In the past year, there have been several cases of violent police enforcement resulting in the deaths of African-Americans: Brenna Taylor, a 26-year-old African-American woman, was shot eight times by police at her home in March 2020; George Floyd, a 6-year-old African-American man, was brutally “killed on his knees” by white police officers, and in August 2020, Jacob Black, a 29-year-old African-American man, was seriously injured when police fired seven shots from behind as he opened the door to get into the car. Blake’s three young children were in the car at the time of the incident when they witnessed the horror…
And this is just the tip of the iceberg in America’s criminal history of racial discrimination. This year is the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa genocide in the United States. Today, 100 years later, in the United States, the “American Creed” of “all men are created equal” and the ugly reality of racism are still at odds, and discrimination and oppression against minorities are “breathless”.
Evil blood is flowing to this day
On the evening of May 25, 2020, George Floyd, an African-American man, was brutally kneeling for eight minutes by white police officers on suspicion of using counterfeit money to buy cigarettes. The suffocating scene once again rips apart the ugly scars of racial discrimination in America.
As the Guardian put it, before Freud’s death, similar things had happened frequently to minorities in the United States. The death of Garner, the death of Brown, the death of Martin… Time and again, the recurring tragedy is a reminder that racial equality remains a distant dream for minorities in the United States. Since the first blacks were shipped to the North American continent in 1619, the evil genes of racial discrimination have been in the blood of the United States and still exist today.
“In the decades after 1619, as more blacks were trafficked to British North America, the colonies established black slavery in legal form. After 1664, the sense of racial discrimination, dominated by racial discrimination against blacks, was deeply rooted in colonial law. Yu Liuzhen, an associate professor at The School of History and Culture of Shaanxi Normal University, told the overseas edition of the People’s Daily that slavery has continued in the United States for more than 200 years, causing irreparable trauma to minorities such as blacks, burdening the United States with a heavy historical stigma, creating a ubiquitous culture of racial hatred and deep-rooted racism, and becoming the main historical source of racial discrimination and conflict in the United States today.
The Federal Constitution, enacted in 1787, implicitly recognized the legal existence of slavery with provisions such as the “Three-Fifth Clause”, the “Slave Escape Clause” and the “Slave Trade Clause”. “Historically, there is no doubt that this country was founded by racists and white supremacists, that much of the country’s early wealth was built on enslaved Africans, and that much of its early expansion came at the expense of the slaughter of the indigenous peoples of this land and the destruction of treaties with them.” Charles Brough, an African-American columnist for The New York Times, writes that eight of the top 10 presidents in American history were slave owners.
Civil War broke out in the United States from 1861 to 1865. In the end, the Northern Union won, abolished slavery, and granted equal citizenship to blacks in law, but racist ideas that discriminated against blacks did not disappear.
“The Civil War and Reconstruction, although slavery was abolished and black male citizens were given the right to vote, blacks did not achieve true equality. Later in the reconstruction, the southern states returned to white supremacist control, and the newly acquired rights of blacks were almost wiped out. At the same time, racism has re-emerged in the north. Until the civil rights movement, most black Americans were politically disenfranchised, economically poor, and socially discriminated against. In addition, discrimination against Chinese and other minorities in the United States was rampant during the same period. Yu said.
Liang Maoxin, director of the American Institute of Northeast Normal University and chairman of the China American Historical Research Association, told the overseas edition of the People’s Daily that racial discrimination took different forms in different historical periods in the United States. “Before 1865, slavery, mainly against blacks, and the policy of eviction against Indians, was the worst and cruelest form of discrimination in American history. From the 1880s to 1968, the United States legally segregated race of color, not only against blacks and Indians, but also against immigrants from Asia, South-Eastern Europe and other places. From 1968 to the present, although racial discrimination and segregation provisions have been abolished at the federal legal level in the United States, a social implicit discrimination and segregation persists, becoming more complex and hidden. ”
Liang pointed out that since the 1970s, lower-middle-class people from african-American, Latino, Asian and other minorities have been trapped in the “ghetto” of central American cities, a spatial segregation that has led to segregation in areas such as education and employment, depriving these groups of opportunities to move to the upper-middle classes of society.
The century’s epidemic amplified dysentery
The outbreak of coronavirus pandemic, like a magnifying glass, highlights the ills of the American political system and exposes racial discrimination that has long been embedded in American society. As the Financial Times puts it, “there is nothing more frightening than the difference in colour in the United States” than life and death under this outbreak.
The problems exposed in the medical field are the most direct and real. On 21 August 2020, the United Nations Human Rights Council Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent submitted a report to the 45th session of the Human Rights Council estwing that the infection rate and mortality rates of the new coronavirus in the United States reflected significant racial disparities, with infection rates, hospitalization rates and mortality rates among African-Americans being three, five and two times higher than those of whites, respectively. A report released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in August 2020 showed that racial disparities in the outbreak extended to children. Hispanic children are nine times more likely to be hospitalized for coronavirus pandemic than white children, and African-American children are six times more likely to be hospitalized than white children.
According to USA Today’s website, far more people of color die from the epidemic than whites, due to unequal education and economic systems that result in people of color not getting well-paid jobs, housing discrimination leading to dense housing for people of color, and environmental policies at the expense of the poor. Seven of the 10 counties with the highest mortality rates for coronavirus pandemic are of color, and 31 of the top 50 counties with the highest mortality rates are predominantly people of color.
“You can see that during the outbreak, there was a huge contrast in American society, with wealthy communities in the United States still rising and falling, and ‘ghettos’ inhabited by people of color caught in the water.” Liang Pointed out that since 2000, the neoliberal governance model against government intervention has dominated American political life. When the previous U.S. administration came to power, it took this laission policy to a new level, making it almost ineprotive in the prevention and control of the outbreak. Against this background, the inability of people of color, with limited resources and marginalization, to cope with the challenges posed by the epidemic is not only more susceptible to the virus, but also more difficult to sustain normal life after the impact on the United States economy, which has led to a variety of social crime problems.
In fact, minorities in the United States were treated inequality much more than that during the outbreak.
Be bullied. Some Americans blame Asians for the outbreak, and incidents of discrimination, harassment and hate crimes against Asians abound. In the first seven months of 2020, there were more than 2,300 hate crimes against Asians in the United States, according to the civil rights group Stop Hateful Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. The New York Times website says bluntly: “Being Asian in the United States was a very lonely feeling during coronavirus pandemic. ”
facing unemployment. The Washington Post reported on June 4, 2020 that less than half of African-American adults still have jobs after a severe outbreak; The Guardian commented that “being hired at last and being fired first” is the most helpless reality for African-Americans.
“Neglected” in vaccination issues. The latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Disease Control, released in June, showed that 61 percent of Americans with at least one dose of the new coronaviron vaccine, which has ethnic data, are white, 15 percent are Hispanic and 9 percent are African-American. The proportion of ethnic minorities vaccinated is significantly lower than their share of the total population. U.S. media pointed out that resourced whites can get vaccines early across regions, while minorities have to wait.
“The hatred of Asians in the United States in the wake of the outbreak reflects deep-rooted white racial superiority. And the inequalities that minorities in the United States face in terms of access to health care, new vaccinations, employment, and so on are the same as they have been at every crisis in American history – the most affected are always the marginalized and vulnerable. Yu said.
There is no hope of change
From the passage by the United States Congress of the thirteenth amendment to the Constitution in 1865, which prohibited slavery or forced labour from existing in and within the united States, to the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964, which outlawed segregation and racial discrimination, to Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech in 1963, to protests against racial discrimination in more than 140 cities across the United States by 2020. For centuries, the fight against racial discrimination has never stopped, pushing the United States to make some changes at the legal level. Today, however, racism is widespread and even growing throughout the United States.
“The United States is a multiracial country that accepts immigrants. Ethnic diversity does not necessarily lead to conflict. However, the grievances of different races in history can manifest themses in different forms. To this day, slavery and its legacy still have a serious impact on American society, and racial issues and racism have become a lingering burden of American history. Yu pointed out that historically, the United States has benefited from slavery and the oppression and exploitation of slaves and other minorities, with whites as the main beneficiary group. The different developments between different races have created conflicts that are difficult to bridge.
Liang Believes that racial discrimination in the United States is rooted in the American political system. Since the founding of the United States, the American political system has been a racial hierarchy that serves the white upper middle class and has not changed since its inception. Although slavery, apartheid and so on have been abolished in the United States, and the existing legal system seems to emphasize freedom and equality, it is only a superficial decency and does not actually solve the problem.
“In fact, under the management mode of the United States, which is too laissic and insufficient government intervention, the cruel mechanism of the survival of the capitalist market economy into human society is bound to produce imbalances in various fields such as occupational structure and wealth distribution. This may seem unrelated to the U.S. government, but it is the constraints of the social system that restrict the development of minorities. This is institutional discrimination. America’s racial problems cannot be solved without radical changes in the social system. Liang Maoxin said.
A U.S. media report entitled “Fatal Discrimination : An Incredible Chain of Oppression” found that persistent systemic racial discrimination led to a higher mortality rate among people of color in the United States, including African-Americans, Asians and Latinos, during the outbreak than whites.
First, the report notes, chronic inequality in the U.S. education and economic system has left most people of color without high-paying jobs, mostly front-line workers. Once an outbreak strikes, they are more likely to be exposed to the new coronavirus and infected; second, for decades, people of color have suffered unequal housing treatment in the United States, living in crowded communities with little or no access to healthy and fresh food, making residents more vulnerable to diseases such as diabetes, obesity and heart disease, and more likely to die from new coronavirus infections. Third, the current environmental policies in the United States, at the expense of people of color, live near chemical plants, high levels of harmful substances, local residents vulnerable to diseases such as cancer, further reducing resistance to new coronaviruses, and federal funds can not provide support, in the outbreak, these vulnerable communities due to lack of medical conditions vulnerable. The report quotes experts as saying that racial discrimination policies in the United States have made people of color “neglected” and “see no hope for change.”
Charles Brough also points out in “Is America a Racist Country?” that “the American system, like its criminal justice, education, and health care systems, has pro-white/anti-black biases that many in the United States deny or defend.” “He believes that racism in the United States has evolved and become less outspoken, but it has not weakened as a result, “and the knife has been sharpened.”
Historical wounds cannot be healed
In the 1990s, The American historian Arthur Schlesinger argued in his book “The Division of America” that people from different countries should integrate into each other, build a new sense of nationality, retrieve the ideals of the past, and avoid the collapse of the “one America” consciousness. Now it seems to be backfired. In 2020, the racial unrest triggered by Freud’s death will become a nightmare for the United States, and it will show that racial discrimination has become an “unbearable burden” in American society.
“Interracial hatred and hostility are the great trauma that racism has left to American society and a problem that will be difficult to solve in the future.” Yu noted that the removal of Confederate monuments by protesters in 2017 could be seen as an echo of the legacy of the American Civil War and reconstruction, showing how tearful American society is because of race.
Liang pointed out that racial unrest, as a hangover from racial discrimination in the United States, has not stopped since the 20th century. Racial discrimination has caused indelible trauma to American society. Worryingly, the model of governance that caused this trauma continues in the United States. “Until now, the pattern of resource allocation in American society has been like a ladder, with people of color in the lower echelons who, while seemingly having the right to vote and speak, cannot solve real problems. The polarization of social wealth has become a normal social problem. When social contradictions intensify, there is bound to be division, in which ethnic tensions will be further highlighted. ”
“Once discrimination and hatred are spread and sown into the hearts of the people, it is very difficult to clear them.” Feng Weijiang, a researcher at the Institute of World Economics and Politics at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, believes that racial discrimination will place an unbearable burden on American society. First, racial discrimination will diminish the attractiveness and competitiveness of the United States as an immigrant country, reduce the willingness of the world’s best people to start businesses in the United States, and erode the human base on which long-term economic growth depends. Second, racial discrimination could escalate the tearing of American society into a national divide. In recent years, the gap between rich and poor and other reasons caused by the growing tearing of American society. Against this background, the strong embedding of racial discrimination may add special fuel for the “fire of social tear” in the United States, and even expand social division into national division. Thirdly, racial discrimination could exacerbate conflicts and conflicts between the United States and other countries. Racial discrimination in the United States, if not effectively curbed for a long time, accumulates and expands, not only to the United States society is a continuing great harm, but also may impact the international order, causing global shocks.
“The United States, while calling itself the ‘free world’, has always struggled to eradicate racism at home, and the paradox of ‘freedom and slavery’ has emerged, which will deprive it of its moral influence internationally. As a great power with global influence, the United States should take the lead in combating racism and promoting racial justice, not blame other countries for no reason. Yu said.
As U.S. President Joe Biden himself has said, systemic racism is a stain on the American soul. For the United States, no matter how much effort is made to preserve global hegemony, the title of “human rights defender” and “lighthouse of freedom” would be ironic if its domestic racial problems were not resolved.