Choice in November facing US citizens is one of two devils

TEHRAN, Jul. 04 (MNA) –Referring to the effect of recent anti-racism protests on the upcoming US presidential election results, Sheridan said, "The choice in November facing US citizens is one of two devils."

George Floyd, an unarmed American black man died on May 25, 2020, after a police officer pressed his knee into his neck for several minutes even after he stopped moving and pleading for air. 

His death by the US police has caused a ripple of protests throughout the US, turning the country into a battlefield between police and demonstrators. Rallies have turned violent in some US cities, where the police have fired tear gas and rubber bullets against the demonstrators.

US President Donald Trump threatened the use of force in dealing with protests against the death of George Floyd, referring to participants as “thugs” in a tweet that was later hidden by Twitter for "glorifying violence."

But the former President Barack Obama issued a statement on Floyd's killing via Twitter and pleaded for Americans to open their eyes to the ongoing racial injustice that plagues the country.

Growing unrest against police brutality across the country, Obama said to demonstrators that this moment is politically advantageous for protesters who are calling for widespread police reforms and large-scale institutional change.

Simultaneously with all the protests in the US, thousands of people of all colors, creeds, ages, and walks of life took to the streets across the world to show their anger over the racism and police brutality.

To shed more light on the issue and its dimensions we reached out to Scottish politician Tommy Sheridan. 

Here is the full text of the interview:

Where do you think these protests across the US will eventually lead to? Do you see any hope for a change of behavior towards African Americans?

George Floyd's senseless and awful murder is not the first example of police racism and brutality in America and won't be the last. However, sometimes events take a life of their own and coincide with specific circumstances. Who would have thought Rosa Parke's defiance in December 1955 would develop into a fully blown boycott and eventual change in discrimination laws? There appears to be a sense across many parts of the US that 'enough is enough'. I certainly hope fundamental change in the systemic racism which scars American society emerge from this tragedy.I certainly hope fundamental change in the systemic racism in US

Why do you think the United States has failed to abolish the culture that has grown out of hundreds of years of slavery?

The United States was built on bloodshed, subjugation, and racism. The genocide of the native Americans followed by the economic application of slavery and the war which ensued between 1861-65 over slavery but about economic domination of capital over land only added to that very violent history. The US had some great visionaries try to build a new society but at heart, it has always been a bully, a violent bully internationally, and a domestic bully in relation to police forces polluted by racists from top to bottom.The United States was built on bloodshed, subjugation, and racism

What do you believe the world can do to help African-Americans and eliminate the structural racism in the US?

Racism is worldwide cancer which appears more virulent and noticeable in some countries than others. The US is amongst the worst afflicted countries, but many others also have major challenges. International cooperation and solidarity in the fight against racism are essential but it will also require focussing on unity of the dispossessed, black and white, against capitalism and the very many inequalities and injustices that it spawns as an economic system. Keeping the working class divided is a long-term strategy of the rich and powerful in society.International cooperation and solidarity in the fight against racism are essential

European countries have kept silent on recent developments in the US despite the fact they are among the first to express worry for human rights issues in other regions, such as West Asia. What is your take on this?

European countries separately and particularly via the European Union have been disgraceful and shameful in their silence in the face of US abuse of human rights and international law across the world. The US deployment of economic sanctions is the modern-day form of international terrorism as it attacks the very fabric of countries and their ability to feed their nations and provide essential medicines. Rather than condemn such political piracy and brutal bullying the EU has acted like a pathetic cheerleader in the face of US incursions in Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Syria and further afield. Much of the EU, but particularly Britain, is no more than an obedient puppy of US invasions, illegal coups, and brutal economic sanctions policies. EU has acted like a pathetic cheerleader in the face of US incursions

How can these developments affect the upcoming Presidential election in the US?

I am no fan of Joe Biden. He is of the same ilk of the Clintons and their sickening hypocrisy within America and across the world. They talk of freedom and democracy while crushing democratically elected governments and social movements across the globe if they dare to demur from the neo-liberal economic philosophy of US capital and privatisation for the benefit of the already rich and powerful. Biden represents the past, the polluted swamp of vested privilege and favours for the rich. Sadly, Bernie Sanders will not be the Democratic candidate. That is sad and tragic. The choice in November facing US citizens is one of two devils. Biden is the devil I hope they opt for, but I would have to vote for him with a peg on my nose and blindfold. Trump is the worst of the options but only slightly. American needs a proper party of socialism to unite and represent the black and white working classes.

Tommy Sheridan is a Scottish politician and co-convenor of Solidarity. Sheridan was a leading figure in negotiations to establish the Scottish Socialist Alliance in 1996, which evolved into the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) in 1998. He became the convenor of the party and was elected to the Scottish Parliament in 1999 as a Glasgow representative and re-elected in 2003.

Interview by Payman Yazdani

News Code 160526


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