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Posts Tagged ‘Black Lives Matter’

I confess to being (pleasantly) surprised; I was too skeptical.

The protests that began with the killing of George Floyd seem to be defying the historical pattern for street action. As I write (morning of June 23, 2020), they have neither fizzled out nor launched a self-defeating backlash. Thousands of whites, many with their children, have joined the protests in towns large and small across the country. Clear majorities of Americans have told pollsters that they agree with the concerns of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) protesters. Major institutional leaders, including heads of major corporations, have rushed to acknowledge racism and to take a virtual, sometimes a literal, knee in solidarity–even the NFL. And there appear to be some successes beyond charges against specific officers on the horizon.

Why have these protests have done so well so far in broadening their appeal when so many other takings to the street–Occupy Wall Street, anti-Iraq War, anti-Vietnam War, the 1968 Chicago convention clashes, the ghetto “rebellions” of the ‘60s, and so on–did not? And what are their chances for bringing significant change?

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