View: Biden's condemnation of white supremacists is well begun but the violence and ambushing of cops cannot be ignored


During his inaugural address, Biden very rightly condemned the white supremacists for the January 6 attack on the Capitol in Washington DC. He also maintained that he would be a president not just for those who voted for him in the presidential election (81 million at last count) but also for those who did not vote for him (Trump got around 74 million votes).

The choking to death of the Afro-American George Floyd (due to a police officer pressing his knee on his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds in Minneapolis on May 26–something which was captured on video and telecast), the gunning down of innocent black people like Breonna Taylor (whose apartment was invaded by the Louisville cops in Kentucky late on a March night when she was sleeping) and Ahmaud Arbery (shot dead at Brunswick in Georgia on a February afternoon while out jogging in the evening), and the killing of Elijah McClean (who died as a result of a chokehold and a ketamine injection when he was apprehended by the Aurora cops in Colorado for waving his arms while jogging on an August 2019 evening) had sparked off months and months of protests

Sometimes, there have been violent anti-police riots. On August 10, 2020, a mob had, according to the wireservice AP, launched what cops described as a mortar attack on the building housing the Portland Police Union. Commercial fireworks were also launched at the cops, with a female official sustaining injuries on her neck when her facemask partially melted away while her male colleague was injured in his leg. There has even been an instance in Los Angeles on the night of August 13 of two cops in a parked car being ambushed, shot and wounded, with protestors subsequently shouting anti-police slogans and blocking the emergency-room of the hospital where the two were being treated. Some 40 cops are reported to have been killed in the line of duty in the USA in the year 2020, according to FBI statistics, including eight who were ambushed. There have been riots in many American cities over the last few months, with commercial establishments being set on fire and looted. A report in the American news website axios.com estimated over a billion dollars worth of damage by way of paid insurance claims due to the burning and looting between May 26 and June 8 alone.

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It is this ambushing of cops and the burning and looting of commercial establishments which the white supremacists misuse to justify their violence, including what virtually amounted to an attempted coup on January 6 when a white pro-Trump mob attacked the US Capitol where legislators constituting the Electoral College were in the process of enumerating the votes certified by the states preparatory to declaring the results of the 2020 presidential election.

The burning and looting over a period of months had affected the livelihood of innocent Americans (many of them black and coloured) who had nothing to do with police brutality. If, while condemning the white supremacists, Biden had, even in a passing reference, mentioned that the ambushing of cops and the burning and looting could not be tolerated, it could have made an impact on the 74 million Americans who voted for Trump and had nothing to do with the January 6 attempted coup.

Voter-response cannot be stereotyped on the basis of race. In an opinion piece in the Boulder Daily Camera dated November 7, 2020, the political commentator Fareed Zakaria had pointed out that a Gallup poll had indicated that only 19% of Black Americans wanted less police presence in their neighbourhoods while 61% wanted the same level and the remaining 20% actually wanted the level to be increased.





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