Mustafa Kaya: "Being the 'Other' in America and George Floyd

Mustafa Kaya: "Being the Other in America and George Floyd
Date: 4.4.2021 17:00

Milli Gazete columnist Mustafa Kaya writes on the US. Here is the full article.

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About a year ago (May 25, 2020), a young shopper named Christopher Martin, who works in a grocery store in Minneapolis (Minnesota), United States, tells the store manager that he suspects that the $ 20 bill he received in the transaction is counterfeit. Then the director immediately calls the police. The security forces, who arrived in front of the store in a very short time, wanted to arrest the black George Floyd, who had just left the store and got into his car. It was observed that Derek Chauvin, one of the four police officers who came to the scene, put Floyd down from the car and put him on the ground with reverse handcuffs and pressed him to the neck of the suspect with a knee (9'29 ') for about nine minutes (according to the testimony of witnesses). Floyd died as a result of Chauvin's continuing to press with his knee despite the pleading "I can't breathe" reflected on his cell phone cameras.
It is taken for granted that the hearings, which started on March 29, will mark the history of America. The murder of an unarmed and seemingly non-threatening black person by a white police officer on the side of a busy street, ignoring the glances of the public and recording them with their cell phones, is by no means an ordinary occurrence. Already after the spreading of the images, protests were held for days, putting forward the last words of George Floyd, who was killed by the police at the age of 46, not only in America, but also in different cities of the world. The widespread use of such demonstrations in the name of those who lost their lives in the increasing racist attacks in recent years shows that there is a sharp black-white discrimination in America and this continues today.
Besides, it is no coincidence that most of the films nominated for this year's Oscar film awards are about the discrimination faced by blacks. The imposition of cultural norms, which America exports to the rest of the world, now includes not only popular culture, but also racism that it could not prevent in its own country. In the past, attempts were made to justify the hatred and intolerance of the West towards those who are not like them, such as hostility towards blacks, Asians or Muslims. Media texts, especially in the field of cinema, used to try to manipulate the mind of the audience as they wanted and whether they always justified themselves in the Vietnam War or what we call "cowboy movies", how wild American Indians were and wanted to scalp the whites. The art of cinema, one of the easiest ways to influence people, was turned into a propaganda tool in the hands of racist imperialists.
Especially after the September 11 incidents, Hollywood cinema this time focused less on the Muslims, which they used to be the subject of smear campaigns. Cinema has been used as a method of raising public opinion about the religions, cultures and the extent of their disagreement with democracy in the Muslim countries that the USA planned to carry out military attacks in line with its interests. In addition, almost no positive representation about Muslims has been encountered in Western cinema to date. The role that Muslims have not yet reached the level of producing films that can appeal to the world plays a big role in this. Among the excluded and discriminated groups, Jews have even managed to gain a certain view of the world beyond self-expression. Nowadays, blacks have started to have a say in the film industry with the directors and successful actors they have trained. However, black has no noticeable success yet, except for a few players. But in addition to being discussed and discussed, the production of films about black people's exposure to all kinds of racism and discrimination in America is a success in itself. Now, the tortures of the black people in the history of America are being transferred to the big screen more and more every day. Today, blacks are raising their voices directly with outlets such as "Black Lives Matter". The increase in the number of blacks who lost their lives at the hands of white security forces brings to mind the whites affected by the economic crisis in the USA at the end of the 19th century to lynch the blacks they held responsible for their losses. Since it is a collective crime, not being punished by those responsible has increased the attempts of lynching, and today it is common for white police to kill black suspects, perhaps on purpose, by relying on the laws enacted to protect the security forces from criminals.
The George Floyd case is important in terms of showing how far America, trying to regulate the world, has progressed, or at least willed, in achieving equality and justice within itself. The case closely followed by the international public is a trial that will measure how fair humanity can behave against the 'other' who is not like him. A severe punishment to be imposed on all racists in the person of Derek Chauvin, who does not show any sign of mercy to his victim as in the last century lynch photographs, of course, will not bring George Floyd back, but it will prevent us from disrespecting other people just because their particular characteristics are different from us. We hope that those created from now on will be respected and dignified because of the Creator.


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