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How do we think about the George Floyd murder?
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An absence of leadership has led America into crisis

There has not been poor decision making from above. Because there has not been any decision making from above. President Trump’s White House blackout and decision to ignore the escalating national crisis as it began, gave the riots space to flourish. As the Washington Post reported: “Trump and some of his advisers calculated that he should not speak to the nation because he had nothing new to say and had no tangible policy or action to announce yet, according to a senior administration official.” Proponents of this view include Fox News journalist Tucker Carlson and The Atlantic writer David A. Graham.

The Argument

The lack of leadership in America caused the horrific death of George Floyd. As the public was forced to come to terms with the presence of systemic racism in the United States after the video of Floyd’s death was released, they were also forced to reckon with the absence of leadership that had allowed this systemic racism to continue. American leadership’s inability to address the serious issue of structural inequality at both the local and federal levels has been clear for years. Data has been collected displaying troubling facts such as 54% of deaths related to police violence in 2019 were people of color whereas in 2014 it was just 50% [1]. Beyond police violence, the general standard of living for black Americans is worse than that of white Americans. The average lifespan of a black man is 71.9 years while an average white man is 76.4 [2]. These inequalities have reached every aspect of life, and yet American leadership has done nothing to fix these structural injustices. The growing tensions caused by the absence of a president willing to reckon with the issues of inequality that so blatantly face everyday American citizens has reached a tragic climax with the death of George Floyd.

Counter arguments

Many supporters of Trump's Presidency would argue that the President's public condemnation of racism is a testament to his work towards ending racial inequality in America. After the El Paso shooting, the President made a speech denouncing racist attitudes and stating that "In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy."[3] Many of his supporters would argue that setting a clear example and denouncing racism is enough to end inequalities in current society.



Rejecting the premises


This page was last edited on Monday, 9 Nov 2020 at 22:54 UTC

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