With protests still spreading across the United States, it is too early to talk about lessons, messages and imports of the popular action for justice. Notwithstanding that, a number of features are emerging that no one can ignore. What might they be? Intervention attempts a few below:
(1) Visuality will set the world on fire, mostly for good. The harrowing picture of a human being choking to death under the weight of a cop is what has united humanity around George Floyd. If Floyd had been held down to death in a dark alley or in one of America’s prisons, the story would never have been the current universal ‘No’ to Floyd’s death. The brains behind the emergence of Visuality as a recent specialization in critical International Relations have therefore, manifested a very commendable foresight.
(2) The prediction that the African revolt to her cultural misrepresentation will be the conflict of the 21st century has come to pass, perhaps much earlier than ever expected. This is more so that it is coming from African-American revolt rather than somewhere in heartland Africa although the theorists did not say where it was going to erupt from.
(3) The United States’ great power crisis is unraveling at multiple levels – economic, race relations, geopolitical and democratic. That hints at the correctness of the African wisdom popularized by Nigeria’s late Chief MKO Abiola about the bigger the head, the bigger the headache
(4) Revolt at home against injustice and inequality means open interrogation of US’s democracy and human rights promotion, requiring a lot of work to get it back on track.
(5) As complicated as the concept of indeterminacy, it applies to George Floyd catalysing interruption of the coronavirus imprisonment of humanity for nearly half a year. The outpouring of Americans sent a signal to the rest of the world that COVID 19 is not such a successful jailer; that the world would dare it if and when the need arises. Whatever the COVID consequences of the revolt, the myth of an unchallengeable virus is broken. The action of a Dracula cop has brought up something completely new on the scale that was not expected. One isolated incident can trigger a whole lot of things and to permanently unsettle the best of arrangements. Does it mean we should not scheme and plan and plot? We shall ever be doing that but just to know that there is something called indeterminacy, however we understand it.
(6) Implosion in America throws similar darts on agency. Donald Trump fancies himself as the POTUS marked by guts but only for the revolt to lead to where the master of ‘maximum pressure’ could be told on CNN to keep quiet if he has not got anything to say on how to contain a justified revolt.