« As I am moved, enriched, empowered, and inspired by the courage and fortitude of the brother Dr. Cornel West, I write: The murder of George Floyd was practically a public lynching, giving rise to heightened protests and mass demonstrations throughout America — and, indeed, in many parts of the world — highlighting, at last, that America has proven to be, on many levels, a failed social experiment. The world is undergoing and witnessing America’s great moment of reckoning, where the long-standing correlation between the local and the global are most remarkably felt: sowing the seeds of unchecked greed that made concrete domestic inequality in tandem with America’s imperial, militarized, and violent tentacles around the globe. Make no mistake, the collective seeds of violence operate as the obvious link that bounds the connective tissue between the external and the internal. Such is most efficiently true in relation to the seed of white supremacy’s deep hatred of Black people within the context of a predatory capitalistic society obsessed with money, domination, and the marginalization of the “other.”
The American Empire’s foundation is shaken to its core, with uprisings from below, from the streets.
No doubt, George Floyd’s murderous lynching by the embodiment of white supremacist hatred by the name of Derek Chauvin ignited the fuse, but the outright failings of America’s predaceous capitalistic economy to adequately fulfill basic needs — food, healthcare, a quality education, jobs with decent wages — was the explosion. The so-called promise of America’s legitimacy is bankrupt, and a multiracial check is past overdue.
Now, the youth and the streets are forcefully speaking, highlighting the hypocrisy and the abject blindness to their suffering and misery. Simply put, they no longer believe in the legitimacy of the traditional American social contract. However, rebellion, while being the sounding call, is not enough, for a Nonviolent Revolution is of the highest order; that is, enacting comprehensive, democratic sharing — power, wealth, resources, respect, organizing — and the radical transformation of the American Empire.
For, by all means, we cannot possibly, comfortably, and willingly return to the way things were. »
Nathaniel Mary Quinn, I Imagine It Was a Burden at Times, 2019 - oil paint, paint stick, oil pastel, soft pastel, gouache on linen canvas - 50.8 x 50.8 x 2 cm; 20 x 20 x 3/4 in
Courtesy of the artist and Almine Rech