It’s a month today since 46-year-old George Floyd was choked to death by a white policeman in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The optics of his gruesome murder by the white-supremacist and utmost fascist American state machinery and his last audible words –– “I can’t breathe” –– epitomised the real condition of the African-American community in the US. Floyd’s murder is an institutional killing. Floyd was killed by the imperialist white-supremacist and fascist American state because of its bigotry. That’s the reason Floyd’s institutional murder triggered global outrage. The “Black Lives Matter” campaign got a new lease of life as it blistered epidemically at a time the entire world was cocooned fearing the COVID-19 pandemic. Defying all COVID-19 norms and all bullying, the African-Americans came out along with people of colour, the democratic and progressive people and the anti-fascist left, demanding justice, equality and freedom. It fuelled a large-scale mass movement against the exploitative capitalist system ruled by white-supremacist fascist Donald Trump.
The optics of Trump hiding in his bunker as protesters rampaged near the White House, the trembling of the US administration like a panic-stuck entity, shuddering at the slightest movement of the leaves –– as late Chinese communist leader Mao Zedong once said –– proved that this imperialist tiger is a “paper tiger” in reality, which is scared of the people and not vice-versa. The heroic movement that Floyd’s institutional murder unleashed, also brought out some of the important and often sub-layered facts. Analysing the true character of capitalism’s revered heroes became one of the principal tasks of the movement. For centuries, the British and American ruling classes have been portraying their chosen white men as messiahs. Similarly, from countries like India, they picked people like MK Gandhi to transmit the message of class pacifism and collaboration between the ruled and the rulers. The historic movement in the US over Floyd’s institutional murder, evoked deep hatred of the masses against these men of history, eulogised by the institutions after concealing their racist views and collaboration with the notorious colonisers.
Along with the toppling of statues of slave-system apologists like Winston Churchill or vandalising the statues and monuments of others like Gandhi or George Washington, the Black Lives Matter campaign also brought out a new lease of the left-wing anti-fascist movement in the US and the UK, along with France. The majority of the working masses have been supportive of this new movement. The threats issued by Trump or warnings from his lackey, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, failed to dissuade the people, exposing the utmost failure of the capitalist system in scaring-off the people. Floyd’s institutional murder not only brought the Trump administration in the US or the British government’s racist outlook under the radar of intense questioning, but it also opened a new dimension in the US and British politics, free from the two major camps of the ruling classes represented by the Democrats and Republicans in the US, and by the Labour Party and the Tories in the UK. The Black Lives Matter also questions the role of the police and prisons in modern times and demanded de-funding the police due to rampant racism and institutional injustice embedded in the state’s architecture.
Floyd was killed because he was a black man and the police thought he is expendable. It wasn’t the racist outlook of the violent policeman who choked Floyd to death, ignoring his pleading –– “I can’t breathe”, rather, it was the racist outlook of the American state that has considered the African-American community a substandard people, who are dispensable. Floyd’s institutional murder by the white-supremacist American state enraged the black community and the people of colour as they could relate to the ordeal the man went through in his last few minutes. The helplessness of Floyd under the knees of a white American, his pleading and repeated screams for breath epitomised the real condition of the African-American people and thus, it triggered the people who have been waiting since years to explode.
Even after a month, Floyd’s institutional murder continues to enrage people daily and they are coming out on the streets, braving all threats, to show their solidarity towards the victims of injustice, as well as to demand a dignified and free life. The Black Lives Matter movement has terrorised the ruling classes, it has shown that the power of the oppressed can redefine the world if it unleashes its fury against the existing exploitative system and ruling classes. The need of the hour is to have the working class’s struggle against capitalism globally, the movement of the oppressed people of colonies and semi-colonies of the US and the western imperialist block led by it, and the people’s movements for justice and equality like the Black Lives Matter, join hands and form a true iron bastion for the ilk of Trump and his racist, imperialist block. Until the Black Lives Matter movement is made a part of the global caravan against capitalism, it won’t achieve its goals and justice won’t be done to numerous Floyds. Unity and solidarity are needed at this hour, globally.