City College Downtown: Global Narratives of Crime, War and Justice. Day 1
City College Downtown: Global Narratives of Crime, War and Justice.
Day 1: Our first class will examine the concept of “criminal” through different incidents: in all of them, African Americans were considered suspects, arrested, and were killed in the process. In most of the cases, the police officers were not considered criminals. Did something change after the case of Eric Garner (July 2014)? He was wrestled to the ground by a New York police officer, and he uttered the words “I can’t breathe” 11 times. He died but the police officer was never prosecuted.
Six years later and after many more scandals, George Floyd was arrested in Minneapolis and held down by police officers. He said “I can’t breathe” more than 20 times. The police officer who choked Floyd faces charges of second-degree murder and manslaughter, and three other officers were charged with aiding and abetting murder. Is that enough change? Likely not for dedicated activists and the millions who took to the streets to protest systemic racism in the US criminal justice system in mid-2020.
The class will also analyze the mass mobilization by the Black Lives Matter movement, in the United States and many other parts of the world, as well as other anti-racist efforts, including NBA activism.