World News: Police Brutality Protests Target Visible and Hidden Violence

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Demonstrations aimed at denouncing police violence and the gangrene of racism have reached a legitimate saturation of the populations in the face of these acts. Addressing the physical violence without tackling the root allows the evil to regrow.


Choking a suspect to death and squeezing the lifeblood out of a people are remarkably similar tactics for subduing or squashing resistance and are historically weapons of war, from the insidious tactics of Nazi Germany to America's Civil Rights movement, intimidation, abuse, discrimination, withholding employment and finances, all tactics to subdue a people, to silence, to suppress, to muzzle.

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Whether in France, the United States, or elsewhere in the world, police violence, whether racist, anti-Semitic, xenophobic, or otherwise, is, for anyone who claims to be a supporter of democracy, intolerable. The right of everyone to exist without the threat of being subjected to such acts must remain complete and imprescriptible.

It is among the foundations of our contemporary societies and our civilizations. But after this obvious fact which seems to escape some, it is also permissible to wonder about a phenomenon which, without being new, today takes on a dimension hitherto killed or stifled.

Assaults and Insubordination

To say that the global pandemic of covid-19 has changed the way of thinking and mentalities is gradually becoming obvious. And denouncing police violence, long experienced as attacks against which ordinary people could do nothing, is now acted: too much is too much!

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The idea that the republican order could afford such errors is no longer accepted today and can never be acceptable. However, beyond the awareness of populations tired of violence punished with sanctions, often leaving a bitter taste because they are considered too light, a form of uprising and rebellion against the established order, even reason of State which authorized many, emerges in populations which intend, and rightly, to assert their right to a life devoid of all threatening prejudices.

However, the police, which it would be false and abusive to describe as entirely racist and xenophobic, are also microcosms of our contemporary societies.

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Just as the latter shelter individuals with prejudices and remarks tinged with latent or clearly displayed racism, the police are not immune to this tendency, a tendency which is also found in other professional strata.

Discrimination and Brutality

Because violence is not only physical, it can also be carried by a preconceived idea which will close, for example, the doors of a company to a black, Asian, Arab, handicapped person. It then carries the name of discrimination in hiring, convolution which wants to be freed from all brutality, but which is none the less devoid of it because it excludes the individual because of what he is. Some would therefore refrain from demonstrating racism, xenophobia, or intolerance, arguing that the candidate is incompatible for the post offered.

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Certainly, the legislation in France, at least, has progressed, but the reality is quite different. The relationship to otherness, which globalization, without denouncing it as an easy scapegoat and of circumstance, has erased in favor of a triumphant individualism, thus appears as one of the great battles that future generations will be brought to lead.

Does this mean that all forms of violence based on sex, religion, ethnicity, or disability will be banished from our societies? Some hope so. But racism, xenophobia, and anti-Semitism feed above all on ignorance and intellectual emptiness. And there is still a long way to go in this area.



Bio: Olivier Longhi has extensive experience in European history. A seasoned journalist with fifteen years of experience, he is currently professor of history and geography in the Toulouse region of France. He has held a variety of publishing positions, including Head of Agency and Chief of Publishing. A journalist, recognized blogger, editor, and editorial project manager, he has trained and managed editorial teams, worked as a journalist for various local radio stations, a press and publishing consultant, and a communications consultant.

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