Namibia: Floyd Killing Verdict Exposes Systemic Racism - U.S. Ambassador

The United States (US) ambassador to Namibia, Lisa Johnson, says the verdict of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has exposed systemic racism in their country.

Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter after he on 25 May 2020 held his knee on George Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes - ultimately killing him.

Johnson yesterday said the key issue was for Chauvin to be held accountable for murdering Floyd, however, deeper issues were exposed.

"Was justice served? A lot of people would say not yet, because this has exposed systemic racism, which we have all known about. Systemic racism does exist in the United States and we admit that," she said.

Johnson said US president Joe Biden's administration plans to address the issue of racial equity and systemic racism in the country.

"It is a pivotal time when people are becoming more aware of it. It is good that there was accountability," she said.

Chauvin was remanded in custody with no bail while he awaits his sentence, which is set to be announced in about eight weeks.

Biden said the "knee on the neck of black American citizens" needs to be removed, and that guilty verdicts of this nature are "much too rare" and "not enough".

"It was a murder in the full light of day, and it ripped the blinders off the whole world to see," he said. "Systemic racism is a stain on our nation's soul."

Biden believes Tuesday's verdict is a step in the right direction, but racial discrimination remains the reality of African Americans every day.


Meanwhile, Johnson paid a courtesy visit to president Hage Geingob at State House to discuss the recently announced export deal between Africa Burns Charcoal, King Charcoal, a Namibian product, and their US trading partner, The Good Charcoal Company.

An initial consignment of 350 tonnes of Namibian charcoal was sent to the US last week and is expected to arrive by the end of this week.

So far, Namibia exports beef and Windhoek Lager to the US.

Johnson described the charcoal as "the greenest charcoal on the planet".

It has been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council in terms of international standards for environmental, economic, and social sustainability.

The charcoal will be sold at Walmart stores in the US - one of the biggest retailers in the country.

"The Americans are going to love this product," Johnson said.

Moreover, she said the US plans to pay an amount of U$2 billion towards the Covax facility in addition to the N$2 billion they have already advanced.

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