The purpose of Global Politics is for us students to learn ways in which we can clearer and more reliably evaluate political events and conflict taking place all over the world. This week our main objective was to deconstruct and analyze the current situation in the United States. To briefly summarize, the murder of George Floyd in the middle of the street in LA by a white police officer defined the beginning of protracted protests, and the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement all around the United States, and further afield.
As Global Politics students, we are obliged to analyze the situation from a more critical point of view, rather than making sweeping generalisations; jumping to conclusions. Furthermore, we aimed to deconstruct this protracted social conflict (a conflict situation characterized by the prolonged and often violent struggle by communal groups for basic needs such as security, acceptance, far access to political institutions etc.) by looking into the history of the US, and delve into fundamental evidence that helps us to come to informed, valuable conclusions.
Through our research and engaging discussions, we realised the deep rooted, institutionalized racism that has been perpetrated on a national level in the United States, as well as on a global level. Moreover, we looked at a number of statistics, such as the percentage of black people in each state, comparing it to the percentage of police brutality against black people, and looking at the disproportionality rates. We wanted to familiarize ourselves more with the nature of the individual cases, so each student chose a tragic case in which an unarmed coloured person was cold- bloodedly murdered by a police officer. The numbers and cases of unarmed deaths of African-American individuals was truly shocking.
Some of the cases we investigated included Breonna Taylor, Dominique Clayton and Antwon Rose, which are briefly articulated below:
Breonna Taylors- On March 13, 2020, Breonna Taylor, a 26 years old African-America was fatally shot 8 times by the police in her home after the Louisville police force executed a “no-knock search warrant”, due to a drug investigation close to Ms. Taylor’s house.
Dominique Clayton- On May 19, 2020, Dominique Clayton, an African-American woman was killed in her home in Mississippi. She was shot in the back of the head by a white police Officer, named Matthew Kinne, while she slept and was found later that night by her youngest of four children.
Antwon Rose- On June 19th, 2018, Antwon Rose was shot by an East Pittsburgh police officer after being pulled over on the street. The 17 year old African American was unarmed at the time of the shooting and was suspected to carry drugs on him.
By being more familiar with specific cases and factual evidence, a number of discussions and fundamental questions arise, including: to what extent can we condemn the United States to perpetrate structural racism? How can we, as UNIS Hanoi students, support this fight for equality in the United States, and everywhere else? And what specific governmental decisions need to be taken in the United States, as well as other nation-states to eradicate structural racism?
While we might not be directly affected by the current situation in the United States, it is our responsibility to take action in our surroundings and offer support for the black community, particularly in the United States at the moment. Taking action might include informing and educating yourself and those around you of the situation, to donate money, sign petitions and generally spread awareness.
More information on the current situation in the United States can be found below: