The funeral ceremony at Stanford Business School lasted eight minutes and forty-six seconds. Just as long as the violent arrest of the African-American George Floyd, which ended with his death. Until recently, everything stood still here in California because of the measures taken against the Corona pandemic, and crowds of people were not only socially frowned upon, but also explicitly forbidden. Since the violent death of George Floyd, however, a state of emergency 2.0 has been in force in almost all states. Tens of thousands of people are demonstrating against racism and police violence, and violent riots are occurring again and again. A racism that has been structurally immanent for centuries discharges itself and shows the sensitive coexistence of the different social classes in the USA that has been shaken.
In Silicon Valley, too, no stone is left standing, "black lives matter" dominates everyday life as well as academic discourse: a topic that has long been hushed up can now be discussed with unprecedented intensity. The Stanford psychologist Steven O. Roberts sees the very pronounced segregation in the USA as the main factor for structural racism, the spatial separation of residential areas from social groups in a city. Segregation is all the more pronounced the more the spatial distribution of residential areas deviates from the distribution of the total population according to the social status, demographic characteristics such as age, and ethnic, religious, linguistic or cultural criteria of a group. Most extreme form: The ghetto. Historically, the various ethnic groups in the USA have always been highly separated in terms of space and culture, and even today there is comparatively little interaction between the groups. Particularly significant: the (usually low) intensity with which children interact with people of other skin colours.
US President Trump acts extremely insensitive in this debate and added fuel to the fire with his first threat to use military force against the demonstrators. Whether this is only due to his lack of empathy with social minorities or is already a targeted "law and order" election campaign strategy is disputed even among political professionals. I frequently exchange views with Arnold Schwarzenegger's former chief strategist David Crane, who also teaches the highly coveted "How to be a politician" course at Stanford. David Crane is considered an absolute political genius in California, he knows how international elections are won and lost and he once paved the way for Arnold Schwarzenegger to become governor. For Crane, Trump is on a wrong track: Even if the most loyal of his white core voters have not yet turned their backs on Trump because of this, he is also observing declining support in the Republican Party. He is acting as a divider, not a unifier of the US nation. But with extreme positions it is always difficult to get a good "deal". A really good negotiator (and top politicians should also master this art, especially if they want to be perceived as statesmen internationally) must be aware that in the end he must also bring opponents on board in order to assert his positions in the long term.
The deliberate division of the USA, or at least its intensification, can quickly turn into a boomerang for Trump. The dwindling support in the Republican Party is particularly apparent to me in talks with my professor Condoleezza Rice, once Secretary of State under George W. Bush, which are currently only possible via Zoom. For her, the use of tear gas and stun grenades against the anti-racist protest movement is a betrayal of the ideals of the Republican Party. She never tires of emphasizing that it was the Republicans with President Abraham Lincoln who once abolished slavery. Even the once most powerful woman in the USA had to struggle for years as an African American with structural racism and a "white glass ceiling". She and her political foster-father Bush have already announced that they will not support Trump's re-election.
These are things that even one of my Stanford professors and (perhaps) soon to be Nobel laureate knows only too well. As an African American, his outstanding social prestige often ends at the borders of the Stanford campus. During his 30-minute drive home to neighboring San Francisco, he always wears a very expensive suit out of caution and maintains an unusually defensive driving style. Otherwise, the danger of being caught in a "misleading" police check is too great, and he is also repeatedly asked for his vehicle documents with his gun drawn.
Just as in the 1930s under President Roosevelt in the economic and social field, the USA now needs a "New Deal" that will set the socio-political course towards a fairer, better future for all people, and that will also help to improve the quality of life for all.
(from: trend.PREMIUM, 26-28/2020, 120/121)
About Robin Lumsden: Dr. Robin L. Lumsden MBAx (Stanford) LLM (Berkeley) is an attorney-at-law in Austria, New York and Washington D.C. and Honorary Consul of Jamaica in Austria. He graduated from the University of Vienna School of Law with a Mag.iur (JD) in 2003 and a Dr.iur. (PhD) in 2008 and obtained a Master of Laws degree (LL.M.) from the Berkeley Law School in 2005 and He further holds an MBA/MSx degree (2018) from Stanford University (GSB – Graduate School of Business) with a science focus and currently conducts a masters program in Stanford with a focus on Blockchain, Cryptocurrency und Distributed Ledger Technology. Robin Lumsden is admitted to the bar in New York, Washington D.C and Austria. From 2015 to 2019 Lumsden successfully defended Vienna International Airport in a 200 million dollar lawsuit against a client represented by Harvard Professor Alan Dershowitz. Robin Lumsden was an associate/junior partner with Austria’s largest firm Schönherr. He is also Integration Ambassador of Austria’s Prime Minister Sebastian Kurz and a lecturer at Danube University Krems, Austria (DUK) for Contract- and US Law. (Web: www.lumsden.at)
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