The on-video killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on Monday 25 May 2020 highlights several crises in America: racism, morality, and inequality, among others. It is also a national security crisis. Trevor Noah presents an excellent analysis that we can extend to demonstrate how the killing undercuts national security: Police killing of a black man who is already restrained and on the ground not only violates constitutional protections against cruel and unusual punishment, but it is an extreme violation of the social contract to which citizens have agreed. The police are there to uphold the law; such a killing violates that law. The killing of George Floyd by a police officer demonstrates the frayed social contract and highlights the rotten leadership that encourages and applauds the use of power to control, subdue and kill the powerless.
The willingness of our President not just to repeatedly ignore the plague of racism, which has shredded the social contract in our nation, but to continue to encourage it, clearly shows that this President and his administration are only focused on citizens who reflect their own warped image of what America should look like. If our leadership is so unconcerned with upholding either the Constitution or our social contract with its own citizens, how can foreign leaders believe their interests and their citizens will be protected by any treaty we sign or any alliance we join? International order demands alliances, treaties and respect for differences between countries. The killing of George Floyd reinforces the worry that the President and his administration have little respect for anyone different from themselves.
Joe Biden has already demonstrated empathy, and respect for George Floyd, his family, his friends and his community. Biden’s humanity is a breath of fresh air after more than three years of bile, fury and ignorance from President Trump. Biden can be trusted by the international community, which undergirds our national security, makes our country safer, and protects the international order.
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Gail Helt contributed to this article.