories of black Americans, who fled to the Soviet Union to escape race discrimination

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Racism in the US in the 1930s forced hundreds of African Americans to leave the country and move to the Soviet Union. Inspired by Soviet ideology, many came seeking a society without racial prejudice. At home, African Americans faced a lack of prospects and restrictions which separated them from society. Desperate to receive equal treatment, hundreds fled their homeland to be free of discrimination in the Soviet Union. Some of them still live in Russia and explain why they left the ‘land of dreams’ and how they gained freedom behind the Iron Curtain.