Why the Recent Minneapolis Mass Protests Should Worry Us All.

Last week on Monday As from 8:30 p.m. EA time, I tuned into DW for a live coverage of the mass protest in Minneapolis USA. As I followed on with the live coverage, I was a bit disturbed with what I saw. A truck driver had driven directly into a crowd of protesters.

As I switched channels to Aljazeera, it was the same story. The team of protesters including Terrence Floyd, George Floyd’s brother reiterated on what a peaceful demonstration they were holding. To some, the word peace is an overstatement. Nevertheless, it was a far reaching cry to the white brothers about the social problem of racial discrimination.

As we cry of our own social problems of corruption as well as colonized minds in an independent country, the west fights with a problem which in paper is articulately described as liberty including from racial prejudice but one in which reality disputes loudly.

Of late, we are seeing a rising mass protests from across the globe. This is pointing to an ever rising case of social problems. All these range from extreme poverties, alcoholism, sexual prejudices, and inequalities in education to a lot of corruption cases. Some of these social problems cut across boundaries while others are uniquely distinct to certain areas.

Of course a social problem cannot be identified except in light of what society holds to be good or bad as pointed out by sociologists Robert Merton and Robert Nisbert. This is to mean that for something to be accepted as a social problem, it must be considered as undesirable by a rather significant number of people.

Somebody then could argue what constitutes a significant number. Well breaking it down, it could mean what constitutes undesirable by more than two people relative to what constitutes that society. If about five people agree that something is a social problem, to them it is a social problem.

Taking this picture to a larger cluster for example the Minneapolis protests, a lot of people came to protest against what happened to George Floyd. Categorically speaking, it soon spread to other areas of the US including Georgia and beyond, which means that a lot of people have come to a singular agreement that racial prejudice is a great malady in the US.

What probably was missing was a proper avenue to force those in power come to appreciate about the seriousness of the issue. This time round, the objective condition and subjective definition agreed and the cry became louder. If the same brutality continues, the cry will soon be loud enough to birth a revolution.

I borrowed a pointer from Richard C. Fuller and Richard R. Myers where they observed that every social problem involves an objective condition and a subjective definition. An objective condition begs that a situation be verified by impartial observes. Well a lot of people worldwide have come to an agreement that the issue of racial prejudice and injustices in the West and East especially towards blacks are wanting. No wonder other countries joined in the protests such as the UK.

Then the subjective definition calls that a situation involves the awareness to the people that the condition threatens a certain of their cherished values. This has been largely observed in the protests where as many whites as blacks have participated in the protests. The racial discrimination and prejudices have often threatened the American values of racial and religious liberty as well as the objectives of the American dream.

The country where all people had an equal opportunity to dream and achieve those dreams has been reducing gradually to a country where some ‘animals are more animal’ than the others. This sharply contrasts the cost paid for that freedom and liberty for all by the likes of Martin Luther king Jr., Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy.

The most worrying thing about those protests is the sharp inclinations taken by the leaders to refute the existence of any problem. In other words, some of the people have ended up burying their heads in the sand about the sad realities.

It even becomes sadder that the African leadership maybe doesn’t learn anything from what happens in other realms. The led too don’t seem to learn anything. We have the objective condition where corruption, bad leadership, tribalism and nepotism gets pointed out as the greatest root cause of Africa’s misery.

Then the subjective definition, where we ought to come in and verify that these vices threaten our cherished moral values, doesn’t hold credence because even in the first place we have been psychologically programmed to be dependent on the others our thinking. In other words we don’t see what needs to be done, we can’t stand for our own neither can we do anything about our situation or so we believe.

We either learn something from what is happening elsewhere and do something about our own social problems or else we die together as fools. Truth be told, there is nothing like greatness in foolishness, only destruction.



Geoffrey Ndege

Geoffrey Ndege

Geoffrey Ndege is the Editor and topical contributor for the Daily Focus. He writes in the areas of Science, Manufacturing, Technology, Innovation, Governance, Management and International Emerging Issues. For featuring, promotions or support, reach out to us at info@dailyfocus.co.ke
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