Life isn’t measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of moments that take our breath away George Carlin? Vicki Corona? Maya Angelou?
Lately I’ve been a busy little camper talking about my amazement with the speed and intensity with which the protests over the death of George Floyd have advanced. Not just by the longevity of them, heading now into their third week with no let up or dwindling of crowds in sight, but also with the speed in which they have forced actual systemic change at the state and local levels as to how policing will be done going forward. The speed is nothing short of breathtaking.
One of the reasons for the speedy success of these protests is the incredible diversity of the crowds. Thanks to the wonders of cellular technology, the constant visual drum beat of black lives coming to a violent, unjustified end at the hands of police finally forced non black Americans to say, What the fuck?!? This has been going on for how long? And with the wind in their sails, and their brothers and sisters finally at their side, they’re doing the only intelligent thing there is to do. They’re pushing the envelope beyond police brutality, and into the roots of systemic racism itself.
Teri and I literally cheered last night when MSNBC switched to camera shots of a bunch of ordinary citizens in Virginia knocking the heads off of confederate statues before pulling them down. Ditto when NASCAR announced that they’re banning traitors rags from display at their races and on NASCAR properties. This lasting affection for a reviled and defeated ideology is something that I’ve never understood.
The statesmen and generals who led the confederacy were nothing more than common traitors. Period. Full stop. They led an armed insurrection against the United States, and were defeated. And yet, when it was over, instead of being tried and hung, they end up with statues and monuments? Explain the logic of that one to me, please.
And it’s not like these statues are deeply rooted in some long standing nostalgia. The vast number of confederate statues and monuments went up not during reconstruction of the following years, they went up during the struggle for desegregation, as a way of rubbing black noses in the fact that they were still second class citizens in some parts, and as a earning to watch their steps.
But as these symbols of bigotry and hatred come down, you know what you’re not seeing? You’re not seeing riot geared cops replete with tear gas canisters and rubber bullets, charging in to save these sick, twisted symbols of white superiority. And you know what else you’re not seeing? You’re not seeing a phalanx of bed sheet clad morons streaming out of the darkness, ready to rumble to protect their precious toys. They’re safely ticked in their hidey-holes, darkly threatening vengeance that will never come.
I have always felt in my heart that the vast majority of Americans, regardless of age, race, or creed, were kind, caring, gentle people who believe in what’s right. For once it’s nice to see that my confidence wasn’t misplaced. The actions of these current days won’t fix everything, but it’s a start. For, just like choke holds will never return to policing once they’ve been banned, those statues will never rise to stain the landscape again. I recently tweeted that for my entire life the phrase taking back the streets meant the police clearing out protesters, and what a refreshing change it was for it to finally mean the entire community taking them back from the police. Change is coming, whether the racists and haters like it or not, there’s no turning back now. And thank God for that.
To know the future, look to the past.before the insanity of the 2020 election, relive the insanity of the 2016 GOP primary campaign, and the general election, to see how we got to where we are. Copies of President Evil, and the sequel, President Evil II, A Clodwork Orange are available as e-books on Amazon, at the links above. Catch up before the upcoming release of the third book in the trilogy, President Evil III: All The Presidents Fen
Follow me on Twitter at @RealMurfster35
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