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JJivani: Americans putting faith in the wrong leaders since the killing of George Floyd

As murder trial begins, it is unclear what has actually been accomplished this past year.

Former police officer Derek Chauvin’s murder trial over the killing of George Floyd is set to begin this month, with jury selection Monday. Almost ten months have passed since video recordings of Floyd’s death first captured the world’s attention. As the United States prepares for possible riots and protests during what is sure to be an intense several weeks, the rest of the world is also bracing for impact. We all remember how America’s 2020 racial reckoning shook our communities, too.

Whether the rest of the world likes it or not, our conversations about racism, especially anti-Black racism, are influenced by what’s happening in the United States. With that in mind, it sure would be helpful if Americans stopped putting their faith in the wrong leaders to bring about change. The activists, athletes, and politicians currently in the spotlight are failing to provide real solutions that can give a hand up to the average Black working and middle class family. Americans can do better.

In the critical weeks ahead, as we take stock of what has been achieved since George Floyd’s death, and we wonder what comes next, the U.S. should reconsider which leaders they put their faith in. Those in the spotlight aren’t delivering for Black working and middle class families. The rest of the world is watching.


Jamil Jivani
Senior Fellow at Macdonald-Laurier Institute

Jamil Jivani is an award-winning lawyer and author, who serves as the Government of Ontario’s first-ever advocate for Community Opportunities. He also leads a youth-focused research nonprofit, Road Home Research & Analysis, which is supported by the Pinball Clemens Foundation, and hosts a weekly radio show, “Tonight with Jamil Jivani” on Newstalk 1010.