Transcript for A long history of violence, civil unrest against people of color in the US
This scene just moments ago out west in Los Angeles, a protester, and you see a policeman kneeling together. Thankfully we're seeing that scene played out all across the country. That's in L.A. Now, we want to talk more tonight about America at the boiling point. You know, how we got here. Three deadly incidents involving African-Americans making national headlines. And we're talking about in the last month. Ahmaud arbery, breonna Taylor and George Floyd. Say their names. You add to that the stress of the coronavirus pandemic, you add that to it, also the lockdowns, the loss of 40 million American jobs -- well, the hard truth is we have been here before with the loss of black lives. Here's ABC's Steve osunsami. You got him down, man, let him breathe at least, man. Reporter: For black Americans it's felt like the knee of racism has been choking the necks of black people for at least a century. Jim crow, housing discrimination, racial profiling. Watching the images of George Floyd die under the weight of that knee only underlined how many black Americans see their place. I can't breathe. We saw that the officer had no emotion whatsoever. We literally saw the life sucked out of George Floyd as he was on the ground under the knee of the officer. Reporter: The death of a black American in Georgia whose family says he was jogging. Then in central park, the dispute of a dog off a leash turns racial when a come calls police and pretends she's being There is an African-American man he's recording me and threatening myself and my dog. Reporter: Every time a white person does that they can get the white person killed by the police. That's the reality of it. That's why there's this boiling point, because people are like, enough of this, enough of this, enough of this. Reporter: People in this country who have never experienced or had to seriously discuss racial injustice are talking about those issues tonight because of these pictures from the streets of America. The amount of anger and violence is overwhelming to the heart and mind. And while to many it feels brand new on this national level, in 1968, Americans watched as riots tore through cities after the death of martin Luther king. Dad would not have wanted it to happen this way, but over 100 cities went up in flames. When people are frustrated and have no outlet and lost hope, that is what happen. Reporter: Black Americans have not always been the ones rising up in anger. Nearly 100 years ago this very week, black families in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in what was then the wealthiest black community in and it all started after a black shoe shine was accused of assaulting a girl that was 17 years old and white. Don't talk to us all about looting. Y'all are the looters. America looted the black people. America looted the native-americans when this a first came here. We learned it from you. We learned violence from you. If you want us to do better then damn it you do better. Reporter: It's the poliing of black Americans that hits the nerve. The riots after the beating of Rodney king. And more recently in Ferguson, Michael Brown, where I was there. I am literally shaking. I am so appalled. Reporter: In Baltimore, too, when Freddy gray died and parts of the city burned. What are your thoughts on what black Americans in particular are saying in these protests? We seem to be going through the same kind of things over and over and over again. There are sores of racism that seems to be festering, and they never healed because these wounded opened those sores right back up. I heard someone saying on TV today that it feels like every black person in America is being hunted. That's how we feel. It's not just about George Floyd. This is actually following a number of other issues that have been impacting the African-American community specifically. We are in the middle of the pandemic of covid-19 that is having a disproportionately negative effect on the African-American population, and then there are so many reminders of the pandemic of racism. I think the incident in Minneapolis was the straw that breaks the camel's back. Reporter: Add all of that to the hurt and anger of the killings of trayvon martin, philando Castile. We're talking about Sean bell, am due Diallo. Bruce Springsteen made a song. 41 shots Reporter: The time, the protests isn't just marching through black and brown communities, and their cases look like all corners of America. They're on main street, outside the white house. These Americans are forcing the tough conversations, and it's not always easy to watch. I certainly think that there's some awakening happening within segments of white America that perhaps have hit the snooze button, you know, on previous incidents. We saw Eric Garner and hit hit the snooze button, philando Castile and hit the snooze button. It's like the alarm clock. Eventually we all get out of History between the police
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