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HomeGeopolitical CompassThe AmericasAmerica, This is Your Chance

America, This is Your Chance

Author: Michelle Alexander

Affiliation: New York Times & Union Theological Seminary

Organization/Publisher:  New York Times

Date/Place: June 8, 2020

Type of Literature: Article

Word Count: 2,647


Keywords:  George Floyd, Protests, Racism, United States, Social Justice, Political Reform, Police Brutality


The author questions the future of the American democratic experiment. She reflects on the implications of having a nationwide pandemic coupled with race protests and military in the streets. By synthesizing recent op-eds, books, journal articles and films, the author reflects on the current moment and its significance for America. Over the course of her editorial, she suggests some basic points for helping Americans map a way forward. Although most of her suggestions are not unique, they do capture a left-liberal position towards the current situation. She suggests America should begin by facing its racist past. The White majority remains in a state of denial about the entrenched racial injustice under the current system. A reading campaign in local communities and educational facilities needs to be implemented across the country. Perhaps the most radical suggestions proposed by the author are that given what has come to light about injustice in America, America is no longer a democracy in any real sense of the term. Such a realization pushes her towards solutions that normally would have been deemed extreme, such as dismantling the police altogether and promoting socialism. She cites the Minneapolis city council’s decision to replace the current police force with a new criminal justice system. Alongside defunding police departments, she suggests addressing income inequality. She cites Bernie Sanders as an example of what can be done in America against the systematic ills of capitalism. The nature of the op-ed format prevents her from going into detail about why capitalism is the problem. However, her position represents the general left-liberal political position among everyday voters. The author provides a reading list for race issues in the US.

By: M. Üveys Han, CIGA Senior Research Associate



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