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The Lynching of George Floyd: How America’s Oldest Pastime Found a New Audience

We are living in unprecedented times. Not because of the violence. America has always been a fantastical hybrid of national self-righteousness and blithe racial terror. Not even because of the virus. The country has seen pandemics before.[1] What we have not seen is the widespread, inescapable idleness of the last three months. By some estimates, more than 1.5 billion people have been ordered to shelter in place since the pandemic began. In all of that stillness, America’s ordinary racial violence echoes more widely than we are accustomed.

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