The need to eliminate the racist approach in the US and around the world is urgent
By Tohid Afzali
A closer look at the current social uprising against racism in the US is critically detrimental for Africa. Perhaps, the historical designation of black people as non-primary citizens and the discriminations against colored people in America is not a vague phenomenon for Kenyans and the Africans in general.
Racism is indeed a crucial element attached to colonization, from which uprisings, demonstrations and social movements are created. The contemporary era, particularly for Africans and colored people, is not free of colonization and racism idea and cultures.
They experience a transformed type of the phenomenon, commonly known as ‘neo-colonization’, which pertains to domination of minds and hearts, or in other words a cultural control.
The ongoing anti-racism uprising in the United States and the White House’s use of police force as its preferred form of reaction, has turned into an issue of concern particularly after killing George Floyd by pressing a knee on his neck. Massive extraordinary protests and unrest in many states of America in opposition to racism and injustice are vivid.
President Trump and his administration are shocked by the ongoing demonstrations. Looking at the mayhem from a social point of view, it is important to take note of and concentrate on the historical racism, social gaps and injustices in the United States from the time of its discovery by Christopher Columbus that caused the death of a hundred thousand indigenous Americans and Blacks until the contemporary era.
When Tomas Jefferson tried to come up with the US constitution in 1760, slavery was legal and widespread. In addition, he could not do anything about the removal of slavery. Abraham Lincoln approved amending the 13th article of the constitution to remove racism and slavery.
However, resistance against the amendment and a culture of racism persist to date and they are believed to be the root-causes of many social and historical movements in the United States.
Moreover, the protestors are criticizing the vehement exercise of authority by the US administration as well as the foundations of rules and governance, which are rooted in discrimination against colored citizens.
The described approach towards protestors is expected to negatively affect the US domestic affairs including a weak acceptance from the people and lack of legitimacy within and outside the US territories, damaging the country’s image with regards to human rights and freedom of expression.
United States is a land of rebellion and mass uprising, thus similar protests cannot be considered a sign of fall for America, but it certainly has destructive consequences in many dimensions.
Although the American political structure is strong enough to resist social events of that type and prevent the fall of economic and political systems, the anti-racism protests represent the fall of justice, equality, and human rights in the US and demonstrates a clear social gap.
Attacking famous brands and chain stores does not merely stem from poverty or economic pressure but also the extant class gaps and injustice manifested in arson and violence.
The current turmoil in America, according to some analysts, may be in favor of Trump similar to the 1968 unrest which helped Nixon to win the election.
Presumably, Trump tried to show that the disorders and violations of rule of law are the result of the ongoing unrests and protests with the aim of convincing the American people to support him in the coming election.
However, this article argues that the demonstrations are totally different from Nixon’s time in 1968 when white voters consisted 90 percent of the total number of voters but now this percentage reduced to 67 percent.
In addition, the anti-racism unrests can encourage colored people and minorities in the United States to participate in the coming election to change the results in favor of the Democrats.
From other aspects, America now is facing three crises: Corona crisis, economic crisis, and disorder and unrest crisis. Trump's endeavors to control COVID-19 are subjects of criticism, and Corona overshadowed some economic achievements. The country is now facing massive unemployment, stagnation, and uprising.
Immediate effects of this situation are increasing the COVID-19 cases, economic breakdown, and an increasing unemployment. In addition, mismanagement of the demonstrations by Trump finally has negative effects on his re-election in the coming presidential election.
From another angle, the negative consequences of this social gap and dissatisfaction will cause continuous protests in large magnitudes and threaten the stability and unity of the United States if it does not target basic and essential reforms related to historical and fundamental racism, injustice, and social dissatisfaction.
From the international aspect, consequences of current uprising created other states’ negative reactions and criticism towards the US administration that is enjoying forceful means to suppress people. The US now seated in the accused position in the United Nation’s Human Rights Council.
These protests will be finished soon or late but will have short-term and long-term consequences. In the short-term, unrests and the widespread infectious disease will have negative effects on US economy and the 2020 election result, and will weaken the probability of Trump’s victory.
In the long-term, deep structural problems including Anti-racism uprising, inequality in wealth, and racial challenges remain and these elements put America in a dangerous social and political situation.
In other words, if real reform does not take place in the United States, not only the image of Trump and the US, but also its position in domestic and international arena will be destroyed. Moreover, it may cause a need for deeper and more fundamental reforms.
Therefore, the United States is now on a position of deep and shaky social fault that is detrimental for this country. American society is like a tree in which the main body is racism, with its branches in education, economy, justice and politics; a tree that needs to pruning and trimming.
Tohid Afzali, PhD in International relations and Analyst. Second Secretary of Iran embassy in Kenya