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In the Wake of Protests

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10.08.2020

We are in a period of post-mortem reflection following the time during which racial justice protests were at their most intense. We now must ask ourselves: What has changed and what hasn’t? Have power and privilege truly been disrupted? Has oppression been alleviated? What will be the legacy of this moment?

The historic protests in the wake of George Floyd’s killing were met with high hopes and soaring rhetoric. The protests were called a racial reckoning, a long-overdue racial accounting.

We painted murals on the streets and took down some statues. Companies committed to changing the Black faces on a bottle of syrup and a bag of rice. Athletes were allowed to kneel and racecar drivers held a racial solidarity parade.

There were television specials about injustice and expanded coverage of protests. Books about race rose to the tops of best-seller lists.

States like New York and California passed police reform legislation and scores of individual departments banned or restricted chokeholds and strangleholds and required officers to intervene when their colleagues use excessive force.

But, national progress, even on the issue of police accountability and reform, remained elusive. The slate of police reforms passed by the House is now bogged down in the Senate.

Donald Trump called the Black Lives Matter mural painted in front of Trump Tower in New York City a “symbol of........

© The New York Times


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