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How do we think about the George Floyd murder?
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The crisis has grown out of protracted American political failures

The current crisis and the structural inequality it represents are the direct results of historical political failures. Early civil rights activists called for socio-economic inclusion and were ignored. The result is the growth of a deeply segregated state, where law enforcement protects the white and the wealthy from minorities.

The Argument

Dr. Elizabeth Hinton argues that there has been little effort to deal with the fallout from racial segregation since the 1960s. Issues such as unemployment, poor housing, poverty, and poor schooling have all led to a low level of general social unrest. This public discontent recently exploded on a large scale.[1] The use of police crackdowns and military force instead of sweeping social reforms demonstrates the opposition to institutional change. Attempts at funding grassroots programs to deal with economic inequality have been promptly shut-down or defunded since the late 1960s. Particularly under the Johnson, Nixon, and Reagan administrations, government legislation has focused on stamping out crime rather than tackling the root causes of inequality.[2] Many sociologists have highlighted the social and economic factors that may have provoked looting during the riots.[3] After George Floyd's murder, it galvanized the disaffected masses to action. The root cause of the wave of violence spreading across America is present in protestors' demands for police reform. Many have voiced their opinion that these long-standing social issues have gone unaddressed for far too long.[2]

Counter arguments

Political radicals are causing the current crisis, and it has nothing to do with racial inequality. Left-leaning radicals have hijacked what would have been peaceful protests and caused violence and chaos. The rioters are not truly interested in racial politics but are using one event as an excuse to loot and destroy neighborhoods.[4] The majority of protestors want to spotlight the racist attitudes of some police officers and departments. Their concerns are not with economic policies. Militant communists have been using Black Lives Matter to promote anti-capitalist ideas, which have nothing to do with the protests. Their real concern is not racial inequality, but the redistribution of land and the abolition of private property.[5]



[P1] Racial inequality has been a problem in the US for its entire history, events like the George Floyd murder have a long precedence. [P2] Reforms to tackle poverty and inequality have been insufficient and many have been dismantled. [P3] Harsh policing and military force has been used in excess against the black community, leading to long-standing racial tensions. [P4] The scale of the unrest is a reaction to these long-standing issues. [C] The unrest following the George Floyd murder was caused by the historic failure of politicians to deal appropriately with the fallout from racial segregation.

Rejecting the premises

[P4] Issues of racial inequality are just a cover used by rioters from militant left-wing organizations who wish to attack the state.


This page was last edited on Monday, 9 Nov 2020 at 22:59 UTC

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