White supremacy and racial prejudice remain persistent within American society
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White supremacy and racial prejudice remain persistent within American society

Thursday, 03 September 2020
This is an opinion article by an external contributor. The views belong to the writer.
Far right rally in the US.

In May of this year, George Perry Floyd, a 46-year-old African American man, was killed in Minneapolis, Minnesota, during an arrest for allegedly using a counterfeit bill.

Derek Michael Chauvin, a white police officer, knelt on Floyd’s neck for more than 8 minutes. Floyd lost consciousness during this time and was pronounced dead in the emergency room.

The incident triggered strong public protests all around the United States, including demonstrations, some which even escalated into riots and clashes with police.

The Floyd incident was like a fuse, which revealed deeper historical scars and unresolved issues from America’s colonial history and racial “white supremacy” problems.

Racial issues in the United States have often been intertwined with religious beliefs and extremist views which looked down on the African American population and minorities in the US.

In the US today, there are still many extreme-right white Americans who believe that they have a “mission of saving other races”. Minorities such as Muslims, Sikhs, Jews etc, are inevitably excluded and discriminated against.

Current President Trump has even brought American politics into this racial division. In the new era of “ism”, policies such as opposing immigration and building the US-Mexico border wall have become part of a “new normal”.

In the United States, white Christians account for 43% of the U.S. population. The Trump “white supremacy” concept is very much in line with the increased appetite for many white conservatives.

On the world stage, the President of the United States has also signed an executive order aimed at promoting international religious freedom and bringing international religious freedom into American diplomacy.

On the one hand, it claims to seize the initiative of religious freedom, while on the other hand, the administration effectively justifies the public’s attention to “white supremacy” which triggers conflicts between ethnic minorities.

Arguably, these actions have had the effect of killing two birds with one stone for the Trump administration. The domestic riots in the United States continue, all the while the pandemic remains in full force. Whether its internal issues of racism and prejudice, or geopolitical tensions and disengagement with Europe and China, all of these actions are cards on the table of the “presidential game”, but, as the general election approaches, Trump seems to have run out of time.