Americans are reflecting on what has changed in the year since Minneapolis police murdered George Floyd.
"His death was also a harsh reminder for millions of people of how police violence persists unabated, despite the supposed 'summer of racial reckoning' last year following Mr. Floyd's death. There are so many people who now question whether there was a true reckoning that, in certain circles, the term itself is used with half-joking disdain," Talmon Joseph Smith wrote for The New York Times.
"Consider how the thousands of large multiracial protests led to relatively modest changes compared to the lofty, paradigm shifting possibilities originally floated. Support for Black Lives Matter waxed only to wane months later. Confederate monuments were removed, but a new racialized Lost Cause took hold: the attempts to subvert the 2020 presidential election, which countless prominent Republicans falsely claim was stolen by a 'woke mob' cabal, their elected allies and a diverse electorate," he explained.
"All in all, it seems there was a racial reckoning — it was just disproportionately experienced by privileged Americans. Talk of social justice efforts and antiracism reached new levels of influence in the Zoom-layered corridors of the intelligentsia, corporate America and other upper-middle-class or elite-controlled institutions. Yet this reckoning often didn't have ambitions for systemic change as much as it concerned itself with matters like representation, diversity, promotion and renegotiating the terms of corporate social responsibility," he explained. "Less than a month after testimony began in the trial of Derek Chauvin for George Floyd's death, at least 64 other people were killed by American law enforcement, with Black and Latino people making up more than half of the dead."
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