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he United States is increasingly seen as a nation turning in on itself. As protests against police violence and systemic racism rocked dozens of American cities, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab spoke of the crisis across the pond in language more often deployed when discussing intractable conflicts elsewhere in the world.

“We want to see de-escalation of all of those tensions and Americans come together,” he told the BBC on Sunday.

Raab wasn’t alone. A spokesperson from the European Commission emailed an unusual statement about American affairs to reporters, indicating that officials in Brussels hoped that “all issues” related to the protests “will be settled swiftly and in full respect for the rule of law and human rights.”

This followed a Friday statement from Moussa Faki Mahamat, the head of the African Union Commission, who condemned the killing of George Floyd and lamented “continuing discriminatory practices against black citizens of the USA.”

The unrest in American cities has drawn global attention for reasons both familiar and new. The dramas of the world’s sole superpower captivate audiences elsewhere far more than the obverse, with the intrigues of other countries only occasionally penetrating America’s oft-insular news cycles. In some instances, the outpouring of anger over Floyd’s killing — intensified by social media videos shared around the world of the incident and the diverse demonstrations that followed — emboldened existing movements over racial violence and discrimination against minorities.

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