Black Discrimination: Minneapolis Cop Chauvin Who Knelt on Handcuffed Black Man Arrested
The General Bias
An incident that shows the United States in very poor light has taken place in Minneapolis. A black African-American was done to death when a police officer used his leg as a neck restraint on a man, who was handcuffed and on the ground. The man died and very rightly there have been protests in America. The videos that have emerged of the incident shows at least four police officers in poor light. The result has been negative for America and the Minneapolis police.
What the police did is reprehensible and deserves to be condemned. Many in America and Minneapolis are aghast. An agitation has commenced resulting in the four officers involved being suspended and one of them arrested. Sadly, such an incident has taken place after 150 years of the abolition of slavery. It sends out a disturbing message to the African-Americans who have been at the receiving end. Does it mean the white man has still not accepted the black as an equal?
The blacks are at the receiving end all over the world. The black color is somehow associated with something inferior and not desirable. I recollect that when I was a member of the Air Staff Inspection Team we were invited by the United States Air Force for a study. A couple of officers dated women. I recollect everybody wanted to date a white girl and one officer who dated a black was the butt of all sorts of jokes and ridicule. I bring out this incident only to show the general bias against the black skin.
Many Africans have protested at their treatment in China and Russia because of the color of the skin. These are all documented and even now African students in Wuhan complained of discrimination. I have not been able to understand why this bias against color continues. One reason could be that all fairytales and ancient scriptures define fairness as a criterion for beauty. This is something ingrained and I am afraid I don't know how one can get away from this.
In the United States, there is a subtle difference from what is happening around the globe because here the gun culture rules. The policeman is apt to use the gun on a black man at the first opportunity. The incident which happened at Minneapolis is well known and there has been a terrible backlash after the young man died. Riots have broken out. This is something that should not happen but then many Afro -Americans feel how do they get justice?
The genesis of such incidents
In America, the black man has been greatly discriminated against and the sad part is that in the 21st-century it is still prevalent. I recollect reading that in 1913, thirteen black soldiers were summarily hanged for mutiny on flimsy evidence. The due process of law was not followed by the US Army. That's not a long time back and is an incident that must rankle the American military.
At one time at least in the southern states, there were organizations like the Ku Klux Klan which went around hunting African -Americans. The problem is that African -Americans cannot be wished away. They constitute about 15% of the population. The whites in America must realize that the black man did not come to America on his own. He was brought there by slave ships from the western coast of Africa to work on the plantations and the big farms in the south. Generations of African- Americans were born in slavery and died as slaves and despite Abraham Lincoln fighting the American Civil War and winning it with slavery being one of the issues the bias against the black man has not gone. I am afraid the church condoned it.
In my visits to America, I have observed that areas, where the blacks are in preponderance, the crime rate for heinous crimes like murder, assault, robbery, and rape, are much more than the national average. I have been thinking about it and I realize that perhaps the African -American has not been integrated into American society. Why he has not been integrated is not a difficult question to answer. I find Americans will easily accept an Indian in America but they will not give the same position to an African -American.
The African-American is thus having fewer job opportunities and the young man is likely to fall into the easiest way of earning money through crime by robbery, mugging, or assault.
That is perhaps the reason that the majority of the prisoners serving sentences in American jails are African- Americans though they constitute only about 15% of the population. Over the last hundred years, however, there has been one significant change, earlier when a black was done to death or something similar happened there were only passive protests. But now this has given way to violent protests as we have seen in Minnesota. The protestors are out on the streets and a police station has been burnt down.
I need not recounts the incident here but there have been tens of incidents where African- Americans have either been shot dead or arrested and then treated in a very inhuman manner. Even though there are a fair number of African -Americans in the police force.
To my mind what has happened is bad. There is discrimination against black men in the developed world but also in counties like Russia and China. But the violence with which the black man is dealt with in America is not there in other countries. The four police officers who have been indicted for the killing of the African-American should be punished but it will be a ripple in the pond. What is important is how can African Americans in America live with dignity and not killed with impunity.
I have already pointed out the discrimination against the black color in most places in the world. Sadly even the Chinese and Indians who are brown-skinned look down on the black Negro.
I think what America needs is Gandhi. For all his faults the man has given a new meaning to political agitations. He never believed in the gun and believed in satyagraha or mass movements without violence. Wonder if it can be successful in America. The Minneapolis case is not the last case and many more will come but somebody has to catch the bull by the horns. The white man himself has to be magnanimous and accept the black as an equal.
I have made my confession. I do feel that this color tag must go. But I am a small man and I am also guilty of some bias but I do hope that in the years to come all this will be a thing of the past but again I'm not too sure.