Bernard E. Harcourt | September 13 | Columbia University Press

Life has been hell in this country. For many, especially persons of color, it has been hell for decades, or rather, centuries. But it has taken a turn for the worse since mid-March, again especially for persons of color, who have suffered disproportionately during this pandemic—or I should say, during this series of plagues, including the outbreak of COVID-19; the economic crash and massive unemployment that followed; the onslaught of police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Carlos Ingram-Lopez, and others; and the proto-fascist response of President Donald Trump.

There is no silver lining. None.

But what we have seen, since that horrific eight-minute-and-forty-six-second video of the murder of George Floyd, is an uprising for Black lives like we had rarely seen before, not only in the United States but also across the globe, and a reckoning—however too late and too little—with structural racism in this country.

In the wake of the movement for Black lives, Americans of all stripes are quickly becoming familiar with a world of critical praxis and radical experimentation that has historically been outside the mainstream. Occupations, temporary autonomous zones, flash mobilizations, street riders, riots, antifascist strategies, walls of moms and leaf-blower dads—new and creative forms of protest are becoming headline news on mainstream media across the country.

That’s a change. It’s high time.

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