George Floyd: The Allegory of The American Story

“Everybody is going to remember him around the world. George Floyd is going to change the world.” -Rodney Floyd

In the passing of a mere minute, the death of a black man with a white police officer’s knee on his neck became an allegory of the hurting American story. As Floyd’s last words, “I cannot breathe,” reverberate far beyond Minnesota, his impact is bringing about debate and deliberation across the world.

United States, which for the three-quarters of a century has been the leader of the free world, is going to be left altered by the crisis of this minute. Ongoing developments will have far-reaching and long-lasting implications on American influence. Unless the United States acknowledges its obstinate political and societal gaps, democracy may take a backseat globally, allies may reconsider placing their security in American hands, and opponents may dispense with the long-established caution.

A nation puts forth its ideals and builds a perspective for its representatives to follow through example. Today, the United States’ so-called efforts are being widely heard and seen outside American borders. In an attempt to prove that point, widespread protests against the American example are surfacing about their embassies around the world. The American example, over the years, has become unappealing to the rest of the world, a consequence of the lingering political divide and dysfunction within the United States. Indifference towards the waning confidence in the American example is strengthening the already pervasive opinion that the United States has strayed from what it once represented.  

Now, as America’s image as the leader of the free world becomes blur in the eyes of the world, its credibility of setting itself as a standard for others to ape also fades. Similarly, the crisis at hand deters the United States’ prospects for fostering and fortifying democracies abroad. Today, democracy is in slowdown all over the world, and the ability of the upholder of the liberal order to change this narrative is likewise in decline. A case in point is China, who has responded to Washington’s condemnation of its actions in Hong Kong by pointing to America’s actions at home. The threatening precedent America’s actions and inactions are setting in a country just five months away from a neck-and-neck election is not lost on either American nationals or international audiences.

The minute is therefore precarious. Three decades on after the end of the Cold War, the plight of the world is worsening. The agenda of sovereign security has been reset, embracing a revisionist Russia, bitter middle powers in the form of Iran and North Korea, and an ever more commanding China. Moreover, this agenda comes at the same time as a new security concern that comprises terrorism of global influence, climate change, and pandemics. The United States, the face of liberal order on whose shoulders this daunting agenda falls, is destabilized, divided, and distracted. These threats, like the ones before, will not go away on their own, nor can America keep protecting itself and the rest of the world from the burden of inaction anymore. Instead, the need of the minute is for the United States to get together beyond its political and societal differences and let George Floyd change the world.

 About the Author:

Sana Hasija is currently doing her Bachelor's in International Relations, Communication Studies (Intercultural Track), and Mathematics at the University of Miami, FL. She worked as a Research Intern at MitKat Advisory Services with the Information Services team.

 

Published On - Jul 6,2020

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