US turn to defend quelling of unrest

City talk | Susan Liang 5 Jun 2020

It is ironic that America is now suffering what Hong Kong went through with the protests and the coronavirus.

Except in the case of America, it is much worse, as the pandemic helped send more than 40 million people into the ranks of the unemployed, while the protests were triggered by the death of an African-American at the hands, or rather the knee, of a policeman.

So that readers can have a historical perspective, I should start with the abolition of slavery after the civil war and the civil rights movement, for which Martin Luther King is remembered.

The civil rights movement was against racial segregation and for the right to vote, and President John Kennedy endorsed it.

Both King and Kennedy were assassinated, but the Voting Rights Act was passed in 1965 with the help of President Lyndon Johnson.

However, racial tensions persisted with the rise of the Ku Klux Klan and the Black Panthers.

And it was a miracle that Barack Obama became president by beating Hillary Clinton, even though he was born in Hawaii and has a Muslim name.

Hillary Clinton must be unpopular, as she also lost to Donald Trump.

I wonder whether it is her gender or whether it is because she likes to wear pants.

To give readers another insight into American racism in their territories/colonies I recommend a book entitled How to Hide an Empire by Daniel Immerwahr.

Unlike the British, America is not proud of its territories/colonies - Puerto Rico, Guam, Northern Marianas and US Virgin Islands - where the natives are governed by laws passed by Congress and the president, but do not get to vote for either.

They do not get to vote, even though there are only four million people living in these territories, and that is because of the color of their skin.

And yet America has always prided itself on being a champion of sovereignty and independence.

In the early stages of World War II, it was reluctant to go to war, but when the Japanese bombed the Philippines, Guam and Pearl Harbour in Hawaii, it had no choice.

Even then, president Franklin Roosevelt only mentioned Hawaii being attacked in his speech and left out the Philippines, which became independent after WWII, and Guam remains a US territory and a military and naval base.

Unless Trump show leadership at this time of national crisis, I believe America will be destroyed from within by the protests and the pandemic fallout.

Yet the Trump administration wants to fight for democracy in Hong Kong.

I find that strange, unless it is because the United States wants to contain China or because it hates communism.

The protests got out of control because US authorities had not charged the other three officers involved in the death of George Floyd earlier, which they have now done.

They must also change the way police are trained in making arrests, otherwise it will be difficult to convict the officers at trial.

It is also strange that Trump does not address the nation at this time on this matter.

Instead he tweets from the White House bunker, declaring Antifa a terrorist organization, which was wholly unnecessary and divisive, as he was, on the other hand, asking his supporters to appear to oppose the protesters. Luckily, they did not show up.

Now he is threatening to call up the military.

Around the world the protests have spread in support of African-Americans as most people become aware of their plight.

Even a taxi driver in Hong Kong told me he felt sorry for African-Americans as it is not safe in America to be one if you are accosted by a cop.

Susan Liang is a lawyer who likes to speak her mind on issues that concern the man on the street

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