The statues don’t end up to fall, protesters to defy police: two months after the death of George Floyd, America remains shaken by the convulsions of a challenge to anti-racism that divides more and more the political class.
Even if the time of big steps is over, the night of Thursday to Friday has been marked by the removal of two statues of Christopher Columbus to Chicago and new clashes between the forces of the order and of the inhabitants of Portland.
About 100 days of the presidential election, these swings are the subject of readings diametrically opposed between the two camps engaged in the battle.
The déboulonnage statues? For the democrats, it is about taking the past racist of the United States by stopping the glorification of characters who played a role in the oppression of native americans or African Americans. President Donald Trump, who hopes to win a second term, by posing as a guarantor of “law and order”, denounces him of acts of “vandalism”.
The skirmishes in Portland? Among republicans, we are pleased to see federal agents engage in to restore order in the face of “anarchists”. In opposition, there is criticism of the use of excessive force by officers in military uniform whose presence would have radicalized the demonstrators.
The murder of George Floyd, a middle-aged black asphyxiated on 25 may in Minneapolis by a white policeman, had been convicted of with the same awe by the whole of the political class. And, while hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets to demand more justice, each camp had unsheathed his ideas to reform the police.
But very quickly, the president, Trump has neglected this issue and put the focus on the violence sometimes perpetrated in the margin of the processions. Surfing calls to redirect a portion of the budgets of the police to the social action, it now lags tirelessly his political opponents, and even his rival, the moderate Joe Biden of being “leftist radicals” eager to dismantle the forces of law and order.
An upsurge since the beginning of the month of July of the violence by firearms in several large cities in the hands of the democrats were fed his speeches, and justified the sending of reinforcements to federal as well in Portland than in Chicago, despite the opposition of local elected officials.
Similarly, his followers mix the two issues.
“We had this terrible event in Minneapolis, and one extreme reaction which has demonized the police and calls to cut its budgets. The significant increase in violent crime in many cities is a direct result of the weakening of the police forces”, assured on Wednesday his minister of Justice Bill Barr.
In “50 days of silence and a democrat in the face of calls to cut off funds to the police”, there were “600 murders in 6 cities democrats,” she said Friday, the association of attorneys general are republicans. The democrats control most of the major cities of the country.
For Thomas Abt, a specialist in urban violence within the reflection group, Council on criminal justice, the increase in homicides is linked to the pandemic of novel coronavirus which has been “put under pressure those most likely to commit violence”.
And if there is a link between these crimes and the demonstrations of anti-racist, “this is not for the reasons given by Donald Trump”, he told the information site progressive Mother Jones.
For him, the murder of George Floyd has first increased the mistrust of the black population towards the police, so that victims and witnesses will still turn to it in cases of violence. “In addition, in some cities, we saw the police withdraw from the field”, he stressed.
And in Atlanta, in the South, the police brought the sick for at least three days after the indictment of two officers, one of whom was shot in the back of a young black man. This movement had been dubbed the “flu blue” in reference to the colour of the uniform.
It will probably take several months and data statistics more robust to settle the debate. By then, voters will have delivered their verdict.