Words of Advice:

"We have it totally under control. It's one person coming from China. It's going to be just fine." -- Donald Trump, 1/22/2020

“We will not see diseases like the coronavirus come here..and isn't it refreshing when contrasting it with the awful presidency of President Obama."
-- Trump Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, 2/25/20

"I don't take responsibility for anything." --Donald Trump, 3/13/20

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot, by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Monday, June 1, 2020

Unbottling the Wine of Wrath

The protests around the country following the police murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis are completely understandable. The violence by protesters is, to some degree, understandable. The unhinged violence by some cops, not so much.

Everyone reading this has probably seen the video of Mr. Floyd being slowly killed by a police officer. Everyone has probably seen the one cop standing by, glaring at spectators as if daring them to do something. Everyone has probably seen the two other cops who were assisting the killer as he snatched the life out of Mr. Floyd.

In the last few years, a cop in a Minneapolis suburb shot and killed a black man, Philandro Castile, during a traffic stop. Mr. Castile was lawfully carrying a gun, informed the cop of that, and the cop’s response was to kill him. The cop got off at trial. In fact, the only cop recently in the Minneapolis area who was convicted of shooting a civilian shot and killed a white woman.

Add to that Atatiana Jefferson, a black woman, who was shot in her own home by a Ft. Worth cop. Breonna Taylor, shot in her own home by police in Louisville. Ahmaud Arbery, shot and killed by a vigilante in Georgia; the shooter and his compatriots were not arrested for almost two months, until the video of the murder hit the news.

I don’t feel the need to go on and on. If you haven’t gotten the point, that’s on you.

Add to that the SARS-CoV-2/Covid-19 pandemic. Minorities have been getting sick and dying at much higher rates than white people. Minorities are over-represented in “essential industries”, such as health care (hospital workers, nursing home workers) and grocery retailing. Minorities do much more of the work in food processing plants. Add to that the fact that minorities, in general, have more health problems due to poorer diets, lack of access to health care, pollution and the general stress of living while black/brown.

It seemed that, as soon as the numbers starting coming out on the racial disparity in Covid-19 cases and deaths, the Trump Administration began pivoting from “lets do all we can to stop the pandemic” to “we have to open up the country to business”. The governors of several states, especially of states known in the past for such social niceties as cross-burnings, began pushing to open up their states for everything. The clear undertone from all of them was “well, it’s not our people who are getting sick, so let’s get going.”

(It could be other things, I suppose. Maybe Jared Kusher, one of the nation’s premier slumlords, complained to his father-in-law that his tenants weren’t paying rent. But I digress.)

Now let’s throw in another Covid-19 issue: Unemployment. The unemployment numbers went from essentially full-employment in February to Great Depression levels in May. Forty million people are out of work, and that number only reflects those who have successfully filed for unemployment. It doesn’t include people who can’t, because they may have no good access to computers and the Internet. It doesn’t include people who have been unable to file because their state’s computer system can’t handle the load (some states did that willfully).

The kids themselves have been out of schools for months. Poorer school districts have not been able to effectively handle the transition to online learning. The children don’t have computers or tablets at home and, even if they did, no access to broadband. Many of those kids got food assistance from their schools and are not reliably getting it now. Their parents, if they still have jobs, now have to cobble together daycare for the kids or leave them alone. That’s risky, as one thing is clear, there is little that enraptures Child Protective Services more than being able to charge working-poor people with child neglect.

Finally, factor in a president who revels in divisiveness and bigotry, a president who is nakedly interested in only doing things that benefits the wealthiest of Americans, while throwing rhetorical bones to his less-wealthy supporters. A president who is assuredly interested in widening the racial divide in this country. A president who has scrapped all efforts at police reform and oversight. A president whose reactions to the protests has been to echo racist tropes of the past (shooting the looters, letting lose vicious dogs). A president who sees an upside in looting and burning, as a way to inflame the passions of his supporters.

What do you have from all of this? You have lakes of gasoline, just waiting for a final spark to set the nation on fire. You have a president who has a vested interest in seeing the country burn.

And now there’s been a spark.

16 comments:

CenterPuke88 said...

A few observations:

1) In the Fort Worth case, they rapidly charged and arrested the Officer, assisted to a great extent by bodycam footage. Bodycam audio already leaked in Minnesota is damning, and may have played into the arrest there. There is a slow movement to attempting to hold Officers liable, I repeat, slow.

2) The racial composition of the protesting crowds is promising. The sad reality, put forth clearly by a black co-worker, is he cannot effect the change, we must.

3) The presence of both anarchist and racist persons/groups as instigating elements has been documents, no matter what Donnie screeches on about.

4) Donnie demands governors dominate the protestors, which is code for put those uppity (blacks) back in their place. The genie may be well out of the bottle now, because the waiting for results from Rodney King on have generated squat. In the 1920’s the entrenched white power structure placed reminders to the black community via statues, memorials and the sporadic burning of black communities. That lasted for about 30 years, aided by the Great Depression and WW2. It has been over 29 years since the Rodney King video came out...

5) Protests around the world show how far America has fallen in the eyes of the world. Conservatives will argue that doesn’t matter, much as South African leaders forged ahead on their path...we know how that worked out.

6) Glen will be along shortly to blame the whole thing on liberal values and education.

Tod Germanica said...

It's a good thing bunker boy is too scared to come out of hiding, he always only makes a bad situation worse. But he's very brave and strong ranting at governors while hunkering underground like Saddam Hussein while being protected by a small army. What a weak and corrupt coward.

dinthebeast said...

Remember when Fergus tweeted at Iran "DON'T KILL THE PROTESTERS!"
Well which is it, Ferg? Shoot the looters or don't kill the protesters?
There's a very good article about the perception he tries to cultivate of manliness, when in actuality, he is the least "manly" president we've ever had.

https://theweek.com/articles/816310/least-macho-president

Hopefully soon we can get an even less manly one who is female, but even she will still have to deal with the bullshit attitudes he is inflaming and thriving off of.

-Doug in Sugar Pine

Glen Filthie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
CenterPuke88 said...

Our next few Presidents will have the plate full fixing the shit that Donnie broke, let alone fixing other stuff.

CenterPuke88 said...

Glen, your robes and white hat are showing.

Eck! said...

GF you have ceased to be amusing or informative. That and
poking your has ceased to be fun. you provide no challenge.

Tata!

Eck!

Comrade Misfit said...

GF, I have had my fill of you coming into my space and shitting on the floor. I will not stand for your insulting me and condescending to me.

Unlike the other regulars here, I can do something about it.

Red card.

Steve J said...

CM, you showed an amazing amount of patience with him. Should have been 86'd long ago.

dinthebeast said...

So now the damn fool is threatening to deploy the US military via the insurrection act against US citizens.
I remember when he got elected and hearing some folks ask "What do you think he's gonna do, call out the army on blue cities?" and thinking, no probably not.
Looks like I might have been wrong.

-Doug in Sugar Pine

Comrade Misfit said...

Steve, he’ll just add it to his truckload of grievances against “those mean lefties”. No doubt about it.

Ten Bears said...

Refreshing none-the-less. Of late I've been ... ahhh, disappointed, with blog-keepers who let trolls run riot through their comments. Severely restricted my commenting, in and of itself not necessarily a bad thing. Refreshing.

CenterPuke88 said...

Doug, he’s setting up for refusing to accept the election result. The open question is the response of the R’s and the military leaders. I’m hopeful that that would be a bridge too far, but not entirely confident.

Ten Bears, Comrade has, in my experience, been a very committed administrator in attempting to keep comments and discussions open and productive. However, as Glen found out, is crossed once too many times now and then.

Comrade, you put that in much more friendly language than Glen will.

Steve, have you has the experience I have with the use of the term 86’d? The younger among us, meaning under 30, have no idea what that means. Tell them to 86 the pickles on a burger and watch the blank stare.

Dark Avenger said...

Captain Ned certainly shows he studied the Bible——the Old Testament.

Steve J said...

CP88. Yep. It's a dying idiom.

Ten Bears said...

Great bartender/bouncer trick from way back: print up a business card ... You're 86ed. Get Out. Now! ... While the freshly 86ed are reading the card, I'm lining up the sucker punch.