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Robert C. Koehler: The knee of change

Is George Floyd today’s Emmett Till?

Is the nation moving beyond, oh God, its third manifestation of “legal” racism? The first manifestation was, of course, slavery, which was eliminated via the Civil War. The second manifestation was the Jim Crow/KKK era, with its lynchings, black vote suppression, unending segregation and unquestioned white supremacy; the civil rights movement undid at least the legal aspect of this horror, but hardly the racism itself. The third phase, which started percolating in the ’70s and came to a full boil in the ’80s and ’90s, began with expanding the prison-industrial complex, militarizing the police and, of course, engaging in

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