It feels different this time. The killing of George Floyd has confirmed the relevance of W.E.B. du Bois’s grim prophecy, in 1903, about America’s everlasting racism. The whole world is mourning.
There have been anti-racism demonstrations in three hundred and eighty cities in America and many countries around the world, even in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. “We cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism,” Pope Francis said, as he condemned the “sin of racism.”
Apple CEO Tim Cook wrote the “painful past is still present today” in an internal memo to employees that discussed discrimination. Jeff Bezos posted an irritant email on Instagram and said that he was “happy to lose” a customer who objected to Amazon’s support for the Black Lives Matter Movement.
JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon and Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau took a knee in solidarity with demonstrators. House Democrats did the same, for nearly nine minutes, while dressed in African kente cloth scarves. “Black Lives Matter” is painted in bright yellow letters on the road to the White House.
Even the NFL has admitted “we were wrong for not listening” to players who peacefully protested police brutality. Fashion brands are speaking up. Sephora committed 15 percent of its shelf space to black-owned beauty brands. Walmart pledged to stop locking...