Like Floyd, Vietnamese Were Victims of a “Flourishing US Culture of Excessive Force, Racism, & Impunity”

Associated Press Headlines (March 12, 2021) — The city of Minneapolis on Friday agreed to pay $27 million to settle a civil lawsuit from George Floyd’s family over the Black man’s death in police custody
Floyd’s family filed the federal civil rights lawsuit in July against the city, Chauvin and three other fired officers charged in his death. It alleged the officers violated Floyd’s rights when they restrained him, and that the city allowed a culture of excessive force, racism and impunity to flourish in its police force.

With the award of 27 $million to the family of George Floyd, along with placing value on the life of a police murdered African American, the award seems to have recognized the alleged “violation of his rights within a flourishing American culture of excessive force, racism and impunity,” a culture that has been consistently genocidal in dozens of poor nations abroad. 

Martin Luther King taught racial injustice in America is linked to American government's mass murdering overseas in order to maintain unjust predatory investments.[1]

King would have found the legal description of what happened in the case of George Floyd a good description of what happened in Vietnam, namely that each Vietnamese killed by Americans had his/her “rights violated” in a flourishing US “culture of excessive force, racism and impunity.”

The Associated Press Release regarding the award of $27 million reported: "Floyd family attorney Ben Crump called it the largest pretrial settlement ever for a civil rights claim, and thanked city leaders for 'showing you care about George Floyd.' 'Even though my brother is not here, he’s here with me in my heart,' Philonise Floyd said. 'If I could get him back, I would give all this back.'”

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Vietnamese who perished in America’s invasion of their country were also held in the hearts of their family members, but to this day no American government has ever shown that the millions of Vietnamese murdered by Americans in their own beloved country mattered in the least. President Carter even blocked the modest compensations promised and kept the cruelest international sanctions in place. 

Martin Luther King, in a sermon titled America’s Chief Moral Dilemma, spoke of “The triple evils of racism, economic exploitation, and militarism.… these three evils are tied together. The great problem and the great challenge facing mankind today is to get rid of war.[2]

According to AP Press, in a post trial statement, Floyd's family attorney Ben Crump said, “It’s going to be a long journey to justice. This is just one step on the journey to justice. This makes a statement … that George Floyd’s life mattered, and that by extension, Black lives matter.”

So after this ‘positive step on the long journey to justice,’ what is the next step? 

Now that an American city government has shown, by its award of 27 million dollars to George Floyd’s family, that the life of an American victim of deadly racist police violence matters, and that by extension all African American lives matter, what else stands in the way of reaching the goal of ending deadly racist police violence against African Americans? 

The big step forward that Minneapolis City judgement represents notwithstanding, the goal is still to prevent deadly police violence and Martin Luther King’s warning provides a clue, “There will be no progress on issues of social injustice at home, while we go on killing the poor overseas at a cost in human and financial resources that make that progress at home impossible.”[1]

Martin Luther King’s recipe for ending deadly racism and economic exploitation at home was to first end it overseas where American invasions, bombings, and sanctions continue to end the lives of millions of children and innocent people in Yemen, Somalia, Syria, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Venezuela, and other places.

Fifty-four years ago newspapers throughout the world ran headlines in large bold print, KING CALLS US “GREATEST PURVEYOR OF VIOLENCE IN WORLD!” [1]

The violence Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. vehemently condemned in his earth shaking 1967 New York Riverside Church sermon ‘Beyond Vietnam - a Time to Break Silence’ went far beyond the violence and repeated police killings of individual African-American citizens at home. US media vilified King as a traitor and King’s friends and even colleagues in the churches and civil rights movement were afraid to support his stance against the Vietnam war during his last year on Earth.

Within the year in which King spoke out against the war, he was shot dead, and today 53 years later, the issue of civil rights and racism in the USA is still unsolved.

Up until several years ago, how did aware people around the world see Americans and their constant wars in the Third World?

Arundhati Roy, one of India’s most famous writers wrote in her book, Capitalism - A Ghost Story (published in May, 2014) that “the civil rights movement in US has become a war supporting movement.” She describes how super wealthy foundations, set up by the corporate world that completely dominate the economy and society of her country and others, have infiltrated peace and justice organizations everywhere, and how, in the United States of America itself, the civil rights movement along with other social justice movements have become war supporting movements.

It is a mistake to believe Black lives in America could truly come to be  respected while overseas a flourishing of that same racist American culture of civil rights violation and excessive force in impunity continues bringing death, destruction, and mega enormous human suffering throughout the US dominated world with its invasions, bombings, and deadly sanctions.

Even Deep State establishment Foreign Policy Magazine admitted in a lead article in December 2020, titled:
"America's Brutality and Disdain for Black Lives Extend to Africa" that increased militarization on the continent under Trump is part of a long history of institutionalized racism in U.S. foreign policy.[3]

The Movement for Black Lives released its much-anticipated platform on Aug. 1, 2016, a platform that, like King, draws a connection between the impact of US policies and actions on Black Lives locally and globally.

"America is an empire that uses war to expand territory and power. American wars are unjust, destructive to Black communities globally and do not keep Black people safe locally."

The platform calls for cutting the U.S. military budget by 50 percent, closing the more than 800 U.S. military bases around the world and pulling back U.S. troops. According to the Movement for Black Lives, this money should then be reinvested in communities that have been harmed by the U.S. government.

"Resources and funds needed for reparations and for building a just and equitable society domestically are instead used to wage war against a majority of the world’s communities," the platform stresses.[4]

Rev. King would have been so happy to hear of today's Black Lives Matter organization’s denunciation of US wars.

Now the fight against racial injustice is no longer exclusively about Americans in America, but also a fight to save the innocent lives being taken by Americans overseas, keeping in mind that African-Americans in the military have been participating in this racist killing of the poor within non-white populations overseas, before returning home to face mortal racist danger themselves within their own neighborhood in America.

Now ‘Non-white Lives Matter' not only also in Africa, but in Asia, Middle East, and Latin America. For example, see, an article titled, "The forgotten alliance between Black activists and China," by Chang Che (Washington Post, 9/28/2020), in which he says:

Black activists see commonalities in the experiences of Chinese people, who had also endured racial subjugation under Western imperialism. Like White anxieties about Black emancipation during Reconstruction, China’s resistance to colonial rule triggered a fear of a “yellow peril” to White Christendom.[5]

In addition, the Black-Palestinian Solidarity Campaign released a video October 2015 titled, "When I See Them, I See Us", which states: 

"We each struggle against the formidable forces of structural racism and the carceral and lethal technologies deployed to maintain them. This video intends to interrupt that process – to assert our humanity – and to stand together in an affirmation of life and a commitment to resistance. From Ferguson to Gaza, from Baltimore to Jerusalem, from Charleston to Bethlehem, we will be free.” [6]

In 2015, Black Lives Matter co-founder Opal Tometi said:  

"We stand with the Venezuelan people and defend their right to self-determination! We reject any action the U.S. puts forward to plunder Venezuelan natural resources, occupy the country and incite violence. . . . We are Black organizations and individuals fighting against U.S. white supremacy and imperialism and for human rights and social justice. We offer this expression of our unwavering solidarity with the progressive and revolutionary Venezuelan people as they reflect, regroup and rectify to defend the Bolivarian Revolution. We demand U.S. Hands off Venezuela! “

In solidarity, Opal Tometi [7]

George Floyd Will Be Remembered For Mattering So Greatly 

How important it is for our own sense of humanity that so many people in the world got to know something of George Floyd as a person, a real person. George Floyd didn’t become just another numbered name in the head count of police murdered African-Americans. We know his face, we know what he looked like, and we know he has a loving sister. We now have repeatedly seen the faces of many African-Americans who were killed by the police. They and their families have come to mean something more than a crime report. Their photos touch our feelings, even if ever so lightly. A glance at their photos brings regret. 

The many tens of millions of men, women and children whose lives were taken by Americans in Asia, Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East in “violation of their right to life within a flourishing American culture of excessive force, racism and impunity” will of course remain only a statistic outside their country, part of the history of an evil American murderous foreign policy.

The best example of the gross inequality of war death remembrance is the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington D.C. which contains the names of more than 58,000 Americans who died during the US invasion of Indochina. The wall is 494 feet long. If there were a similar wall somewhere containing the names of all the Vietnamese, Laotians, and Cambodians who perished, that wall would be far more than a mile long. 

Author’s Personal Experience Awaken Determination Not To Forget

From having lived in post-American wars Korea and Vietnam, this writer has been touched deeply just from hearing about the many relatives of my students who perished. Every single musician of the Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra lost family - if not an immediate family member, then an uncle, aunt or cousin. "Killed by the Americans,” they would say reverently with Buddhist equanimity, and a slight demurring smile. I once happened across a tiny cemetery on a cliff overlooking the ocean in which the elderly French speaking caretaker proudly showed us the flower bedecked graves of his three brothers who were killed at ages 17, 19, and 21. Vietnamese observe a tradition of having a special big family gathering dinner on each yearly anniversary of a deceased family member, and if they had a good year and could afford a big blow out, they would even invite the American coach, who came and enjoyed everyone’s company, but naturally felt embarrassed.

Recently, back in New York, at a Veterans For Peace meeting, a veteran told me about picking up a cap of a dead Vietnamese soldier that had a photo of a young woman and child in the cap’s lining. These little experiences remain disconcerting when recalled. 

The present ongoing American six-nation destruction and genocide in the Middle East and Africa brings sad conversations with three Syrian colleagues and close friends about the documented secret American and NATO arming and supplying of ISIS. [8] [9] Our disgust for the American-assisted bombing of Yemen bringing death and starvation to the children of Yemen, brings me various memories of connecting with people from throughout the world in the US. For example, having spent an evening partying as a guest in a Yemeni home in Brooklyn; seeing a Libyan acquaintance from my health club (closed for the pandemic), memories of chatting with Somalis in Ethiopia and on a plane and with the Afghani Curbside Fruits and Vegetable stand operator on the corner in Manhattan. It’s a small and somewhat integrated world in which Americans are busy destroying and killing in country after country. 

White racist solidarity is strikingly exemplified by the fact that every single nation of Caucasian population in the world, even tiny Andorra, Liechtenstein, and Monaco, have been part of the American-led military coalition fighting an occupation war in Afghanistan. 

The goal of ending deadly official racist violence at home must be broadened within America’s no-longer silent majority public to include ending official racist violence overseas, and then to demand some of the same justice for the millions more victims of deadly American racist violence overseas that has been demanded for George Floyd and is being demanded for all the other victims of deadly racism by police at home in America.

Martin Luther King insisted, we must make what reparations we can for the damage we have done. We must provide the medical aid that is badly needed, making it available in this country, if necessary. [1] When King was shot dead, he was working on organizing a second march on Washington to link up poverty and racism with the US wars.

The trial of George Floyd’s killer is going on as this article is being written. May the trial and verdict serve to promote further healthy activity to bring progress toward the eventual dissolution of the appallingly ignorant, arrogant, and laughably unfounded sense of superiority of White skinned folks still held by a substantial amount of misled people especially in the USA that has led to cruel and deadly violent behavior toward people of skin color of various hues at home and abroad.

End Notes

1. Martin Luther King, Jr., Beyond Vietnam -- A Time to Break Silence, Delivered 4 April 1967, Riverside Church, New York City

2. Martin Luther King Jr. Speech: 'The Three Evils' - The Atlantic
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAYGYmXOAyg

3. [Foreign Policy Magazine By Salih Booker, 6/12/2020]

4. https://www.salon.com/2016/08/12/blm-platform-blasts-u-s-empire-militarization-war-on-terror-africom/

5. https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2020/09/28/forgotten-alliance-between-black-activists-china/

6. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFVijtMN4dU

7. https://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/11789

8. ISIS IS US: The Shocking Truth: Behind the Army of Terror 2nd Edition by John-Paul Leonard (Author), Washington’s Blog  (Author), Wayne Madsen (Author), Syrian Girl Partisan (Author).
Who would have ever thought that “ISIS is made in America” it seems so absurd! We Americans are at war with ISIS or so they want you to believe. The be-headings, mayhem, and murder in the Middle East are being orchestrated from Washington DC.
This book exposes the false flags on the war on terror – Isis is a cruel barbaric USA concocted death squad.

9. An American Senator Writes of ISIS “Hellish Filth We’ve Recruited, Armed and Trained for 8 Years!” “The Syrian War had ” much to do with clandestine actions of CIA, MI-6, Mossad, Turkish MIT, French DGSE, Saudi GID and others. “would never have occurred without American planning and execution.” (and criminal CBS NBC ABC CNN FOX PBS genocidal fake news) January 10, 2019 Greanville Post

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