June 8, 2020 infosol

Undercurrent 18: All Things Social: Distancing + Protests + Justice + Media + Welfare

19 Undercurrents with Ramifications That Go Beyond Twenty20

  • On May 25th 2020 social distancing was forgotten and frozen for a lethal 8min 36 sec.
  • “I Can’t Breath” is a sentence that has resonated across all racial lines, ethnicities & nationalities
  • George Floyd lost his life for handing over a counterfeit note to buy a pack of cigarettes
  • Wall St. traders of junk-rated mortgage backed securities watched this on T.V in disbelief smoking Cohibas!
  • Marches around the world capitals highlight a major shift in perception & intl. demand for social justice
  • Such a show of solidarity in U.S & abroad in the midst of a deadly pandemic was a major sign of rage
  • Yet the reaction and comments of President Trump have only added salt to the injury
  • This graphic tragedy has drastically dented Brand U.S.A during a delicate global geopolitical constellation
  • As Reverend Al Sharpton mentioned in his eulogy: “It’s a different time, it’s a different season”

 Keep an Eye On

 The death of George Floyd has showcased not only the centuries old domestic fault-lines of U.S racial imbalances but have also sharpened the global lens on the fractures in U.S socio-economic contract. Putting all the familiar facts & recurring patterns aside the undercurrents to keep an eye are as follows:

  1. The higher death rates of COVID-19 among Black community in U.S highlighted “a pandemic in pandemic” – more conversation and fact findings will ensue
  2. According to Brookings Institution the net worth of a black family in U.S in 2016 was $17,150 vs. a typical white family at $171,000*. This has been a frequent loud wakeup alarm in the midst of the “American Dream” which has always been put into snooze over decades
  3. The Economist Magazine**: 7,663 people were killed just between 2013-19 by U.S police force
  4. That is more than 2.5 times the number of people who died on September 11th: 2,977
  5. Since year 2000 US has spent USD 2tn on Afghanistan War
  6. Only to sign a peace deal 2 decades later not with the government of Afghanistan, but with The Taliban!
  7. It begs the question that had U.S Gov. deployed half of this budget at home for mentoring, vocational training, micro-financing & genuine legislative reform for betterment of Black lives and its society at large, would it have not achieve winning hearts & minds at home and abroad?!
  8. US Black population 42 m equal to the population of Ukraine or 6 times larger than Hong Kong’s!
  9. To be fair the historic & embedded socio-racism in U.S is not the liability of only one administration
  10. The endemic & chronic negligence is a constant that has crept into both sides of the aisle
  11. One could argue racism is a bi-partisan “legislative sport” among some politicians, but all administrations
  12. A strong and solid documentary produced by Netflix called 13th is a Must Watch on the same subject
  13. Anticipate some active and robust legal class action lawsuits that may go back in time and seek repatriation payments to black households for slavery – this is a topic that has been discussed in the past
  14. Expertise for leading such bold & successful campaigns can be found among other religious minorities’ leaders/institutions and human rights activists who have reclaimed their rights & compensations after
  15. Meanwhile, all of these events are taking place while S is getting out from all of the multilateral institutions & international treaties faster than one could check out at Walmart or Costco on a weekend!
  16. As a result US may find is policy shaping, posturing & influence in Asia/China/H.K ever more challenging
  17. Meanwhile silence in Brussels is deafening – a fact-check of U’s missing mojo in speaking truth to US
  18. United States has been professing & applying maximum pressure at home and abroad – the challenge is that “I Can’t Breath” is transpiring to “We Can’t Breath” in many parts of the world
  19. Watch my take on these events on ONE20: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCC4xUJKwSI

As Reverend Sharpton said “It’s a Different Time, a Different Season”. Time for new optics?!

Ali Borhani is the Managing Director of 3Sixty Strategic Advisors Ltd. It is the readers’ responsibility to verify their own
facts. The views and opinions expressed in this article/commentary are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other individual, agency, organization, employer or company.

* https://www.brookings.edu/blog/up-front/2020/02/27/examining-the-black-white-wealth-gap/

** https://www.economist.com/united-states/2020/06/04/how-to-fix-american policing?fsrc=scn/li/te/bl/ed/orderabovethelawhowtofixamericanpolicingunitedstates