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INTERNATIONAL > U.S.

Deep-rooted racial antagonism in U.S.

  • July 9, 2016
  • , Yomiuri , p. 3
  • Translation

Fourteen police officers were killed or wounded in the shootout that took place during a demonstration against police brutality of black men in Dallas, Texas. The incident brought a deep-rooted problem of the American community to the surface.

 

Most of the 800 demonstrators were black, chanting “Black lives matter,” walking in central Dallas, where commercial complexes and financial institutions are concentrated. What triggered the demonstration was an incident in which white police officers shot a black man (37) to death on July 5 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. At first, police simply announced that the man who was being questioned died in a shooting. However shortly after the incident, a video clip in which two police officers twisted the man down on the ground and shot him was posted on the Internet, which quickly spread across the country and ignited protests.

 

The historical reality that minority groups, including African-Americans, have been unduly treated in the U.S., a nation of immigrants, is obviously a factor for the explosion of their frustration.

 

From the 1950s to the 1960s, during which the civil right movements were active, police squads with white officers fiercely collided with African-American demonstrators, resulting in casualties among black people. Incidents connected to race seem endless, including the one in 2014 in which a white police officer shot a young black man to death in Ferguson, Missouri. A system that allows the mistreatment of African-Americans by white police officers incessantly endures, which incites mutual distrust between the two.

 

According to a survey by the Washington Post, the number of African-Americans shot to death by police officers this year reached 123. It is said that African-Americans are arrested more than white people and the former’s jail time is longer.

 

The idea that “police target African-Americans because they are black” has been adopted by many Americans. There seem no effective means to swiftly solve the deep-rooted racial antagonism, but the rift seems rather deepened. (Abridged)

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