A surprise, these riots?

Une surprise, ces émeutes?

You could certainly see it coming the storm that is sweeping over the United States. The racism, economic inequalities, injustices accentuated by the pandemic : nothing new or sensational.

The planets were simply aligned for a ” perfect strom “.

Let’s start with the end, the outrage inspired by the arrest of George Floyd. The brute force used by the police officer Derek Chauvin ; his gaze indifferent to the passers-by outraged ; the helplessness, the suffering, and the death of George Floyd. There is no need to sink below 400 years of injustice to be revolted by these images.

That said, these centuries of injustice continue to assist the daily lives of African-americans much more than the population of white consciousness. Be it employment or access to property, to health care or a quality education, the inequalities are repeated from year to year. This is what they say to Blacks when they say, at 84 %, that the legacy of slavery continues to affect the position of their community in american society.


The pandemic, like a slap in the face, came to amplify this reality. According to a study by the Washington Post, the counties are majority black in the United States have recorded an infection rate three times higher and a mortality rate nearly six times higher than counties with majority white. A major cause : the health status of African-americans suffer more from hypertension, diabetes, heart and lung disease, all claims companions of the Covid-19.

The world of employment is a double-edged knife on which the black community is hurt… twice. Persistently, from one decade to the other, the unemployment rate for African americans is double the national average. In 2019, for example, this rate was 3.1 % among Whites, compared with 6.7 % among Blacks.

The coronavirus has only added to the evil. On the plan for health care, more Blacks have been contaminated, because they occupy more jobs that are considered “essential” – orderlies, bus drivers, security guards – do not allow telecommuting from home.


There is already havoc on the economic plan that will last well beyond the pandemic. Sixteen percent of Black workers (in contrast to 11 % among Whites) have lost their jobs because of the crisis. More disturbing still, 45 % of the owners, blacks and latinos of small firms expect to close their doors within six months.

Also, this poll from the Global Strategy Group, we learned that 51 % of these small business owners have sought assistance from the federal program for less than… $ 20 000. Peanuts ! Only 12 % say they have received the full amount requested.

Take generations of inequality, add a virus that affects your community – both in the lives of the jobs lost – and look around you – the residential segregation, urban neighbourhoods in overcrowded conditions, the increasing scarcity of grocery stores and hospitals – and eventually you’ll probably, you also feel this ras-le-bol which has come to explode this week across the United States.

Minneapolis, Saint Paul, in the heart of the storm


  • 8.7% of the population / 12.7% to the size of the United States

Median family income

  • Black 38 200 $
  • White 85 400 $

Family wealth median

  • White 171 000 $
  • Latinos 20 700 $
  • Black 17 600 $

(Source : Brookings Institution Metro Monitor, 2020)

Looks remote on the progress in race relations

Race relations are rather bad.

  • White 58 %
  • Black 71 %

The United States had not done enough for equal rights.

  • White 37 %
  • Black 78 %

The legacy of slavery affects the place of Blacks in american society.

  • White 58 %
  • Black 84 %

The president, Trump has worsened race relations.

  • White 49 %
  • Black 73 %

Unlikely that Black will eventually have equal rights.

  • White, 7 %
  • Black 50 %

(Source : Pew Research Center, January – February 2019)

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