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US racism part of everyday life

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02.06.2020

"A riot is the language of the unheard": More than half a century ago, civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. explained why black people take to the streets in the United States.

It's horrifying to see how little has changed since then. Once more, thousands are demonstrating against racism and police brutality. And once more, they have little hope that anything will change.

Read more: African Americans face deadly endemic police violence in US

Despite the protests, most black people will continue to miss out on their share of US prosperity, and go on earning less than white people. Many will still lack the chance to better themselves, and they will still be forced to send their children to inadequate schools. They will still be less likely to be covered by health insurance, have a lower life expectancy and they will be more likely to end up in prison, and for longer sentences. All of this simply because they're not white.

Black people are not protesting in dozens of cities across the US because they feel they are being treated as second-class citizens, as one commentator claimed. They're protesting because they really are second-class citizens.

On paper, every American citizen is equal before the law. But in reality, US police stop people on the street simply because of their appearance, even when they're not seen as suspects. And if they make a brutal mistake during such an arrest, as in the case of George Floyd, they often deny it. To make matters worse, the local district attorney's office is often complicit in such cover-up attempts.

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Permalink https://p.dw.com/p/3d8ij

Protests not enough

In the US, local authorities are not monitored by a functioning, independent body. There are too many lawbreakers sitting in police cars pretending to be guardians of the law, and too many white people who have simply tolerated the abhorrent deeds committed by these officers. King was speaking about the majority of Americans when he said: "He who accepts evil without protesting against it is........

© Deutsche Welle