The use of disproportionate violence against African-Americans by police in the U.S. has sparked protests once again. The current wave of protests has revealed a number of complex and multi-layered problems in American society. If something similar were to happen in Turkey, we could claim that the "deep state" were behind it. Maybe there are indeed some circles in the United States that are actually working hard to provoke the country's black communities in order to spread chaos. After all, the presidential election is around the corner.
Despite having the first African-American president in office, the federal government has been unable to pacify relations between the country's black and white populations. Democrats have been in power for the last eight years, yet they seem incapable of reducing inequality and social injustice.
The current situation is quite alarming. If the police can be so brutal under a black president, what they will do if presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is elected? It is known that Trump acts like the spokesman of white Americans. So the current violence is not only damaging the President Barack Obama's administration, but is also increasing people's concerns about a future Republican administration.
This is not the first time police violence has caused tragic results, and when one says "police," one instinctually thinks about the state. In other words, because of what is happening in the American streets, people think that racism is still strong in every institution in the United States. The state or society can show their racist instincts on many occasions. We still even mention Obama's skin color when we talk about him. What is more worrying is that racism is still present in people's daily lives and it is so deeply rooted and widespread.
When a crime is committed somewhere in the U.S., say a rape or a robbery, millions of Americans automatically think that a black or Hispanic man must be behind it. This is not specific to the United States, as in many countries the usual suspects are often minorities with darker skin.
There are statistics that show clearly that in the U.S. the percentage of incarcerated black people is much higher than incarcerated white people, so it is natural that they are seen as suspects. This is like saying all Muslims are, of course, not terrorists, but most terrorists are Muslim. This is a different form of racism, maybe a more disguised and subtle one.
If the percentage of criminals among a given social group is much higher than in the general population, then it is better to ask why this particular group is much poorer, or why its members live in peripheral neighborhoods. It may even be enough to ask why these people have invented hip-hop culture.
Racism exists everywhere in the world, Europeans target Middle Easterners while white Americans perceive black people as a problem. As long as racism grows stronger, these black or Middle Eastern peoples will develop their own reaction and they will embrace their identities more than ever, cherish their inner solidarity and even become radicalized. They can even develop their own kind of racism.
Politicians are to blame when divergent social segments consider one another enemies and act accordingly. History remembers those politicians who drag their nations into wars or those who persuade their people to make peace. Today's politics is the art of managing the crisis of trust between different social groups. It is up to the politicians to be remembered either as Arthur de Gobineau or as David Walker.