Decoding George Floyd’s Death and Kayne West’s Presidential Candidature

Decoding George Floyd’s Death and Kayne West’s Presidential Candidature

Source: flickr Source: flickr

African-American man George Floyd knelt on his neck by Derek Officer a policeman. The officer remained in that position even after Floyd became unconscious. His unresponsive body was then taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The entire incident attracted large scale protests worldwide from all the sections of the society.

Meanwhile, within a few days, out of the blue, Rapper and hip hop star Kanye West announced that he will join the US presidential race and he indicated that it somehow undeniably points out towards the fact that there might apparently be some nexus with the deceased. The catch out here is that he is the same person who had openly supported Trump in the past. So can it safely be said that Kayne might turn out to be an upholder of minority rights, as a guardian to do away with atrocities such as racism, other such forms of discrimination etc?

Also read: The sham of Rahul Gandhi’s leadership

Glance in the past

Way back on December 1, 1955, Rosa Park’s who was one of the pioneers of the Civil Rights movement was arrested for not giving her bus seat for a white man, she along with others fought tooth and nail against the derogatory Jim Crows laws which were nothing but a ‘tool of oppression’ which legalized racial segregation. There were others who have fought such oppressive laws such as Ida B. Wells who refused to leave a first-class train. It was a long battle fought ever since times immemorial America can rightly be considered as a country who has upheld the racist regime to the core, have manned the laws, to restrict the rise of minorities. Newspapers such as ‘Memphis Free Speech and Headlight’ stood as a testimony to it and vouched to fight against segregation in school and sexual harassment. But it does not end here if we look around the globe countries such as UK, Australia have acted as an abode of discrimination etc. From targeting students to old immigrants, these countries who have fully functional Human rights body have only acted as mute spectators at times of need.

Facets of racism

The other problem that lies with racism is that they somehow project themselves to be right, ‘Just like White is Right’, it can be inferred from incidents of conversion of religion, habits and most importantly skin colour as can be seen in the case of Michael Jackson who had undergone several rounds of skin surgery to change his original skin tone from black to white. In lieu of the protest in America protesters have brought down the statue of Christopher Columbus in Minnesota, the native scholars have justified it on the ground that he was the reason behind colonization and mass genocide of their ancestors. But above all the biggest stab was changing the ‘ways and mores’ of their life. 

A lot of celebrities such as Dwayne Jhonson, Meghan Markel have voiced their opinions on the issue and asked the administration to take cognizance on a serious note. But the biggest challenge that lies ahead is that will Kayne West actually take concrete steps as an administrator if elected. We have seen that the very problem lies in the fact that such form of dominance in any form in this matter(white) imposes a lot upon people(minorities), yes resisting such in culture is difficult, not impossible.

Internalising in individual context

We have seen that if we save our knowledge, culture intact without getting tempted for the popular culture which is nothing but only a ‘eyewash’ we can mitigate such situations. We know that it is not necessary to do something like what Michael Jackson had done, people like Muhammad Ali, Michael Jackson have proved their mettle without such transformation. Otherwise, we can very well turn into the Sharpville massacre like situation in South Africa where mostly peaceful protests had turned into a blood bath, or see boycott like situation as seen in the 1986 Olympics where two black athletes protested dawning black socks and raising their arms to condemn such discriminatory laws. India has too raised its voice against racism when Amritraj Brothers were all set to face off South Africa in the Finals, the Indian Tennis Federation withdrew on grounds of racism. But again it boils down to one basic contention can we remove that latent biases, hatred, racist repressed feelings, thoughts.

After George Floyd’s incident Darren Sammy had disclosed a photograph where a teammate of his(Ishant Sharma), from IPL team Sunrisers Hyderabad had made racist comments while posting a group picture, the problem does not lie in the banter, the authorities can take action but that does not change anything until a change of heart is not seen. From a North-East Indian point of view ever since the outbreak of corona the incidents of racial slurs have increased manifolds.

The death of George Floyd should not be used as a mere Political ‘Piggy Back Ride'. Hopefully, Kayne West actually stands up for the election and works towards doing away with such discrimination.

About the author: Prakreetish Sarma is currently practising as an Advocate in Gauhati High Court, completed graduation in law from National Law University and Judicial Academy Assam. He is a contributing writer in Inside Northeast. Interests are playing football, badminton, interested in cooking, discovering new places and going for trekking and into social work.

Opinions expressed are that of the author

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Edited By: Admin
Published On: Jul 13, 2020