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To put it clinically, America is experiencing large-scale civil unrest following the death of George Floyd. But that description fails to capture the emotions on display in the country’s biggest cities, many of which remain under curfew.
Over the weekend, James Fallows, a longtime correspondent for this magazine, wondered whether 2020 was the worst year in modern American history, comparing it to another year of widespread strife: 1968.
Below, four writers share their perspectives on the uprisings across the country:
“To be black and conscious of anti-black racism is to stare into the mirror of your own extinction,” Ibram X. Kendi, our contributing writer and the author of How to Be an Antiracist, writes.
And, furthermore, there’s no “acceptable” form of black dissent, the historian Kellie Carter Jackson writes: “Throughout history, black people have employed violence, nonviolence, marches, and boycotts. Only one thing is clear—there is no form of black protest that white supremacy will sanction.”