Desné Masie Columnist

The most striking news image for me this week has been of police across the US “taking the knee” en masse to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter protesters. The gesture displays the human agency behind a state machinery of structural racism; that there are individual choices behind “just following orders” and that not all police or white people are the same.

So many crimes against humanity — apartheid, the Holocaust, slavery — could not have taken place without the many tiny, daily actions of bureaucrats: signing a form here, pressing a button there, turning a blind eye to the wider implications of structural bias and “just doing one’s job”.

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