THE callous manner in which George Floyd, a black American, was murdered by a white police officer in the US is so nauseating that it invokes sad memories of blacks being treated as chattel in America during the days of slave trade.
Floyd was pinned to the ground by the white police officer, who knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes.
Pleas that he was failing to breathe were ignored by both the assailant and his three accomplices until he died.
The whole act was filmed from beginning to the end.
Surely this was the height of distressing insensitivity.
And yet Floyd is not the first victim of white police brutality in the US as thousands of others have perished at the hands of the same perpetrators.
Some acts of racist brutality have even gone unnoticed.
US actor Will Smith couldn’t have put it more accurately when he recently said: “ Racism isn’t getting worse, it is getting filmed.”
We have already published a series of stories laying bare the deplorable way in which slaves were treated in North and South America.
This racial prejudice against blacks was imbedded in the minds of white Americans from that time.
That’s why, even today, the white Americans do not seem to value the lives of blacks, if the way Floyd was murdered is anything to go by.
If we go back in history, we witness how white ‘lynch mobs’ were racially motivated to murder blacks in a most gruesome fashion, mostly between 1880 and 1968.
These ‘lynch mobs’ carried out summary executions of blacks on trumped up charges outside the jurisdiction of courts.
Even then, white police officers usually turned a blind eye to these wanton extrajudicial killings of blacks.
All this was meant to terrorise blacks into submission as an inferior racial group.
It is unfortunate that because of the endemic racism in the US, blacks have limited access to better social amenities.
These include education and health.
That is why, because of inferior heath facilities, black Americans are said to have died from COVID-19 at nearly three times the rate of white Americans.
The published racial brutality by white police officers, on Floyd, provoked instant protest across the US, covering 75 cities.
As rampaging protestors closed in on the White House, President Donald Trump is said to have sought refuge in a wartime underground bunker.
What is baffling, however, are remarks by President Trump’s National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien picking out China, Russia and little Zimbabwe for stoking the US protests.
Because of institutionalised racism enjoyed by white Americans, it seems they believe American blacks are so docile that, on their own, they cannot react to any injustice.
And yet these ‘Black Lives Matter’ anti-racism demos were not limited to the US.
They soon spread to Europe, Britain, New Zealand, Australia, Brazil and various other parts of the globe.
Almost all newspapers, globally, attacked the US racist police brutality.
We are not sure whether Mr O’Brien noticed that there were no such sympathetic protests in Russia, China or little Zimbabwe.
The Floyd incident gives the US another chance to introspect about reasons for the current worldwide protests.
Racism, in any form, is anathema to the civilised world.