As protests grip the USA following the murder of George Floyd, Joe Bastable argues that Britain has the same shameful record of systemic racism and institutionalised police violence against people of colour.
Let America be American again by Langston Hughes, 1936
Maicol Lynch of the YCL USA Organising Committee talks to Johnnie Hunter about the protests in the United States surrounding the murder of George Floyd for ChallengeTV.
Late Monday on night (25 May 2020) footage emerged from Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, showing the murder of George Floyd, an unarmed 46 yr old black year but US police.
The footage shows Floyd handcuffed and pinned to the ground with one police officer’s knee pressing against his neck, while Floyd protested that he could not breathe. This went on for five minutes, all on camera, until Floyd eventually passed out. He died in hospital a short while later.
As part of the celebrations around the 75th Anniversary of Victory in Europe Day, Challenge’s Poetry Corner will be featuring a selection of poems from across the world, inspired by the war and its events.
Here we feature Will V-Day Be Me-Day Too? written by Langston Hughes. The poem is written from the perspective of a black US serviceman. It is a profound comment on the profound and structural racism on which the USA is and was based and the sad fact that black servicemen were abroad fighting to defeat the same racist and oppressive ideologies they were forced to endure at home.
Working people of minority social groups in Britain continue to face official and unofficial forms of discrimination in their social and economic life.
The forms of oppression and the significance for our struggle also depend upon the context. For example, in Britain, British Black and British South Asian groups make up 3.4% and 6.8% of the population of the UK – 2.2 and 4.4 million people respectively.