A year which history will never, and should never, forget
It is June 2020 and the world finds itself in an age of change, once only associated to that of a dystopian nightmare penned by the greatest fiction writers of a generation. In truth, what is happening in 2020 is changes to society which could never be undone.
The Covid-19 has spread around the world and continues to infect and kill large numbers daily. It has forced millions to change the way they live their lives, and into preparing for the possibility of a world in which pandemics and social distancing may become more common.
Through all of this, the tensions towards the state in the USA have reached boiling point after the death of George Floyd in America.
A video emerged showing a white police officer kneeling on his neck, a horrific action which ended Mr Floyd’s life. Since then, the people have taken to the streets to demand justice and changes to the way African Americans are treated by the police and how so many have been wrongfully killed by police officers.
The protests spread across the USA, and then across the world. Huge protests in Berlin and London on Sunday in solidarity with those in the USA have received positive and negative feedback from the onlooking wider world. Most of the negativity centred around the huge gatherings despite social distancing and lockdown rules being in place to tackle the spread of coronavirus.
The question which needs to be asked here is the risk of catching the virus and spreading it to others worth it to protest how an entire race of people is treated by some members of the police force? That answer lies within the morale fibres of everyone present at the protests.
What can be said to compare the protests with the virus is that Covid-19 does not discriminate. It is not a white issue or a black issue; it is a human issue.
The treatment of African Americans has plagued the USA for centuries, and has often been a talking point. The method used by police in the USA has often been labelled one of a trigger-happy approach; with others seeing the blatant disregard of how the police deal with situations using violence and aggression.
This has pushed people to the brink. They have had enough, and they demand a reformation of the very system which is supposed to serve and protect them.
A pandemic and the struggle for racial equality will be what 2020 is most remembered for. We are seeing hundreds and thousands across the globe standing up against the way they are governed. Humanity will adapt and change further in the years to come; it always has, and it always will. But what seriously needs to change is the way in which those in power use that power.
The joke has been thrown around that future generations are in for a hell of a ride when they study 2020 in history class. Whilst this may be true, it raises an issue of how history is taught. In the UK, we are taught nothing of the nations who suffered at the hands of British imperialism or the countries which the UK went to war with. The saying of history is written by the victors is in motion here, perhaps by the time that 2020 is in our history textbooks this will change.
Far too many people have lost faith in the people in power, and this is not new in 2020. The protests in the USA and those in solidarity around the world are proof of this. Whatever your views on pandemic protocol, which has
The issues in the USA will likely not even begin to change under the current government. So, with an election rounding off arguably one of the bleakest years in recent times, the world will wait with bated breath.
2020 will force things to be different. With social distancing a possibility for the foreseeable future and repeated waves of the virus on the cards until a cure is found, if one is ever found, the way humanity conducts itself daily cannot go back to how it once was.
However, the changes to life on our planet don’t all need to be negative. If 2020 is the year in which brutality from the state is finally recognised in some of the wealthiest and most progressive nations in the world, then it will show that perhaps there is a glimmer of hope for mankind after all.
The answer to the question of will the brutality be recognised, and therefore lead to change, will potentially become clearer when the dust settles in the post protest streets of the USA.