I promised that I would not get political on this blog, but the events of the past few days have so overwhelmed me that I have to release my anger and frustration, and this is my only avenue to do so. I'm going to apologize upfront to those of you who may be offended by today's column and I will be back to my usual nonsense soon.
After living through the turbulent 1960's and 1970's, I really thought I would never have to see what I've been watching the past four nights, on tv, again in my lifetime. Once again America is being shaken to its very core by violence in the streets, all across this country as, mainly young people, are protesting yet another killing of an unarmed black man in Minneapolis Monday afternoon.
This has become a way too familiar story over the past few years as police departments all over the country seem to be infested with racist men, and women, who feel empowered to go out and cold blooded kill black people without impunity. I'm not going to list the hundreds of examples, but we are all familiar with them, and each time we hear, or read, about another we shake our heads and get angry but stay safe and cozy in our houses, while doing nothing to change this culture.
I'm just as guilty as you on this. However, Monday we all were able to witness the video of four white policemen crush the life out of another unarmed black man, George Floyd, and America finally said, enough. Watching a man begging for his life is soul crushing, and for those supposed defenders of justice to casually do nothing while they killed him makes your stomach crawl. What kind of sick human can do this, and how could the others help, or do nothing, while they killed him?
Inevitably this has led to protesters taking to the streets all over the country, in mostly calm protests. There have been plenty of cases of far left wing, and far right wing, agitators coming in to stir things up, thinking they can use this to advance their twisted agendas, and innocent businesses have been looted and burned because of them. These people are no better than bad cops and deserve to be jailed themselves. Looting is a disgusting crime and while protesters may not have started it, they certainly took advantage of open stores also.
I'm also troubled by idiots on social media who think it is within the rights of protesters to loot and burn businesses for the cause. To them I say you're wrong, committing a felony in the name of another felony does not make it right. And don't tell me murder is worse than looting, because how would you feel if it was your business looted and burned to the ground. Not very good I'd imagine.
Meanwhile, the police have handled these protest completely wrong from the very start. First letting them go do anything they wanted, and then swinging the complete opposite way, and needlessly hurting them. We are seeing the worst run police departments in living color on tv every night.
The police have been filmed the past few days, knocking an old man with a cane to the ground for simply standing on the street, running over, with a horse, a young girl holding a sign, a group walking down the street was run over by two squad cars who just keep going, a young man with his hands in the air had his facemask pulled down and was pepper sprayed from three inches, in his eyes, a lady walking down the street was brutally tossed to the curb while she had her back to the police, and maybe the most frightening of all, multiple videos of police shooting at the news media, who were wearing their credentials and telling the police they were press. The police response, "we don't care", as they fired pepper bullets from close range.
I have to say, most things don't get to me when it comes to protesting. Having seen the rage police showed to protesters back in the day, from close up, it takes a lot for me to get really wound up anymore. This week has finally wore me down though, and honestly, enough is enough.
There needs to be a massive national culture change within police departments everywhere so that we don't have to go through all this constantly. We the people need to take back our country and demand that people of color, people who are down on their luck, and people of non white nationalities, are treated like human beings, with dignity, and understanding, and respect, once and for all.
I, for one, am tired of the constant race baiting, the denigrating of people, and the police abusing citizens and not suffering anything for doing so in our country. We need to demand better of them, and us for that matter, in the treatment of us all. We need to start talking to each other, instead of shouting at each other, about these issues, and work together to fix them, instead of fighting each other everyday.
This is more than about an election. This is about making fundamental changes in our country through peaceful dialog and listening to each other. We can do better America. Stop blaming each other and start helping each other. Let's try to turn the sad picture above to a proud picture below.