And a few days ago took place the murder of George Floyd. And most people were outraged, in the States, but also around the world, including me.
A lot has been said about this killing, a lot more will be said, thousand of books and articles will be written about it. About violence, also police violence. In a violent country. Dont be afraid of the word, for us Europeans, United States is a violent country with a culture of firearms, the far west syndrom…And of course about racism in the States.
America has evolved a lot the last decades, you can see black people in the media, some of the best paid actors are black, they are CEOs in major companies, politicians, congressmen, chief of staff in the Army, the list is long. And last but not least, Barack Obama, a “black” President. So, after a quick look, things have changed in the States. But how profound is this change in peoples mentalities .
What always strucks me is the States, is that people talk so much about communities. White, WASPs, black, hispanic or latino, indians or native Americans, Amish, Mormons, a list that doesnt end. And i was thinking, if people identify themselves so strongly as members of a community, can you also identify yourself as member of a nation. Which comes first on peoples mind ? community or nation ? nation or community ? is it beeing member of a nation that prevales when confronted with other nationalities and beeing a member of a community when confronted with other communities inside the country ?
What is the cement of a nation ? a flag ? the constitution ? outside competitors or ennemies ? common history ? common achievements ? common values ?
It should be mainly common values, dont you agree ? but if its the case, then these common important values should transcend any community, and thus minimise the importance of communities in society.
But look on TV, read newspapers, listen to the commentators, the politicians, the preast, they talk all the time about communities. We see a lot white protestors on the streets and we are almost surprised. Shouldnt it be normal that all Americans protest together for a noble cause ?
Communities are division, and division, differentiation between people can create racism. Maybe not the hard ideological racism expressed by Nazis, Facists, the Ku klux Klan and other organisations, but a more sublte, insidious, almost soft kind of racism, wich creates invisible barriers between people…