Willful ignorance towards Black life in America


Willful ignorance towards Black life in America

The celebrated American author James Baldwin stated in 1968 that “the reason that Black people are on the streets has to do with the lives that they are obliged to lead in this country. And the apathy, indifference, and a particular type of ignorance—a very purposeful ignorance—on the part of their fellow people drive them to live this way. Baldwin’s heartbreaking remarks still resonate in America today, fifty years later, as thousands of demonstrators have taken to the streets in dozens of cities over the past three days despite a deadly pandemic. They are protesting against a nation where a police officer will kneel on a Black man’s neck till he passes away; the nation where police officers can shoot a young Black woman eight times in her own flat after entering unexpectedly with a warrant for someone who did not live there; the nation where the killers of a Black jogger who was shot to death in a white neighbourhood in broad daylight go weeks without facing charges.

The president of America tweets threats against demonstrators and dog whistles to white nationalists. Never mind that a few weeks before, the same president supported demonstrations that ended with armed white vigilantes assaulting the Michigan Capitol.

People march at a peaceful protest seeking justice for George Floyd in Flint Township, Michigan.


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