The White House recognized the existence of "institutional racism" in the United States. This was stated by Advisor to President Donald trump Kellianne Conway.

“There is definitely institutional racism in our country and there is no general equality. In this regard, I think there is no doubt, ”- quotes the words of Conway edition of Washington Examiner.

According to her, in order to eradicate racism in the United States, “there is still a lot to consider and refine,” including institutional changes that have not been implemented by previous administrations.

“In general, we will be happy to take it,” said Conway.

She also added that what happened to 46-year-old George Floyd was a murder.

It should be noted that a former statement was also made by former US President George W. Bush. According to the politician, “there is still a shocking and wrong tendency”, in which African-Americans, especially young men, face attacks and threats in their own country.

  • George Bush
  • Reuters
  • © Jim Young

“Protesters marching for a better future under the protection of responsible law enforcement forces are an advantage. In the light of this tragedy, which has added to a long list of such cases, a long-overdue question arises: "How to put an end to systemic racism in our society?" You can only see yourself in the true light by listening to so many voices of suffering and grieving people, ”said the former US president.

Lives matter

Recall that over the past 10 days in the United States, mass protests have continued, sometimes flowing into riots and riots. Performances began after a video of police detaining 46-year-old African-American George Floyd, suspected of trying to pay off a fake bill in the store, got on the network.

During the arrest, one of the police officers pressed Floyd with his knee to the ground, squeezing his neck tightly. Despite the pleas of the detainee, who said he was suffocating, as well as the indignation of those gathered around the passers-by, the policeman did not ease the pressure on the detainee's neck. Later, the man died in intensive care.

A number of American cities embraced the protests, the protesters took to the streets under the slogan Black Lives Matter ("The lives of black people matter"), which also began to spread on social networks. So, for example, the number of posts with such a hashtag on Instagram exceeded 18 million on June 3.

  • Participants in protests that began in the United States after the death of 46-year-old African American George Floyd
  • Reuters
  • © Dylan Martinez

Note that the same name - Black Lives Matter - is also given to the movement in defense of the rights of the black population that arose in the USA after the events of 2012-2013 and the case of patrol George Zimmerman. The latter shot dead 17-year-old black teenager Traivon Martin in February 2012 after a conflict allegedly ensued between them.

Zimmerman was charged with intentional murder without prior intent. However, the jury acquitted him by taking the side of the defense, which claimed that Zimmerman was only defending himself. Many considered this verdict unfair, mass protests began in the United States demanding to punish the former patrol for the death of a teenager. 

The death of 18-year-old African American Michael Brown, who was shot by a policeman in the city of Ferguson (Missouri), received no less public resonance.

As in the case of Traivon Martin, a police officer claimed that the murdered teenager himself allegedly showed aggression. At the same time, eyewitnesses to the tragedy claimed that the policeman shot Brown while he was standing with his hands up.

Protests against police arbitrariness quickly grew into a confrontation with security forces. Units of the National Guard were introduced in Ferguson to suppress riots. As now, street protests were accompanied by pogroms and robberies, and soon a wave of street riots swept through other cities and states.

Against the backdrop of these events, the Black Lives Matter movement emerged, which “began as a call to action in response to state-sanctioned violence and racism against blacks,” the organization’s website reported.

“From the very beginning, our goal was to unite black people around the world, united by a common desire for justice, and to enable them to act together within their communities. This commitment was and remains the result of the unbridled and deliberate violence to which we are subjected by the state, ”the website of the movement says.

It should be noted that the movement immediately came across criticism. The slogan of opponents of the ideas of Black Lives Matter was the slogan All Lives Matter (“All lives matter”).

So, the current president of the United States, Donald Trump, criticized the slogan Black Lives Matter. According to the politician, this is a very controversial expression, since all lives matter. This view is shared by the former mayor of New York, Trump's lawyer Rudolph Giuliani, who previously stated that he does not understand what benefit this slogan brings to African Americans.

According to experts, mutual prejudice is prevalent in American society, which has been especially pronounced in recent days. As political scientist Boris Mezhuyev, associate professor of the philosophical faculty of Moscow State University, noted in an interview with RT, there are both “white” and “black” organizations in the USA that dislike each other.

“At the same time, a feeling of hypervine of the white population in relation to the black minority is visible in society because of the memory of those times when African Americans were victims of slavery. Most likely, if some white organizations tried to organize the same pogroms, the reaction of society would be more severe. However, it should be noted that, in general, the policy of political correctness, which until recently dominated American society, is becoming a thing of the past, ”the expert noted.

The Thorny Path to Equality

The history of the struggle of the black population of the USA for equal rights with white has more than one decade. The most striking figure of this movement was the Baptist preacher Martin Luther King, who defended the concept of non-violent resistance, following the example of the Indian fighter against British colonialism, Mahatma Gandhi.

One of the first most significant actions led by King was a boycott of the black population of bus lines in the town of Montgomery (Alabama). According to local laws, African Americans did not have the right to occupy the first four rows of seats in public buses - these seats were reserved for whites. The boycott lasted a year. The result of the struggle was the decision of the Supreme Court, according to which segregation in Alabama's public transport was recognized as unconstitutional practice.

  • US National Guard Restricts African American Equality Protest, 1968
  • © Bettmann

Subsequently, King organized and led many protests and marches during which African-Americans used non-violent resistance methods. Protesters came to establishments and parks “for whites”, laid down on the roadway, blocking the movement of vehicles with their bodies, visited “white” churches and libraries contrary to racial segregation that was in effect in those years.

At the same time, the authorities did not respond to these demonstrations with equally peaceful measures. For example, one of the marches for equal suffrage, organized in 1965 by Martin Luther King, remained in history under the name “Bloody Sunday” - the police attacked the protesters so brutally then.

It should also be noted that a large partprecedents for the application of the law "On the uprising", allowing the government to use the army against its own civilian population, is connected precisely with the suppression of the uprisings of African Americans. So, the authorities used the army to pacify the protests that began after the assassination of Martin Luther King in 1968.

It should be noted that among the fighters for racial equality in the United States, not everyone shared the ideas of Martin Luther King about non-violent resistance. So, another well-known activist and public figure, Malcolm X, in the early periods of his activity advocated the radicalization of protest, up to the use of armed violence. Note that it was from his filing that the word “Negro” was replaced over time by the term “African American” in the United States. According to Malcolm X himself, the word "Negro" is devoid of any national and cultural roots.

However, despite the sharp rhetoric, Malcolm X himself did not go over to power methods of struggle, unlike the Black Panthers, a left-wing radical organization founded in 1966. Initially, the mission of the Panthers was to patrol the black quarters to protect the local population from police arbitrariness. The organization grew and began to engage in humanitarian support for the poor black people. Unlike a number of other movements in support of equality, Black Panthers emphasized not only racial, but also class contradictions.

The FBI declared the movement a "communist" organization and an enemy of the state, the party's activity was suppressed by the authorities. Eddie Conway, one of the Black Panther leaders, was sentenced to life imprisonment on charges of killing a policeman during a shootout in Baltimore. However, the sentence was subsequently commuted. Conway spent a total of 40 years in prison and was released from prison only in 2014.

One way or another, but the mass protests of the black US population for equality and the elimination of segregation have borne fruit. In 1964, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act, which legally put an end to racial discrimination.

“The gap of civil society”

However, in practice, racism still continues to be present in American society, experts say.

“For example, forms of corporate racism are retained, in particular among the police community, who regard the African-American minority as their priority opponents,” Boris Mezhuev is sure.

According to the expert, the contribution to the preservation of racial hatred is made by politicians who destabilize the situation with their mixed performances.

“So, in the event of any conflict, former US President Barack Obama always sided with the black minority. This could not but annoy many in the country, for example, representatives of the police community, they were accumulating a negative reaction. The division into a too tolerant Democratic Party and the Republican Party, which always supports the police, has played a role in the current protests, ”the expert explained.

  • Members of the New Black Panther Party, 2006
  • Reuters
  • © Eric Thayer

For racism to be truly eradicated, both leading US parties must take a unified position on this issue and adhere to the same tactics, Boris Mezhuev is sure.

“It is necessary that the democratic and republican parts of the political elite cease to provoke conflict in society. Then this problem can be solved, ”he explained.

A similar point of view is shared by Vladimir Shapovalov, deputy director of the Institute of History and Politics of Moscow State Pedagogical University.

“The history of the USA is, in essence, racism and the fight against it, which is not completed at the moment. This is a long-standing problem; it has entered into flesh and blood, into the value orientations of parts of American society. In the USA, a knot of contradictions has formed, in which the racial issue becomes a class, social issue, a question of confrontation between rich white and poor African Americans, ”the expert noted in a commentary on RT.

At the same time, it is not necessary to say that the blame for the current situation lies only with the Republicans, Shapovalov believes. The expert recalled that during the events in Ferguson, the administration of Democratic President Barack Obama was unable to resolve the situation.

According to the expert, while the protests are simply used by different political forces to polarize the mood in society and incite hatred in the run-up to the presidential election, nothing is being done to really solve the problem.

“Different political forces are working to break the united space of US civil society. But without inter-party consent, a single plan of action that would be accepted by all the leading political and social structures of the country, racial contradictions will only be exacerbated, ”Vladimir Shapovalov summed up.