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  • If you live in the US or you follow the news on the US, undoubtedly you've seen that

  • Americans are protesting all across the country in response to the death of George Floyd at

  • the hands of a Minnesota police officer.

  • And as a non-native speaker of English, perhaps you're seeing a slew of new terms.

  • What is the difference between a protest, a riot, and looting, for example.

  • Today we're going to go over some terms that you'll be seeing in the news cycle

  • about the current events in America.

  • We'll talk about different kinds of racism and the 'ism' suffix.

  • Stick with me.

  • I did have anotherLearn English with Moviesvideo planned for today, but we'll just

  • push that to next week.

  • George Floyd was 46 years old when he was suspected of using a counterfeit $20 bill.

  • What does counterfeit mean?

  • It simply means fake.

  • You'll notice that Americans will usually drop the first T there because it comes after

  • an N.

  • This is true of words like 'internet' and 'interview' as well.

  • Counterfeit, counterfeit.

  • On May 25, a group of police officers in Minneapolis, Minnesota apprehended him and took a series

  • of actions that violated the policies of their police department.

  • We're going to talk about the words 'policy and police' in a moment.

  • One officer knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes, which killed him, in broad daylight,

  • with witnesses taking video, with George Floyd saying, “I can't breathe”, with witnesses

  • sayinghe can't breathe”.

  • And so in news stories about what has happened and what is happening, you might see the phrases

  • 'excessive force' or 'police brutality'.

  • But first let's talk about the words 'police' and 'policy'.

  • They both come from the Greek word 'polis'.

  • Polis, I'm probably not saying that completely right, but it's the Greek word which means

  • a city-state, citizenship, a group of people all governed by the same government.

  • 'Police', we have second syllable stress, first vowel is a schwa.

  • Police.

  • Policy, we have first syllable stress, and the vowel is the AH as in FATHER vowel.

  • Police, policy.

  • Only one letter is different, but the pronunciation is quite different.

  • Police, policy.

  • A policy is a course of action adopted by a government of a governing body.

  • So you might have heard the term foreign policyeach President puts his or her own spin

  • on foreign policy.

  • In the case of the Minnesota police department, it's the course of action, the steps, the

  • rules of how to do things, when on duty.

  • The policy.

  • You might also see this at work: what is your sick leave policy, that means what are the

  • rules about when or how long a worker can take off when they're sick.

  • Or, I was late for a dentist appointment the other day and I called ahead, and I said,

  • what is your late policy?”

  • That is, how late can I still show up and see the dentist.

  • Other related words with this root: politics, metropolis, which is a large city, or metropolitan,

  • a characteristic of a metropolis, especially in culture, sophistication, accepting a wide

  • variety of people and ideas.

  • She became very metropolitan after moving to New York City.

  • Police force has two different meanings.

  • It can mean the group of officers all working for the same unit, a city, a county, for example.

  • She's a member of the Philadelphia police force.

  • But it also means force, action, to get somebody to do something, physically.

  • How do you force them?

  • Police force.

  • So when an officer is arresting a citizen, what kind of force is needed?

  • Maybe no force at all.

  • Or maybe the citizen struggles or resists and the officer uses some force.

  • Was it appropriate force or was it excessive force?

  • Excessive meaning more than you need.

  • Excessive force, in the case of George Floyd.

  • The officer did not need to kneel on his neck for eight minutes to make the arrest, but

  • did.

  • And this is the definition of police brutality.

  • When officers use excessive force against a citizen.

  • And this actually doesn't have to be physical force against a person.

  • It can be verbal harassment, it can be property damage.

  • So this brings us to the outrage of many of the citizens of the United States, myself

  • included.

  • And we'll get to the protests in a moment, but first I want to say that I am disabling

  • comments for this video as you have probably already found.

  • Why?

  • Social media comment sections can be a place where our worst selves come out.

  • We can become very polarized.

  • Polarized means sharply divided.

  • And I've decided for myself that I don't want to police the comments of the video.

  • Here I'm using the word 'police' as a verb, meaning to regulate or control.

  • If people get really nasty with each other in comments, which has happened before, I

  • don't want to get in there and decide if some people have crossed the line, that means

  • go too far, like with negativity or insults.

  • There are lots of places where you can read about happened, what is happening, and commentary

  • on that.

  • There are lots of places where you can go leave your comments.

  • And I do encourage you to take in different media, different voices discussing what's

  • happening in the US.

  • I think expanding our perspective is extremely important right now.

  • So many Americans are very angry.

  • And one of the ways that Americans can express this is through protest.

  • The right to do this was established in the first amendment, here's a quote: “the

  • right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress

  • of grievances.”

  • To gather to let it be known, we don't like the ways this is being done.

  • And so in the days since May 25th there have been protests against policing policies and

  • racism.

  • We'll talk about racism in a minute.

  • Large groups of people are gathering, marching, holding signs, chanting.

  • And some of those protests have ended in destruction.

  • So a riot is different from a protest in that it's when a group turns violent.

  • Burning things for example.

  • And then looting is when people break into storefronts and steal what's there.

  • And right now, both riots and looting are happening in addition to the peaceful, emotionally

  • charged protests.

  • The amount of people looting, or causing destruction, is much smaller than the groups that are peacefully

  • protesting.

  • And, at least in Philadelphia, where I live, the rioting has largely subsided though the

  • protests continue.

  • This is due in part to a curfew.

  • A curfew is a time at which you must be inside.

  • Lots of teenagers have curfews imposed on them by their parents, but occasionally a

  • city will have an issue where it will issue a curfew where it asks all citizens to remain

  • at home after a certain hour.

  • For us, that's 6pm right now.

  • These protests and riots are bringing to the forefront of the American conversation the

  • deep hurt and wrongs caused by racism.

  • There was a study done on the use of police force against black people in Minneapolis

  • over the last five years, and it was found that police force against black people was

  • used seven times more than police force against white people.

  • Racism is defined as prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of

  • a different race based on the belief that one's own race is superior, that racial differences

  • produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.

  • A white supremacist is a person who believes that the white race is inherently superior

  • to other races and that white people should have control over people of other races.

  • Now, the policy and doctrines of the United States of America state that all men (and

  • women) are created equal.

  • But due to racism and systemic racism, that's not how life plays out.

  • Systemic racism is also known as institutional racism.

  • What is it?

  • It's different than individual racism, which is easier to see and understand.

  • A quote fromBlack Power, the politics of Liberationgives two examples to show

  • the difference between individual racism and institutional racism.

  • This is a quote:

  • When white terrorists bomb a black church and kill five black children, that is an act

  • of individual racism, widely deplored by most segments of the society.

  • But when in that same cityBirmingham, Alabamafive hundred black babies die

  • each year because of the lack of proper food, shelter and medical facilities, and thousands

  • more are destroyed and maimed physically, emotionally and intellectually because of

  • conditions of poverty and discrimination in the black community, that is a function of

  • institutional racism.”

  • The 'ism' suffix is used to create a noun showing an action or practice, principles,

  • doctrines.

  • We have racism, ageism, sexism, ableism.

  • These all mean discrimination against.

  • Against older people, women, and discrimination in favor of able-bodied people.

  • But not all 'isms' mean discrimination.

  • You have baptism, a practice in the Christian church of sprinkling water on, or immersing

  • someone in water, symbolizing purification and admission into the Christian church.

  • You have activismthe action of campaigning to bring about political or social change.

  • There are over 800 words in English with theism suffix.

  • But the one most prominent in American conversation right now is racism, and how as a nation we

  • can recognize it, understand it, and grow to a place beyond it.

  • Next week we will continue our summer mission of learning English with movies, and the movie

  • we'll be looking at is A Star is Born.

  • Lady Gaga is going to help you understand how Americans use reductions and linking in

  • a way that can help you understand Americans better, and also be more easily understood

  • when you're speaking English.

  • Thank you all so much for joining me here, I love teaching you English.

  • I make new videos every Tuesday and I invite you to subscribe, we'd love to have you

  • as a part of our community.

  • That's it, and thanks so much for using Rachel's English.

If you live in the US or you follow the news on the US, undoubtedly you've seen that

Subtitles and vocabulary

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B1 racism police policy police force counterfeit excessive

George Floyd, Racism, and Protests in America⎢English Lesson

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    Summer posted on 2020/11/03
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