What we had was not equivalent. When you see the cops kneel, I just love it. And there are many young whites. I’ve never seen that before. We had some whites, but not that many. It is a surprise and gives me hope.
Do not assume that this moment will last.
Bob Moses, 85, an educator who, in the 1960s, a drive to register black voters in Mississippi, has watched the protests from an apartment in Hollywood, Florida. He said he was moved by one viral video clip by three black men of different generations – including a 45-year-old and a 16-year-old – in a screaming match at a protest in North Carolina who argue rawly about whether violence is an appropriate response to systemic racism.
It’s like an awakening: we’re trapped. He was caught, he is 45. You are caught, you are only 16 years old. What we did doesn’t work. What are we going to do? This level of consciousness is really new. And it’s not just the broader white population that is waking up to a certain extent, but also within the African American population.
The person who killed George Floyd may have been lost. But the system to which they belonged that protects them and is as American as apple pie. Wake up – it is not clear whether the country is able to fully wake up.
Unlike Ms. Harris, he was skeptical that police solidarity gestures made sense.
You speak to a single policeman on the street, you want him to express empathy about what’s going on, but behind the scenes you have a high policy. The system protects the people involved in all of this at different levels, not just the man who pulls the trigger and puts his knee on his neck.
It is a catharsis for the person asking and for every police officer who answers. It is what the country has always wanted to try to solve the problem at the individual level. That person you know controls their behavior or tones, and the system just keeps rolling and producing more atrocities.
It is revealing that the pressure now comes from within. It was triggered by this one event, but the event opened, so to speak, a crevasse through which all this history flows, like the Mississippi on the delta. It flows into all streams of TV, cable news and social media. So that’s very different. And the question is, can the country handle it?