OPINIONS Observer: US has a long way to go to realize racial equality


Observer: US has a long way to go to realize racial equality

By Zhang Mengxu | People's Daily app

19:51, April 29, 2021

Derek Chauvin, who knelt on George Floyd's neck until he died last year, was recently found guilty on three charges, and could face a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison.

Many American people believe that with the constant deaths of ethnic groups caused by police violence, the US still has a long way to go to eradicate deep-rooted racial discrimination in the country.

The prosecution and defense in the murder trial focused on the technical issues of law enforcement of the police, instead of the racial discrimination during the three-week trial. Paul Butler, a law professor at Georgetown University, noted that the American people believed that the case of George Floyd was all about race, but ironically, the racial issue was not the basis for the trial.

Consensus on the racial issue has always been absent in US society. And the US is becoming more divided on the racial issue. According to a USA TODAY/Ipsos Poll, 64 percent of African Americans view Floyd's death as murder while only 28 percent of white people feel that way.

Some media believe that the root cause of the racial problems is that many Americans refuse to fully reflect on the history of the enslavement of Africans, and reflect and abandon White supremacy.

“When it comes to race, the US is still a house divided against itself. Some 156 years after the Confederate Army surrendered to Union forces at Appomattox to end the Civil War, a nation that stands as a global beacon of freedom and liberty is unable to atone for its ‘original sin’ of slavery,” according to US News & World Report.

The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park recorded the racial discrimination cases which took place mainly in the 1950s and 1960s and are still thought-provoking today. An African American was arrested in Alabama after she refused to give her seat to a white passenger, and was charged with violating the segregation law. And an Arkansas governor surrounded a school for white students with National Guard troops to prevent African American students from entering the school.

Not long ago, some African American elementary students in South Carolina were taught to sing a “slave song” during the school field trip, which invited sharp criticism from the parents. Some parents said that they could not stop associating what they saw with the recurrence of slavery.

Facts prove that the racial divide is still rooted in the hearts of the Americans, though the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ended racial segregation. According to a report released by US News & World Report, the U.S. ranked 69th, or the 10th worst, for racial equality.

Kyle Mays, a scholar of African American and American Indian studies from the University of California, Los Angeles pointed out that America is a fundamentally racist society and it is an indelible part of this country.

At the entrance of the The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park, the Eternal Flame burns in a brazier. Underneath the flame, there is a plaque that says "The Eternal Flame symbolizes the continuing effort to realize Dr. King's ideals for the 'Beloved Community' which requires lasting personal commitment that cannot weaken when faced with obstacles." However, how long will it be before the ideals are realized? That is a question for all American citizens when they stand in front of the flame.

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