George Floyd Protests have Created a Multicultural Movement that’s Making HistoryBreaking News
tags: Police, multiculturalism, police brutality, Protest
The protests in the wake of the killing of Floyd — a 46-year-old black man who died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck while he was begging for air — have mobilized people from all races and walks of life who have not been previously been actively involved in racial justice issues. Many have been educating themselves online, signing petitions and attending protests where they often listen to speakers talk about the racism they face on a daily basis.
In this way, Floyd’s killing has created a wide, multicultural activist movement unprecedented in scope when compared with other notorious cases of police abuse. The 1991 videotaped beating of black motorist Rodney King by Los Angeles Police Department officers provoked an international outcry, but it did not spark anything close to this movement.
Instead of spurring city leaders to action after years of police abuse, the King case exposed political gridlock and ineffectiveness at City Hall that culminated with the 1992 riots.
The political and social ramifications of the Floyd protests are already becoming clear. Many cities are considering restrictions on the use of police force, and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has proposed cuts to the LAPD. It’s far from the sweeping defunding of the LAPD demanded by Black Lives Matter but still represents a political sea change.
Brenda Stevenson, a professor of history and African American studies at UCLA, said that activists recognized that the support of diverse coalitions was critical to success, pointing to the civil rights movement as an example.
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