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Election and Ongoing Police Brutality Raise Concern That American History Could Be Reversed By 50 Years

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For many Americans — roughly half, in fact — the clocks have turned back more than the federally established one hour this week. In the early hours of Nov. 9, the presidential race was called for Donald J. Trump, causing a number of American citizens to panic.

Despite winning the popular vote and being the most searched-for candidate during the election cycle, Hillary Clinton was defeated by Trump with just 228 electoral votes. Trump was awarded 279.

With isolationist ideals, anti-immigration policies, a stance against reproductive rights for women, and staunch remarks made against the LGBT+ communities, a Trump presidency could set us back 50 years, some say.

But haven’t we been set back already?

On Saturday Nov. 5, three days before the election, Joshua Beal, a black man, was shot dead in the streets of Chicago. He was a 25-year-old father of two, in town from Indianapolis to serve as a pall bearer in his cousin’s funeral.

According to the Chicago Police Department, Beal’s vehicle was illegally blocking a fire lane in front of a firehouse. An altercation arose once an off-duty firefighter approached the car’s passengers about where the car was parked. As they exited the vehicle, an off-duty police officer joined the scene, as did a uniformed sergeant, who drew his weapon.

The report issued by Cordney Boxley, Beal’s younger sister, stated that someone whom she believed was an officer, cut her off during the funeral processional and started shooting. Beal was licensed for concealed carry and drew his weapon in response, but it is unclear right now if the weapon had been discharged.

The following day, in a historically segregated neighborhood in the city, 20 people protested on Beal’s behalf, calling for police accountability for his death in a press conference.

But their words were drowned out by 200 pro-police demonstrators, who not only defended the police officer’s actions, but used racial slurs against the peaceful protesters, and told them to, “go home.”

“Being part of the scene made me feel like I was back in the ‘60s,” said Iggy Rucker, one of the 20 protesters on the scene.

In a phone interview with The Huffington Post, Rucker said that members of the pro-police group called him a “monkey,” and told him to get a job.

This scene is shockingly reminiscent of the African-American civil rights movement that Rucker was referring to, which took place between 1954 and 1968, when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1968, prohibiting discrimination based on race, religion, and national origin. The bill also made it a federal crime to injure, intimidate, or interfere with anyone based on their race, color, religion, or national origin as well.

An online video — one of the most popular forms of content sharing, topping 50 billion views each month — shows protesters of Beal’s death speaking with news crews while pro-police protesters use a bullhorn to drown them out, telling them to sing the national anthem and to stop shooting cops.

“It reminded me of footage I’d seen of white protesters attacking freedom riders in the South,” said Dee Williams, who stood in solidarity with Beal.

She also said that being overpowered by the demonstrators “was like being followed by a lynch mob.”

Williams said the counter protesters, who were primarily white men, chanted their support for the CPD and Donald Trump, who won the white male demographic in the election.

While it’s too soon to tell what America will look like once Trump takes office in January, many are certain that American history will repeat itself, or at least reverse 50 years.

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