The uprisings sparked by George Floyd’s death are, ostensibly, about the war on Black lives. Protesters demand that we say the names of the deceased, that their murderers be brought to justice, that the institution of policing be re-thought, defunded, dismantled. Yet as the anger and grief simmer, a deeper purpose has crystalized: dismantling white supremacy in all its various forms.
Days after Floyd’s death, protesters defaced Confederate memorials and torched buildings connected to slavery. Within another week, more than a dozen racist statues were toppled, removed, or beheaded, sometimes with municipal support. Collective consciousness evolved in a frenzy; long-resisted changes suddenly felt like no-brainers. The Marines banned displays of Confederate flags on their bases, while brands raced to retire dated symbols. It’s been nothing short of a reckoning—and not just for Aunt Jemima and Robert E. Lee.