And may unhappily continue to repeat itselfJun 1st 2020WASHINGTON, DCTHE PRESIDENT who promised in his inaugural address that “this American carnage
THE PRESIDENT who promised in his inaugural address that “this American carnage stops right here and stops right now” found himself, three years later, being escorted to a bunker in the White House as protests raged outside. At one point, the lights of the presidential residence went dark; intermittent illumination came instead from the fires set on nearby streets. What began as an expression of outrage when George Floyd, an African-American man suspected of buying cigarettes with a fake $20 bill, died on May 25th, after Derek Chauvin, a Minneapolis policeman, knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes, has exploded into seething protests nationwide. Twenty-three states have called in the National Guard to quell unrest; 4,000 people were arrested over the weekend; shops from Santa Monica to Manhattan have been looted.
Protests over racial injustice are a recurring feature of modern American life. Their history can render meaning to a protest movement that has spread across America within a week and that has not been pacified by the charging of Mr Chauvin with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Why have the protests continued, and been mirrored in cities nationwide?
In scope, size and scale of disruption, the past week’s protests over police killings most resemble those in 1968 after the…