Ex-policeman guilty in killing that ‘ripped blinders off’ US systemic racism (News Analysis)


By Arul Louis
New York, April 21 |
In a catharsis for a nation rocked by protests and racial tension for nearly a year, a White former policeman has been convicted of murdering an African American man by kneeling on his neck.

President Joe Biden said after the verdict on Tuesday that the killing had “ripped the blinders off for the whole world to see the systemic racism” in the US.

The verdict against Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis brought a sense of relief and peaceful celebrations around the country after fears that he may be acquitted or convicted only on lesser charges.

The killing of George Floyd while he was being arrested on allegations that he paid a store with a forged note in May last year was the catalyst for a reckoning of the centuries of oppression on racial minorities in the US and led to a reexamination of attitudes, laws and traditions, going beyond just police brutality.

Under the US justice system the verdict was given by 12 jurors, a panel made up of lay citizens, who heard nearly three weeks of testimony and legal arguments presided over by a judge and discussed it for about ten hours spread over two days.

During the nationally televised trial, the jurors — six whites, four blacks and two of mixed ethnicity — and the viewers saw a recording made by a teenaged girl showing Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds as repeatedly pleaded, “I can’t breathe.”

Those words, “I can’t breathe,a¿ became the rallying cry of the rejuvenated Black Lives Matter movement that cut across racial lines raising the national consciousness.

Floyd’s brother Philonise said that after the verdict “we are able to breathe again.”

Significantly, the harrowing video of the killing saw the collapse of the so-called “blue wall of silence,” the closing of ranks by police to protect their own, and police officials called as witnesses acknowledged that Chauvin used excessive force and did not conform to training.

Bill Johnson, executive director of the National Association of Police Organizations, acknowledged, “A man lost his life needlessly at the hands of an officer.”

In a summer of discontent seething under the Covid-19 restrictions and the economic distress the protests sometimes descended into rioting and looting of stores. The rage led to excesses like defacing destroying the statues of Mahatma Gandhi and Abraham Lincoln, who had led the US in the Civil War to uphold the abolition of slavery.

After the verdict, Democratic Party member of the House of Representatives Pramila Jayapal described the movement’s agenda in a tweet: “We must put an end to police brutality, racism, and white supremacy. We can’t just say Black lives matter a” we must fight for Black lives.”

There were widespread calls by many activists and Democrats to defund the police — cut police budgets a” and even disband police departments, which also resulted in a backlash as crimes shot up.

Policing is locally governed without a national police service or all-encompassing regulations. Most police departments are under the control of city, town or village officials.

To overcome this, the House of Representatives has passed a bill named for him, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, to bring about national police reform, but it has not yet been adopted by the Senate.

The legislation that Vice President Kamala Harris helped draft when she was a senator would prohibit police from using tactics like chokeholds or others like the one used on Floyd, require police to use body cameras and limit personal immunity for police from lawsuits.

Several states and local bodies have already enacted such regulations.

Police brutality was just one aspect of the Black Lives Matter movement.

It also drew attention to the discrimination against African Americans, their poverty, lack of jobs, negative cultural stereotyping including in books and media, and even in the treatment for COVID-19 and the distribution of vaccines.

The poverty rate for African Americans is about two and a half times that for non-Hispanic Whites and Asians, and their mean household income is less than half that of Asians and two-thirds of non-Hispanic Whites, according to Census bureau figures.

Although African Americans are only about 12 per cent of the population they make up about 33 per cent of the of those in prisons, partly as a result of discriminatory policing.

Biden and leaders across business, academia, culture and politics have vowed to correct the historic wrongs and the continuing ones.

Biden has proposed a commission to study reparations for African Americans descended from slaves to make amends for their forebears’ enslavement and its enduring consequences. Congress has a bill for creating the commission.

The Black Lives Matter also had a wider impact in facing up to racism haunting others also. The Asian community felt empowered to stand up vigorously against a wave of violence a” even though many of the perpetrators were themselves non-Whites a” this year unlike ever before.

Floyd emerged as an unlikely hero with portraits in public places and a proposed legislation named for him.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, for instance, hailed him: “Thank you George Floyd for sacrificing your life for justice.”

“Because of you and because of thousands, millions of people around the world who came out for justice, your name will always be synonymous for justice,” she added.

But he had a questionable past as a convicted criminal with a roster of drug, theft and robbery charges. In the most serious case, he was sentenced to five years for holding up a woman with a gun at her house during a robbery.

His murder took place at a moment of confluence of several factors a” among them the perceptions of Donald Trump’s presidency a” to make it a symbol of the wrongs committed against African Americans.

In 2014 when Biden was the vice president and African American man, Eric Garner, was strangled by a policeman in New York while trying to arrest him over allegations that he was selling single cigarettes.

It was also video-recorded. But the policeman escaped prosecution and there was no national movement or action by Biden on the scale in Floyd’s case.

(Arul Louis can be reached at arul.l@ians.in)

Source: IANS

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How to Apply Coconut Hair Oil : 5 Ways to Getting Nourished, Shiny Strands

How to Apply Coconut Hair Oil : 5 Ways to Getting Nourished, Shiny Strands

There are very few hair care ingredients that are as amazing and trusted as coconut oil. For centuries, coconut oil has been used as a hero ingredient and grandmothers of Indian households swear by it. The buttery, thick oil has managed to make quite an impression among the international fashionistas worried about the health of their hair as well.

Coconut oil brings to you an impressive resume of natural beauty advantages for both the scalp and hair.

If you haven’t yet discovered the wonderful benefits of coating your strands in coconut oil, you are probably wondering why this oil is considered a hair care mainstay. Keep reading to know how exactly coconut oil can nourish your hair and the best ways to apply it for brilliant results.

What is coconut hair oil good for?

How to Apply Coconut Hair Oil
How to Apply Coconut Hair Oil

Here, take a look at some of the reasons that make coconut oil reign supreme in the department of hair care.

  • The oil is super moisturizing for your hair strands. The low molecular weight of coconut oil allows it to easily penetrate the shaft of your hair and get absorbed quickly, much better than other oils.
  • The oil has a high moisture content naturally, and therefore, it is effective in conditioning and moisturizing the strands. The oil doesn’t just sit on top of it.
  • The oil will also help your hair to retain protein because it contains a specific type of fatty acid, known as lauric acid. Nick Stenson, a celebrity hairstylist and Matrix’s artistic director, says that strands hold to proteins better when they are coated in coconut hair oil.

If you need more reasons – coconut hair oil is affordable and found ubiquitously, and does not contain any chemicals.

How to apply coconut hair oil for maximum benefits?

The application of coconut oil to hair entirely depends on how you wish to use it. For instance, a deep conditioning hair mask needs a different application than a split end treatment or detangler.

You’ll find below 5 ways to apply coconut oil.

  1. As a treatment of the scalp

Are you interested in a tension-relieving, relaxing scalp massage? Sounds interesting, right? You can relieve your tensed scalp after a tough day of work by wetting the pads of your fingers with coconut oil. Apply the oil gently onto your scalp and massage it gently for a few minutes. This will help the coconut oil to moisturize your scalp and promote healthy hair growth. A relaxing scalp massage using coconut oil is going to make your hair follicles happy and this will result in speedier and also healthier hair growth.

The reason why scalp massages promote hair growth is because they encourage blood circulation. This helps in delivering your hair follicles all the essential nutrients and also oxygen.

  1. As a hair mask

Coconut oil for hair is known to work wonders when it comes to deep conditioning hair treatments. You can create a DIY at-home hair mask by melting a few tablespoons of the oil over low heat and then transferring the oil to a bowl. Section your hair to properly massage warm coconut oil into the roots of your hair and saturating your strands throughout the tips. After that, use a wide-toothed comb to run through your entire hair so that your hair detangles gently. Then, cover your hair with a warm towel or shower cap, and relax for ten to thirty minutes. You can use your regular or mild shampoo to wash out the oil. Make sure to rinse properly.

Remember not to sleep while you are relaxing. You need to wash out the oil to prevent any build-up.

  1. To define your curls more prominently

Coconut oil is a worthy styler and it can help you look your best. Even if you don’t have the right outfit for the day, your hair is surely going to make heads turn!

A lot of people are partial to wash-and-go or an air-dry. If you are one of them, you can slide the oil through the strands of your hair after taking a shower. The oil will help to define the pattern of your curl while also reducing frizz and moisturizing your hair.

If you want your curls to keep their spring, you can make use of coconut oil in between washes. Your curls will be replenished and have a beautiful shine.

  1. To prevent your hair from tangling or to detangle 

A physical barrier is required for all hair types before detangling the strands, especially for those who have more breakage-prone, drier hair. Coconut oil is a brilliant detangling hair care product that you can use to prevent your hair from breaking. You can apply warm oil or you can use a spray bottle to spritz oil on your hair before detangling.

  1. To treat split ends 

Honestly, you cannot mend split ends forever. There just isn’t a way. You can snip them from time to time, but you cannot say goodbye to them forever. Another way to manage your split end problem is by applying coconut hair oil products. The oil will help to seal the cuticle and make your hair look shinier, healthier, and also less brittle. You might even notice density to your strands, especially if you have been noticing that your hair is tapered toward the bottom and looking thin.

The takeaway

Do you think that your hair can benefit from the use of fatty-rich coconut hair oil? You can give it a try in any one of the 5 ways above. And if anybody was wondering, the oil can also be used straight up on your strands.

However, if you are allergic to coconut in general, you might want to stay away from using this oil. In such cases, applying the oil may result in causing irritation.


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