Four weeks ago, a video surfaced of a Minneapolis police officer holding his knee on George Floyd’s neck. Floyd died. Minnesota and the country of a erupted in violence and civil unrest.
Fifty- years ago, Americans weary of a long conflict in Vietnam cried out for peace foreign places and civil rights at home. Demonstrators clashed with police. Martin Luther King Jr. And Bobby Kennedy had been assassinated.
1968 become a presidential election year. 2020 is a presidential election year.
“The reckoning is coming,” said Nkechi Taifa, a human rights lawyer and founder The Justice Roundtable.
“What we’re having proper now’s a discussion that was way too long in coming,” said Professor Mark Osler, a former federal prosecutor who teaches criminal law at The University of St. Thomas.
Osler and Taifa have worked separately and together to dispose(Eliminate) racial disparities in federal sentencing guidelines and to confront injustice in society.
Are we headed towards some other 1968?
“I hope not,” stated Osler.
“Actually, I suppose we’re going to be going further than that,” said Taifa.
“That’s what I hope,” added Osler. “I wish that it’s better than 1968.”
Osler and Taifa agree we find ourselves in a situation where history could repeat itself. In 1968 people took action.
Taifa hopes that is the start of the end of systemic racism. “Yeah, that there are some actual answers that happen as opposed to paper solutions. And that this country actually reckons with its racist, genocidal, sorted past. And that will only if we make it manifest. And that’s what’s happening within the streets right now today.”
Why has George Floyd’s death sparked an rebellion in Minnesota and across the country?
“So I would say that the killing or I could say murder, of George Floyd was like the tip of the iceberg,” stated Taifa. “It wasn’t simply George Floyd as to why everybody is out there in the streets. It is pent up frustrations. People are just crying out for justice. There’s been no justice time after time and I think that this just happened to be the last straw.”
“Right now, I think what people are saying is discusion is not enough,” stated Osler. “We have to pass on and do things. We need to change structures, we ought to bring racism to the surface and we ought to address systemic racism that extends beyond anyone incident.”
Taifa believes the alternate that didn’t occur in 1968 is coming now. And the timing has a lot to do with why the civil unrest has taken off.
“We’re in the middle of a health pandemic and now we’re are in the middle of a policing pandemic on top of the health pandemic,” she stated. “And people are literally risking their lives to express their outrage at what is going on. It’s like pandemic on top of pandemic on top of pandemic and I think people are simply saying they’re no longer going to take this anymore.”
“1968? Yeah, it was right to diversity such things as police forces,” said Osler. “This time around, we need to dig loads deeper.”