Monday, June 1, 2020

Centuries of abuse, decades of police brutality, years of undeniable video proof of killings throughout this country, of hateful, deeply ingrained prejudices on plain display. So very many peaceful protests over so very many years, ignored or fodder for creating distraction via discussion about patriotism.

We are in a moment of both implosion and explosion. Coming out of pandemic-driven lockdowns and business closures for months, desperate people are crying out, screaming out for justice; and others are using the confusion to loot businesses trying to reopen.

Who’s to blame now becomes fodder for creating distractions, again, via discussion about who is a “law & order” political party, about Antifa. Every night people protest to try to keep the focus on police brutality and the injustices heaped on non-whites in the U.S. And a segment, likely a very small segment, of ill-intentioned people bury themselves in these protests and await the ‘right moment’ to break a window and loot.

We’re seeing examples of police marching with protesters, of police taking a knee to show support, of protesters locking arms to protect isolated police officers, of protesters creating human barriers to prevent looting. The struggle to keep the focus on what must be addressed in this country is so difficult, with so many forces on all sides trying to distract.

And we’re also seeing these anti-police brutality protests being met by more police brutality. Police driving cars into crowds, too many instances of tear gas, mace, concussion bombs. The protests are not only in the U.S., but in Canada and many cities in Europe. There are so very many ways in which the entire world is protesting the inequities we have built into and sustained in our country. And all of that is added to the many ways our current gov’t has withdrawn from the world’s community.

This moment of a complete lack of leadership in the White House is causing a horrific situation even worse. We can not stand this leadership vacuum any longer. The leadership we are seeing is coming from a few governors, mayors, District Attorneys, from a few in the law enforcement hierarchy, even from some corporate heads. But where we truly need it, in our nation’s criminal justice system, our Justice Department, it’s not at all trustworthy. Our fundamental systems are crumbling at the top, and many are trying so hard to keep the weight of that disintegration from reaching to the local levels.

Even here, in Greenville, NC, the protests are turning violent here, as in so many other places. Am awaiting the morning reports about damage, etc., from last night’s protests, as live reports (FB live, etc.) seem filled with rumors.

And, of course, the crowds forming in the midst of covid only breeds fear of another outbreak, another lockdown…

And today is June 1, the start of hurricane season–evidently in too many ways.