Systemic racist violence rooted in US legacy of slavery: Analyst

Tuesday, 13 April 2021

The surge in violence against people of color in the US is a systemic problem rooted in the legacy of slavery and legalized segregation in the country, a US-based journalist and political analyst said.

In an interview with Press TV, Dr. Abayomi Azikwe held that the police practices employed in the US today have their origins in the slave patrols of the 19th century that were designed to keep incarcerated Africans under the control of white landowners, merchants and officials.

“The holding of the (Derek Chauvin) trial in Minneapolis has inflamed tensions among African Americans and other anti-racists along with creating a social backlash by the right-wing and the police forces,” he said, referring to the ongoing trial of the former US police officer in the murder of George Flyod.

The high-profile televised trial entered its third week Monday, barely hours after a young Black man was shot dead by a police officer in a Minneapolis suburb, triggering spontaneous protests.

Dr. Azikwe, who is the editor of Pan-African News Wire, said the evidence against Chauvin is “overwhelming”, but it remains to be seen if he is convicted on the second and third degree murder charges as well as manslaughter.

“Even if Chauvin is found guilty by the jury, it will not transform the racist character of policing in the US,” he asserted, calling for “drastic reforms” and “reconstruction of a public safety apparatus” that is committed to “protecting the communities they patrol rather than terrorizing them”.

Commenting on largescale protests that broke out in Brooklyn Center, a bustling suburb north of Minneapolis, after a 20-year-old Black man Daunte Wright was shot dead by cops at a traffic stop on Sunday, he said these “social dynamics will continue to unfold in 2021….”

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
George Floyd’s killing by white police officer Derek Chauvin has resonated strongly with the Black community in the US. (Photo by Reuters)

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