Thoughts on Events the Week of June 1

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on June 8, 2020

Is George Floyd’s Death Different? My totally wired daughter is a visual learner. (She hated to read until she picked up her first play.) She says, “If there isn’t a picture, it didn’t happen.” She has a point. The pictures of Floyd’s murder show unequivocally that something shocking and terrible happened.

But there have been pictures of other murders of black men, and women, and girls, and boys (the killing of nine year old Timor Rice looked to me as nothing but a drive by shooting by police) equally vivid and equally shocking that have not evoked the response as has Floyd’s murder.

I think it is not the images of this particular murder, egregious as it was, that has triggered this exceptional outrage. Rather, I think it is the cumulative effect of image after image of such killings, and the cumulative effect of President Trump’s constant stream of support for, and outright advocacy of, white supremacists, that finally caused millions of people (Republican politicians excepted) to say “Enough.” The picture is clear and irrefutable.   

But as impressive and poignant as the demonstrations about Floyd are, let’s not delude ourselves that the response will be enough to eliminate racism. The only solution for that is education, and we are extremely slow learners on this subject. 

We cannot end racism in a day, or apparently in a century or more. Trump, a despicable racist in his own right, has exposed how deeply it is ingrained in our culture (I was so naïve about this). He has embraced racism in broad daylight. Perhaps Floyd’s sacrifice can result at least in sweeping it back under the refrigerator with the other cock roaches, where it belongs.

It’s official. Trump is the worst president since the Civil War: I’ve never been afraid of the Trump presidency, only disgusted, offended and depressed by it, until now. But he has begun playing fast and loose with the military’s role in our society and that is truly dangerous.

Trump fantasizes that he was elected military dictator rather than president, and the other night his administration acted out this fantasy by ordering police to attack peaceful protestors. Attorney General Barr, who enables Trump’s in his unconstitutional fantasies, is reported to have given the order to disperse the protestors. Spoiler Alert: When police appear without insignia or name tags, they are preparing to commit a crime, and they know it. This is exactly the force Barr employed.

The members of the Trump administration, including Trump himself, and Barr, are now pointing fingers at one another, trying to distance themselves from the unconstitutional act and looking for someone else to blame, because even they realize how bad it looks. They all deny giving the order to attack. No one was driving; they were all in the back seat singing. At this writing, they are blaming the Park Service, because Lafayette Park is a, you know, park. Quite a stretch. Next it may be the Sanitation Department or Dr. Fauci.

You see the difference, don’t you? It is important to differentiate between the protesters and the looters. Likewise, it is important to differentiate between the good cops and the rotten apples. And it is especially important to remember that in each of these cases, the formers far outnumber the latters.

That said, police need a different kind of training than they are getting today. And they need to send back to the Pentagon the military hardware they are being given in a mistaken belief they are needed to police American citizens. I’ll have more on this soon.

Hong Kong: China is using this time and situation to take over Hong Kong. When Britain surrendered Hong Kong to China via treaty in 1997, no rational mind doubted that, regardless of the language in the treaty, China would eventually subsume Hong Kong. The idea of one country, two systems was untenable. The only question was when this would happen.

Well, the answer is now for two reasons. First, Covid-19 provides a distraction. The second reason is to give Trump a thumb in the eye. The hypocrisy of Trump’s lambasting China for strong arming Hong Kong while sending in troops against his own citizens is a gift to China.

When China, Russia and Iran are all gloating over the pickle we are in, it’s a pretty good indication our leadership has screwed up royally, which it has.

Worst state:  I am pleased to award the cup this week to Arizona, my own personal state of residence, because our governor Ducey (rhymes with goosey) has ordered a state-wide curfew. There was some vandalism in Phoenix that needed to be brought under control, but there are numerous small cities, towns and villages in Arizona, not to mention individual hogans and teepees, where there have been few protests, no violence, and where people go to bed before 8 pm anyway. What a putz is our governor.

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