US President Joe Biden acknowledged that African Americans in the United States were “at a dire disadvantage.” According to him, in some areas of life, they are faced with manifestations of systemic racism. However, from the point of view of the head of the White House, the guilty verdict issued earlier in the case of the death of a black American George Floyd due to the actions of a policeman will contribute to solving this problem. However, experts considered Biden’s plans “too optimistic”. According to analysts, the 46th President of the United States, promising to overcome racism, is engaged in “political marketing” because the divisions in American society are too great.
African Americans in the United States are now at a very “disadvantage”. This was stated by US President Joe Biden in an interview with NBC in response to a question whether America is a racist country.
“No, I don’t think Americans are racist. But I think that after 400 years, African Americans are at an extremely disadvantageous position in terms of education, health care, opportunities, ”said the American leader.
In addition, he acknowledged that examples of systemic racism can be seen in criminal justice, economics and a number of other areas of life in the United States.
“I don’t think America is racist, but I think that remnants of segregation laws and pre-existing slavery have left their mark, and today we have to deal with it,” Biden said.
The head of the White House also touched on this hot topic for the United States during his speech to supporters in the state of Georgia, noting that the guilty verdict in the case of the death of African American George Floyd at the hands of a police officer provides “an opportunity to make tangible progress in restoring the soul” of the United States …
“We can do this. We can do smart police reform. We can root out systemic racism in our criminal justice system, ”says Biden.
We will remind, last week the ex-policeman from Minneapolis Derek Chauvin was found guilty of the murder of African American George Floyd. The former law enforcement officer faces up to 40 years in prison.
Subsequently, on April 28, Biden called on Congress “next month” to pass the George Floyd Police Reform Act, which had already received House approval.
- Meeting of the United States Congress
- © Melina Mara / Pool
Last week, Biden also pledged to “come to grips” with issues of systemic racism and racial inequality, which he said were “present in law enforcement” and in the American criminal justice system. At the same time, not only local law enforcement officers and state governors should “step up their efforts”, but also the federal government, the president said.
We will remind, in the spring of last year, a wave of mass protests swept across the United States after the death of 46-year-old African American George Floyd as a result of police actions during his arrest.
Floyd, who was pinned to the ground by law enforcement officers, pressing on the neck area, repeatedly complained of lack of air, and then fainted. He was hospitalized but later died in hospital. The detention process was captured on video. These shots caused a wide resonance in American society, which grew first into mass demonstrations, and then into riots that engulfed the entire country.
Against this backdrop, in June 2020, a US police reform bill was presented by a group of congressmen. As the Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi explained, this initiative assumes that the level of accountability for abuses by law enforcement officers will be increased, and control over police officers will be strengthened.
However, neither this, nor the resignation of the police officers involved in the arrest and death of Floyd, did not stop the protests. Even after Floyd’s conviction and Biden’s promises to defeat racism in the country, unrest continued over racially motivated police violence.
For example, last week protests engulfed Portland (Oregon). Law enforcement officers had to arrest some of the demonstrators and declare an emergency regime. In New York, because of the demonstrations, the police decided to block off part of the Manhattan Bridge.
It is worth noting that a surge in unrest in the United States is observed after almost every incident involving the use of violence by law enforcement officers. So, shortly before the jury sentenced in the Floyd case, a Columbus policeman shot and killed 16-year-old African-American Macay Bryant. After that, the protesters gathered at the police building, and the mayor of the city called the incident a terrible situation and promised to find out the circumstances of this incident.
- Police during a protest in Portland
- © Nathan Howard / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA
Prior to that, in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, protesters took to the streets after the murder of African American Dante Wright by a police officer who confused an electroshock device with a firearm. The woman was charged and faces up to ten years in prison. Protesters attacked law enforcement officers and organized pogroms, trying to tear down fences and throwing bottles and bricks at the guards. Police used noise grenades and gas to disperse crowds and arrested more than 60 people.
“They know how to hide problems”
Commenting on Biden’s intentions to eradicate systemic racism in the United States, taking into account the current realities, political analysts note that the head of the White House is “overly optimistic.”
“The American political elite has it that every decision is epoch-making, every event is extremely significant. In this case, these are just another loud words of the 46th President of the United States, a kind of political marketing, “said Vladimir Bruter, an expert at the International Institute for Humanitarian and Political Research, in an interview with RT.
Moreover, the analyst is sure that the conviction of the ex-policeman Chauvin “does not remove the problem of racism,” but only exacerbates it.
“Serious mistrust persists between various groups in the United States. It will not disappear anywhere after this verdict, but, on the contrary, will only deepen. However, the American authorities are good at hiding problems, which are then sharply exposed and lead to such dire consequences, ”the expert explained.
Vladimir Vasiliev, Chief Researcher at the Institute of the USA and Canada of the Russian Academy of Sciences, adheres to a similar position. In an interview with RT, he called the trial of former law enforcement officer Chauvin “political and ordered.”
“It is obvious that the American authorities put pressure on the court. Biden just wants to take advantage of this high-profile case now to calm the public, appealing to the honesty of American justice, which in reality is very conditional, “says Vasiliev.
At the same time, Vladimir Bruter argues that the United States will not be able to solve the racial problem in the foreseeable future, since this will require a reorganization of the entire society.
“Racism in one form or another is inherent in a large part of the white population in the United States, and the police are in the majority. In the minds of law enforcement officers, African Americans are always a source of increased danger, more crimes and uncontrolled behavior, especially when it comes to the so-called black neighborhoods, the analyst explained.
As Vladimir Vasiliev notes, if earlier in the USA the principle of “the policeman is always right” was a tradition, now this alignment is changing.
“Democrats are ready to make serious changes in the activities of law enforcement agencies and transfer more powers to local authorities. We can talk about changing or even completely eliminating the police in its current form, ”the expert predicted.
In addition, the Democrats will seek to increase the proportion of African Americans and members of other ethnic minorities in the police, Vasilyev said.
“The scheme is designed for the fact that this contingent will not so much follow the law as establish order, depending on political expediency,” the analyst said.
According to him, if the Democrats are able to implement their initiatives, then possible changes “will lead to a sharp degradation” of the contingent of the police force that now exists in the United States.
“As a result of the police reforms announced by the Democratic Party and, in particular, Biden, protests will be even more difficult to deal with. As a result, all these innovations can only lead to the fact that the American society will plunge into even greater chaos from the point of view of ensuring law and order, ”the expert summed up.