An American Spring of Reckoning

Jelani Cobb, the New Yorker:

The American Spring has not toppled a power, but it has led to a reassessment of the relationship between that power and the citizens from whom it is derived. It has resolved any remaining questions regarding Donald Trump’s utter ineptitude as President; it has laid bare the contradictory and partial democracy that the United States holds before the world as exemplary. Most significant, it has clarified our terms. Floyd’s life is the awful price we have paid for a momentarily common tongue, a language that precisely conveys what we are speaking of when we say “American.” Fourteen successive days of protest opened the possibility that George Floyd died in America, not simply in its black corollary. The task that remains is to insure that more of us might actually live there.

I don’t mean to undermine the way Cobb frames this as specifically American, but it is also heartening to see how its intentions and message have spread across the world. Brits are throwing statues of enslavers into the sea; Canadians are coming to terms with our own history of racism.