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Not much changed in a promised 'changed world'

By ZHANG ZHOUXIANG | China Daily | Updated: 2024-05-28 08:24
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Cai Meng/China Daily

A nonprofit organization held a rally in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on Friday to commemorate George Floyd, an African American man who died from asphyxiation when a policeman in Minneapolis pinned him down to the ground by kneeling on his neck. The mayor of Minneapolis and many other local officials participated in the event marking the fourth anniversary of Floyd's death.

US President Joe Biden also gave a moving tribute. Biden recalled Floyd's funeral, saying: "We mark this solemn day" and "there is no doubt that he has (changed the world)". However, Biden's speech a year ago consisted of the same keywords such as "changed the world". But the fact remains that not much has changed.

The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act was readied within weeks of Floyd's death, but it is still waiting to be voted into a law in the Senate. Until it becomes a law, the police in the United States are still empowered to use excess violence against suspects, particularly people of color, the way they did against Floyd.

It happened again on Jan 7, 2023, when the police in Memphis, Tennessee, detained Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old African American, for reckless driving and beat him up with a baton and a stun gun for about three minutes. He died three days later, but even that did not prompt US lawmakers to pass the bill.

US lawmakers have too many vested interests and, also, they are so divided. It's always easy for those in Capitol Hill to show sympathy for Floyd and his family, but they do no more. It's difficult for them to vote on even a plan aimed at police reforms in the US.

Remembrance of Floyd is a good thing, but merely paying lip service and uttering words such as "he changed the world" while not pushing for any actual reform on the ground will mean there will be more Floyds waiting to happen in the US.

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