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Michael ~ Judge, Law Professor

Almost everything has surprised me in 2020 . . . The phrase that comes to mind has become hackneyed and clichéd, but it fits: it is the perfect storm."

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“Almost everything has surprised me in 2020. I knew there was going to be a presidential election. I was surprised, though, that the Democratic primary came to a close so quickly, notwithstanding all the strong candidates who were running. It congealed so quickly around one candidate.

The second thing that has surprised me, of course, is the global pandemic. In January, my wife and I were traveling in Bangladesh and India. And there was something going on. On February 7, we were in Dharamsala, where the Dalai Lama lives. He was there. People come from all over the world, of course, to see him. Yet he wasn't seeing anybody. On February 7. Because there was a virus in China that was serious. When we got home later in February, the President of the United States was telling people not to be concerned. But the whole city of Wu Han was locked down. That doesn't happen.

The third thing that has surprised me is the extent to which the George Floyd killing in Minneapolis galvanized the Black Lives movement and ended up getting, at least initially, as many white protestors as Black protesters. The Ferguson protests were biracial, multiracial, but dominated by black activists. It was different with the George Floyd protests because Minneapolis is a much whiter city than most cities in the United States. When I was a reporter there 50 years ago, the Black population was 4%. We had our first race protest in 1967. George Floyd was the second. In the expanse of time between the two, Minneapolis has accommodated a lot more racial diversity as people from Somalia, Laos and Syria settled in and became members of their community. The result was a multicultural, multiracial response to George Floyd’s death that was followed by multiracial responses all across the country.

What's been building is that we have extraordinary inequality in this country. Even though you could make the case that poor people in America are better off than poor people in most places in the world, relatively speaking, they're doing terribly and they feel terrible. The other thing happening is a revolt of the white masses, who believe that they're being marginalized by the people in power. And by the way, they are correct. They've been right ever since Reagan. But the resentment has grown and grown louder.

The phrase that comes to mind has become hackneyed and clichéd, but it fits: it is the perfect storm.” -- Michael #Missouri


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