Minnesota ‘Street Committee’
with members of the Minneapolis’s street community, along with
other documentation, reveal that George Floyd and Derek Chauvin
crossed paths while working security at the El Nuevo Rodeo
his work at the nightclub, Chauvin earned a reputation for being
especially aggressive with patrons of color and females.
were a dozen complaints, all dismissed, against Chauvin, while he
served as a police officer, for using excessive force which often
involved chokeholds and placing suspects on their stomachs in prone
positions on the ground while handcuffed with their hands behind
also allege that George Floyd’s affinity with White female
patrons and employees at El Nuevo Rodeo annoyed Chauvin.
police killings of unarmed Black citizens and the spate of murders of
other people of color in recent years are forcing a reckoning with
race in America. This malaise has buffeted every presidential
administration since the end of the Reconstruction period, after the
abolition of slavery, in 1877, causing ebbs and flows in race
African Americans have borne the brunt of this discord, it has
encompassed every other U.S. ethnic minority group - Asian and
Pacific Islanders, Latinx Americans, and Indigenous Americans - as
their numbers have skyrocketed. The January 6th insurrection
resulted, in part, from this demographic change as noted in a
University of Chicago study on the insurrection by the Harris School
of Public Policy.
overwhelming majority of the 377 White insurrectionists charged so
far for storming the nation’s Capital were males from middle-
and upper-middle-class populations who lived in counties where there
is a continuing decline of the White population and where people of
color delivered a victory to Joe Biden while most of the Whites voted
political scenarios played out in Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania,
and Wisconsin where Trump narrowly won in 2016. These outcomes,
together with Trump’s Big Lie that the 2020 presidential
election was stolen from him, and that he remained the rightful
President since he won by a lot, is a bigger lie. Trump contacted
election officials in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and other
states trying to overturn the results.
loyal followers responded to his political call to arms by joining
him at a pre-insurrection rally a short walk from the Capital where
Trump incited them to rape and pillage in order to return him to the
White House for a second term. Since that time, their elected
representatives in 47 states have introduced hundreds of bills to
restrict minority voting.
in these efforts are a revision of absentee ballot procedures,
limiting of voting hours, expansion of Voter ID requirements and
enhanced difficulty in obtaining such, the increase of poll watchers
rights to contest voters’ legitimacy to take part in elections,
and the institution of a requirement that only family members can
assist in voting.
the most egregious element of this voter suppression crusade is
giving state legislatures the authority to overturn county elections
in their respective states. The Republican right-wing, which is
declining in numbers, is steadfast in its efforts to disenfranchise
American voters of color who do not share their extreme views.
reinforce this political agenda, throughout the country, particularly
in the southern states where their numbers have begun to transform
the racial makeup of those elected to office, voters of color are
being disproportionately charged with election fraud. In Texas, there
have been 531 election fraud cases filed since 2004. Seventy-two
percent of those charged have been ethnic minority voters.
disturbing case was that of Crystal Mason, an African American
ex-felon convicted of tax fraud, who thought she was qualified to
vote under supervised release and arrived at the polls to vote in the
2016 presidential election, did not find her name on the rolls, and
cast a provisional ballot which was never officially counted. She was
then sentenced to five years in prison for this alleged crime.
Mason’s case is still being adjudicated.
and other examples from states where ethnic minority populations are
surging are intimidation tactics used to send a direct message to
people of color, telling them they need to be looking over their
shoulders when they go to the polls given that this new legislation
provides poll watchers with more chances to challenge their right to
progress appears to be taking a step backwards as we move forward in
the 21st century. Will the U.S. be able to reconcile its new
demographic reality in that no racial group will be the majority?
Will the Electoral College survive in determining the results of
presidential elections after these demographic changes become more
widespread? Will we all be able to get along and maintain a stable
George Floyd and related racial incidents cause us to revisit the
question raised by Rodney King 29 years ago in the aftermath of his
horrific, videotaped beating at the hands of Los Angeles police
we all get along?” There
are eerie similarities between these two men - their enormous size
and their initial unwillingness to submit to police authority, which
fed into the toxic racial stereotype police viewed through.
each period, there was a commitment by the U.S. Presidents to lead
the nation to do better on race - George H.W. Bush with the case of
Rodney King and Joe Biden, elected after the George Floyd killing.
(His predecessor, Donald Trump, who was in office when Floyd was
killed, did not take a leadership position on the incident as he had
aligned himself with the Proud Boys, a White male extremist,