Response to the 2021 US Revolt

Like many American citizens, I was appalled to hear reports and see images of protesters storming the United States Capital on January 7, 2021.

I can only remember four times during my 72 years when I have felt as upset, fearful, angered, and assaulted as an American.

The first time I remember feeling all those emotions was on November 22, 1963 when John F. Kennedy was assassinated. I still remember the feeling of disbelief and the dread and fear in the pit of my 15 year-old stomach. Did the Russians do it, I wondered. It had been drummed into us that Russia was our enemy. They were the biggest danger we had to face! That was a frightening time and we stayed glued to our TVs.

The second time I experienced all those feelings was April 4, 1968 when Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. Were we Americans going to destroy each other (those Americans who loved Dr. King and those people who considered Dr. King an enemy of the people)? Riots broke out all over the country. Police and National Guard troops were dispatched to restore/maintain order. I was engulfed with pain, disbelief and dread. Where would we go from here? Who would bridge the gap between minorities and the white majority populations, between the haves and the have nots, between the anti-Vietnam War protesters and our government?

The third time I experienced all those emotions was on September 11, 2001 when four airplanes, hijacked by foreign extremists, attacked us on our soil. Two planes flew into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York, one plane flew into the Pentagon outside Washington, DC and the fourth plane, thanks to heroic actions of some passengers, missed its mark and crashed in a field in Pennsylvania. I was at work in a state government building at the time. I was outraged —that anyone would dare come over here and attack us—and I was afraid. In my mind, the people in the World Trade Center, and the Pentagon, and Pennsylvania, and, indeed, in buildings allover the United States were just like me—simply going about their business and working to feed their families. They were people who embraced various viewpoints, ideologies, and religions. People who prided themselves in being citizens of a country where differences were tolerated and change could be effected at the ballot box. Were the attacks going to continue? Were all government offices at risk?

January 7, 2021 was the fourth time in my 72 years that I have felt disbelief, dread, fear and anger, all at the same time, due to terrible events occurring in the United States of America. The United States was under attack by domestic extremists on that day.

Like parents of little leaguers who rush on to the field to beat up the umpires after their child’s team loses the ballgame, a mob of Trump supporters, angered that he lost the 2020 presidential election, rushed the United States Capital in an effort to stop Congress from certifying the Electoral College Votes declaring President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris winners of the 2020 election.

Apparently, these extremists expected to be hailed as saviors. But, it just seems to me that they are, mostly, victims of one of the greatest con-men of our time. Trump has shown, time and time again, that he does not care about people. He seems to only care about being in the spotlight, blind loyalty, power, money —and, maybe his kids (though I am not sure he won’t throw them to the wolves to save himself.). As Maya Angelou said, “When people show you who they are, believe them.”

Now that Trump’s “protesters “ realize that the public is not proud of them, they are offering a strange defense of their actions. They seem to want to compare their breaching of the halls of Congress to the protests waged on behalf of George Floyd, Brianna Taylor, Tamir Rice, et al by Black Lives Matter protesters.

Since I cannot adequately explain the difference between the events of January 7, 2021 and the Black Lives Matter protests, I refer you to the words below of Gerald D. Givens, Jr., President, Raleigh-Apex NAACP, US Air Force, Retired :

“There is no equivocation between the protest in response to the killings of George Floyd, Freddie Gray and Breonna Taylor and so many others as to what these terrorists did in Washington DC. A demonstration is a statement of disapproval or opposition to something. A revolt is a violent rebellion against a government. There is a difference between a demonstration and a revolt. These are not the same.

Why should we have any sympathy for the CEOs, elected officials, law enforcement officers, veterans and everyday citizens who are losing their jobs and being arrested for the planning, attendance, and execution of a rebellion?

They rose up against the American government and captured the Capitol. The rebels shouted “Hang Mike Pence!” The Vice President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and President pro tempore of the Senate, basically the line of succession had to hide for hours in a secured location for their own safety to include the rest of Congress.

Eventually five people would come to die, in which one person was a US Capitol police officer believed to have succumbed to injuries due to being beaten with a fire extinguisher. Some insurgents urinated and defecated in the halls of Congress, not in the bathrooms, but in the halls of Congress. Historical artifacts and congressional offices have been vandalized. They hung Trump flags inside and outside the building and attempted to remove the American flag flying over the Capitol.

A true patriot stands up for our country from our enemies, both foreign and domestic. A patriot does not seek to overthrow a branch government for doing the affairs of the people.”

https://www.facebook.com/groups/107808229266562/permalink/3616087158438634/

PEACE!

Luke 2:4-14King James Version

4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Vote 2020: Lives Depend On It

I, like many of you, watched the final Trump/Biden presidential debate on Thursday night, October 22, 2020. It was anti-climactic for me, because I voted earlier in the day. Perhaps, I should say, it reassured me that my vote was necessary and was cast correctly.

I voted a straight democratic ticket for several major reasons. First, I support the woman, her partner and her doctor deciding what is right or necessary to their reproductive life, without interference from the government. I also voted Biden/Harris because I cannot excuse the cruelty and incompetence of an administration that separated children from their parents at the Southern Border (and, seems to have permanently lost the parents of over 540 children). I voted a democratic ticket because over 200,00 US residents have died of a virus that Trump did not warn us about, initially, and that he helped spread at his super spreader rallies.
I voted Biden/Harris because Trump’s administration is, even now, fighting in the courts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act —meaning that many more US residents will be without healthcare and will be unable to go to the doctor if they contract COVID19. Many will, then, likely die, and families will lose income vital to survival. I voted for Biden/Harris because I expect them to restore the rule of law. I voted for Biden/Harris because I expect them to listen to the voices of people calling for police accountability when a police officer violates his oath of office or, in any way, breaks the law. I voted for Biden/Harris because they are imperfect people who can admit their faults and, thereafter, change directions. I voted a straight democratic ticket because the Republicans currently in office have proven that they do not respect the separation of powers. I voted a straight democratic ticket because I want to give Biden/Harris a support system that will work to help them bring peace, unity and security to our country. I voted a straight democratic ticket because we need a unified government to undo some of the harm done by the Trump administration, with the willful cooperation of US representatives and senators who abdicated their roles of oversight. I voted a straight democratic ticket because Republicans, apparently, see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil beyond that done to the “unborn” (hypothetical person).


I voted Biden/Harris because my quality of life, indeed, my very life, as well as the lives of over 540 parent-less children on the Southern Border who are living and breathing, and the lives of an untold number of future COVID19 infected people, and the lives of servicemen who are making great sacrifices on our behalf (even though Putin has placed a bounty on their heads that Trump seems okay with), and Black Lives —which, indeed, matter—depended on my vote.

I implore everyone to vote because many lives depend on it.

George Floyd Cried Out

I thought I was handling the stresses brought about by the Coronavirus, the murder of George Floyd, the protest marches, and my memories of my past hurts and fears. Today, I tuned in to CNN’s show, “Coming Together: Standing up to Racism: A CNN/ Sesame Street Town Hall.” I listened to children ask questions about racism—what is it, why does it happen, how can you stop it, how should we treat each other, if I become a neurosurgeon, “can I operate on the brain’s of racists”and fix it—and questions from parents about how to talk to our children about racism and white privilege. I finally started crying.

Today, I have to admit that at 71 years old, I am still traumatized and in pain. Today, I am so sad that we are still being harmed by racism. Due to unequal access to healthcare throughout the years, Blacks are disproportionately affected by the Coronavirus. George Floyd, who tested positive for the Coronavirus, survived the illness; but he did not survive the economic impact of Coronavirus. He was laid off from his job as a club bouncer because all restaurants in Minnesota were shut down due to the virus. I doubt that the $1200 check generated by the CARES Act of 2020 did much to alleviate Mr. Floyd’s financial stresses.

Due to racism, Blacks are more likely to be treated harshly by police officers. George Floyd was murdered by police officers who responded to a merchant’s call complaining that a customer paid for items with a counterfeit $20 bill. Today, as I listened to the questions from the children on the CNN/Sesame Street program, I was overwhelmed by the vision of the police officer pressing down on George Floyd’s neck with his knee. George Floyd, as has often been the case for blacks in this country, was arrested, presumed guilty and executed on the spot. The children could not understand this. Neither could I. I could not stop crying.

I helped “integrate” a high school in 1965…I tried to educate white people in my work circle and social circles…I marched…I voted…I made phone calls for candidates…I gave my children the TALK…I tried to teach my children to live well in an unjust world…I tried to teach my children to love themselves and to know that they were created in the image of God. Yet, children called in today to the CNN/Sesame Street TownHall with questions about racism in the year 2020 in the United States. I could not stop crying.

As I listened to the children on the CNN/Sesame Street Town Hall, I thought back to the many years of struggle for survival of my ancestors, the struggle for equality, the struggle for success, the struggle for an education, the struggle to own one’s own body, the struggle to own one’s own children, the struggle to vote for those who pass and enforce laws that govern our lives, the struggle to be paid for the works of our hands, the struggle to patent and reap the financial rewards for our inventions, the struggle to fight for this country, the struggle for life, the struggle for liberty, the struggle to pursue happiness. I could not stop crying.

George Floyd cried out for his Mama. I am crying out for my ancestors. I am crying out for myself. I am crying out for my children. I am crying out for George Floyd.

#SELMA50 – A CALL TO UNITY

#Selma50 seems to have finally taken its rightful place in history. 
A bipartisan group of politicians and public officials,  including President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama (Democrats), former President George Bush, former First Lady Laura Bush (Republicans), members of congress, Alabama Governor Bentley, and the late Governor George Wallace’s daughter, Peggy Wallace Kennedy   joined a mixed group of citizens to commemorate and honor the ordinary people who stepped up in an extraordinary manner to fight for full citizenship for African-Americans in the 1960s. 

Much like President Lincoln in his Gettysburg Address, President Barack Obama delivered a speech which will be referenced by future generations for its clarity and for providing a historical perspective of the events that took place on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama in 1965.     

While  honoring the Civil Rights fighters who were willing to give their lives in the battle for their right to vote, and the right of self-determination for future generations; President Obama noted that Americans of all races, religions and nationalities were moved to join the battle in Selma fifty years ago. The President, also, noted the universal appeal of the civil rights struggles of the 1960s. And, like Lincoln, President Obama ended his speech with a call for unity- referring to actions that “we” must take in the future. 

Yet, in the shadow of Ferguson, it remains to be seen if this president will be as successful as Lincoln in holding this wounded nation together.  
Click here: President Obama’s speech#Selma50

#SELMA50 – A CALL TO UNITY

#Selma50 seems to have finally taken its rightful place in history. 
A bipartisan group of politicians and public officials,  including President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama (Democrats), former President George Bush, former First Lady Laura Bush (Republicans), members of congress, Alabama Governor Bentley, and the late Governor George Wallace’s daughter, Peggy Wallace Kennedy   joined a mixed group of citizens to commemorate and honor the ordinary people who stepped up in an extraordinary manner to fight for full citizenship for African-Americans in the 1960s. 

Much like President Lincoln in his Gettysburg Address, President Barack Obama delivered a speech which will be referenced by future generations for its clarity and for providing a historical perspective of the events that took place on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama in 1965.     

While  honoring the Civil Rights fighters who were willing to give their lives in the battle for their right to vote, and the right of self-determination for future generations; President Obama noted that Americans of all races, religions and nationalities were moved to join the battle in Selma fifty years ago. The President, also, noted the universal appeal of the civil rights struggles of the 1960s. And, like Lincoln, President Obama ended his speech with a call for unity- referring to actions that “we” must take in the future. 

Yet, in the shadow of Ferguson, it remains to be seen if this president will be as successful as Lincoln in holding this wounded nation together.  
Click here: President Obama’s speech#Selma50