People across the US have taken to streets to express their anger over police violence against African Americans. The last and controversial confrontation between a white police officer and a black man occurred last week when an officer in Minneapolis killed African American Geroge Floyd by putting his knee on the victim’s neck for more than eight minutes despite Floyd’s call that he ‘can’t breathe’.
The inhumane action of the police came as people were filming the incident, pleading for the release of pressure on Floyd’s neck.
To shed more light on the issue, we reached out to Gerald Horne, professor of African American Studies at the University of Houston and author of several books on the history of African Americans.
Here is the full text of Horne’s interview with Mehr News Agency:
Historically speaking, black people were brought to the US for slavery and, as this has been against their will, these people have been involved in constant rebellion while the US security forces have been seeing them as a threat. Why the US policies have failed to change this perspective since the era of slavery has long passed as we are still seeing violence against African Americans?
The policy has not changed not least because though slavery was abolished, cheap labor has not and Black people are over-represented in this category. Besides, the culture that grew out of slavery that meant subordination and maltreatment of Africans has yet to disappear.
Where do you think these protests across the US will eventually lead to? Do you see any hope for a change of behavior towards African Americans?
It will take global pressure for things to change and, therefore, I call upon our Iranian friends and comrades to come to our defense, not least in the United Nations Human Rights Commission.
President Trump has threatened protestors to deploy Army in the streets to control the unrest. How do you assess Trump’s response to what goes on in US as records show his tendency towards white supremacy and many believe his tweets are fueling the protests?
Yes, Trump is fueling the protests. He is a cornered beast right now and a beast is most dangerous when it is cornered.Trump is fueling the protests. He is a cornered beast right now and a beast is most dangerous when it is cornered.
How can these developments affect the upcoming Presidential election in the US?
Impact on elections? Unclear. Too soon to tell.
Gerald Horne received his PhD from Columbia University and a J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. Horne is Moores Professor of History and African-American Studies at the University of Houston where he holds the John J. and Rebecca Moores Chair of History and African American Studies. His books include “The Counter-Revolution of 1776: Slave Resistance and the Origins of the United States of America”, “The Apocalypse of Settler Colonialism: The Roots of Slavery, White Supremacy, and Capitalism in 17th Century North America and the Caribbean”, “Confronting Black Jacobins: The U.S., the Haitian Revolution, and the Origins of the Dominican Republic”, and “The Dawning of the Apocalypse: The Roots of Slavery, White Supremacy, Settler Colonialism, and Capitalism in the Long Sixteenth Century” among others.
Interview by Mohammad Ali Haqshenas