'I can't breathe' a microcosm of life in US for ethnic minorities: Expert

By Zhu Bochen
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, June 4, 2020
Adjust font size:
Protesters march in New York over the death of George Floyd, on June 1, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

"I can't breathe," begged George Floyd again and again as Derek Chauvin, a white Minneapolis police officer, knelt on his neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds on May 25.

These were the last words he ever uttered. Since then, protestors nationwide have been driven over the edge by the death of Floyd, an African American, in police custody.

"When video footage showing police brutality goes viral online, it strikes a nerve with vulnerable groups in the U.S.," explained Yuan Peng, president of the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations.

Yuan believes that Floyd's constant pleas for breath, in a sense, encapsulate the life of ethnic minorities in the United States.

According to Yuan, the Trump administration, backed by white blue-collar men, has so far done little to address the brewing racial issues in the country. 

"If anything, the administration has made it worse through a series of measures such as abolishing Obamacare and building border walls," Yuan expounded. "African Americans and Hispanics are more likely to live with depression."

In addition, Yuan noted that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. also triggered the escalated protests as many people have been worn down emotionally with the pandemic already claiming over a hundred thousand lives there.

Data published by National Public Radio (NPR) this May showed the racial disparities of those affected by pandemic in the U.S. 

According to the analysis, the death toll of African Americans is nearly two times higher than expected based on the size of the population, and in four states, the rate is three or more times greater.

The analysis also found that "white deaths from COVID-19 are lower than their share of the population in 37 states and the District of Columbia."

Yuan thus noted that although there have been no large-scale protests over the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S., anger and outrage have been brewing amongst people of ethnic minorities. The footage of an African American begging to breathe under the knee of a white police officer inevitably led to an outpouring of emotion.

"To make matters worse, the crisis in the U.S. so far shows no signs of easing," said Yuan.

Follow China.org.cn on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
ChinaNews App Download
Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:   
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from China.org.cnMobileRSSNewsletter