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Police violence shows racism only getting worse

By ZHANG ZHOUXIANG | China Daily | Updated: 2023-01-31 08:15

[Cai Meng/China Daily]

As a white police officer in Minneapolis choked George Floyd to death by kneeling on his neck in 2020, the African American cried out "I can't breathe" but that didn't move his oppressor one bit.

Worse, even the nationwide protests that followed Floyd's death in the United States could not deter similar crimes from taking place, as police violence claimed another African American, Tyre Nichols, this month. According to a CNN report, Nichols' family attorney claimed he suffered "extensive bleeding caused by a severe beating" from five policemen.

On social media platforms, some argue that the Nichols incident does not constitute racism because it was five black policemen who beat him up. However, it only goes to show that colored people, African Americans in particular, suffer discrimination not only from white people, but also from people of the same color.

Racial discrimination is so deeply rooted in US society that it is impossible to end it overnight. Despite the civil rights movement in the 1960s and colored people's rising sense of equality in recent years with the popularity of social media, the status of colored people in the US remains below that of their white counterparts, be it in economy, opportunities, development and everything.

According to the Mapping Police Violence website, of the 1,186 people who lost their lives to police violence in the US in 2022, African Americans accounted for 26 percent, although the community accounts for 13 percent of the country's population. From 2013 to 2022, an African American has faced 2.9 times greater possibility of encountering police violence than a white American.

Fifty-five years ago, renowned civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. was killed in Memphis. Now Nichols, another African American, succumbed to violence in the same city. It is time the US curbed its racial inequality as the number of killings continues to grow.

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