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The protests in the wake of the death of African American George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody is also in response to the “vicious legacy of white supremacy,” according to noted African American scholar and professor at the Harvard Divinity School Cornel West.
Protests, sometimes violent, have overtaken cities across the United States over the last week, since the 46-year-old Floyd died at the hands of four Minneapolis police officers, particularly the white Derek Chauvin. Chauvin kept his knee on Floyd’s neck for several minutes while Floyd was handcuffed. His arrest and death was witnessed by bystanders who recorded the events on video. Floyd’s last words were, “I can’t breathe.”
The protests have extended from Minneapolis, to Los Angeles and the gates of the White House in Washington DC.
“Well, I think what we are seeing here is the ways in which the vicious legacy of white supremacy manifest and organize hatred, greed, and corruption,” West said in an on-air interview with Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace. “If we are dealing with moral meltdown and spiritual breakdown and the sad thing about this moment, my dear brother, Chris, is that we are witnessing the collapse of the legitimacy of leadership. The political class, the economic class, the professional class.
“That’s the deeper crisis and so the beautiful thing is we are seeing citizens who are caring and concerned, they are hitting the streets,” West added. “You killed a black brother. We are seeing black, white, red, yellow, especially young people are coming together. That’s a bit of a thing. Many decades ago that wasn’t the case, but the problem is we have a system that’s not responding and seems to be unable to respond. That’s the problem, my brother.”
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