Contemporary Race Relations in the U.S.:

    "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" or "Post-Racial Society"?

     

    Ferguson, Missouri. The shooting of the unarmed African American teenager Michael Brown led to riots and protests all over the country. Several more police shootings of African Americans and the murder of policemen in revenge have fueled the controversies over discrimination and police violence against African Americans and other minorities in the US.

     

    All of this happened when Americans elected their first African American president, Barack Obama, and hoped that their country would finally become a post-racial society. So, what has actually remained of Martin Luther’s “Dream” and the achievements of the civil rights movements in the 1960s?

     

    In his lecture Dr. Markus Hünemörder shed light on the state of race relations in the US focusing on the situation of African Americans. He explained to us the social and economic situation of racial minorities in the early 21st century demonstrating that although great progress has been made since the 1960s, discrimination is still an issue in the US.  Moreover, he showed what role the extremely fragmented organization of police forces in the US plays and speculated about the political implications and consequences of recent conflicts.

     

    As serious as this topic may be, Dr. Hünemörder managed to lighten it up by using political humor, satire and video clips. This lecture was truly informative for students and teachers alike with Dr. Hünemörder being again an inspiring and wonderfully entertaining speaker.

     

    Martina Scherg