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article imageOp-Ed: World is shocked — but not surprised by racial unrest in U.S.

By Karen Graham     May 31, 2020 in World
Nations around the world have watched in horror at the five days of violent civil unrest in the United States following the death of George Floyd while in police custody. But they have not been surprised.
For the first time in months, the coronavirus pandemic was not the big story worldwide, as violent protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis after a white police officer pressed a knee into his neck on May 25.
The death of Mr. Floyd is not unique in America - as he is another number in a long series of deaths of black men and women at the hands of police in America, and it has been going on for a very long time.
It is a mark of shame for the United States that our closest allies around the world are no longer startled by these racial-tinged events, according to the Associated Press, but they are watching with growing concern.
Burning police vehicles and buildings, many of them minority-owned businesses, thousands of rioters overwhelming police lines and causing injuries and even deaths were featured on the front pages of newspapers around the world, sparking comments from world leaders, condemning the killing of Floyd.
On the African continent, many U.S. embassies took the unusual step of issuing critical statements, saying no one is above the law, reports Time.com. The move came as the head of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, condemned the “murder” of Floyd and said Friday the continental body rejects the “continuing discriminatory practices against black citizens of the USA.”
Protests around the world
In London, thousands of protesters gathered to offer support for the American protesters, chanting “No justice! No peace!” and waving placards with the words “How many more?” at Trafalgar Square - ignoring rules that banned large crowds from gathering because of the pandemic. But the police didn't stop the demonstration.
On Saturday night, the U.S. Embassy in Berlin was the scene of protests under the motto: “Justice for George Floyd.” The crowds were larger than expected but police made no arrests. Germany's Bild newspaper on Sunday carried the sensational headline “This killer-cop set America ablaze” with an arrow pointing to a photo of now-fired police officer Derek Chauvin.
In Italy, the Corriere della Sera newspaper’s senior U.S. correspondent Massimo Gaggi wrote that the reaction to the killing of George Floyd was different, somehow. “There are exasperated black movements that no longer preach nonviolent resistance,” Gaggi wrote, noting the Minnesota governor’s warning that “anarchist and white supremacy groups are trying to fuel the chaos.″
Even Russia appeared to be shocked, according to NBC News. “This incident is far from the first in a series of lawless conduct and unjustified violence from U.S. law enforcement,’’ the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. “American police commit such high-profile crimes all too often.’’
For the last five or six nights, I have watched as cities across this country, including Richmond, Virginia, where I live, were torched. And I can tell you this, I understand the frustration and anger of all Black Americans today. The United States has a long and sickening history of racism, dating back to the very first slaves that were brought to Virginia's shores in the 1600s.
And it is more than just a black man being killed by police. It is the white woman who calls the police because she sees a black teenager walking down her street or a white man who tells a black child he doesn't belong in his neighborhood. I am disgusted and shamed by the way Black Americans are treated in this country, and it really must stop.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
More about george floyd, death in police custody, violent protests, US cities under curfew, world reaction
 
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