The death of George Floyd has triggered nationwide protests, marking a watershed moment in the fight for racial equality and movement against police brutality. For many, Floyd’s death has been seen as the last straw, the last incident that has broken the dam of pent up anger and building tensions over the country’s treatment of black Americans.
These protests are happening in the midst of a pandemic, which has only further highlighted the health and economic disparities against communities of color. The plight against racial prejudice is nothing new. Issues of police brutality and racial disparity have always existed, but especially in the past few years, these problems are being given greater attention by the national public. But the question becomes when will there be change? The anger and frustration from the death of Geroge Floyd and the many others before him have led to nationwide protests. Public anger can stoke change in the form of political pressure, but that hasn’t always been the case. Today on AirTalk, we discuss how the protests could lead to change and how public emotion influences politics.
Davin Phoenix, assistant professor of political science at UC Irvine; author of the book “The Anger Gap: How Race Shapes Emotion in Politics” (Cambridge University Press, 2019)