“America is Burning”


Thanks to a Minneapolis cop against whom 17 previous complaints were filed in recent years, the “usual suspects” hit the streets again when Black man George Floyd died under the cop’s knee.
More than 4,000 people were arrested nationally over the May 30 weekend. A dozen governors ordered 10,000 National Guardsmen to patrol streets in armored vehicles while President Donald J.Trump hid in the White House underground bunker.
Buildings burned to the ground, people were injured and some died. America burned on Saturday night.
Welcome to June 2020 five months before Americans might retire Donald J. Trump after one term.
President Trump sees 35 million unemployed Americans sitting at home watching thousands of fellow Americans gather peacefully in daylight then morph into looters, arsonists and rioters when the sun goes down.
More people have died from the coronavirus in four months of Trump than died in 70 years of the Korean, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Some Americans have refused to wear face masks because they think the entire coronavirus epidemic is a hoax. Some support people who disobey lock-down orders and go to churches so pastors can collect Sunday dollars.
The Supreme Court has been asked to set aside lock-downs of churches and by 5-4 ruled against a San Diego Protestant church that petitioned to have their church disobey the Governor of California’s lock-down of churches.
Older Americans, like me, part of the most vulnerable population cohort endangered by the coronavirus, are fine with staying home. But what of those unfortunate people in medical facilities and rest homes which the virus seems to have targeted? Yes, big numbers of older people have died. Thus, people my age are fearful of people who don’t wear masks and who object to the lock-down.
Then there is the ethnic threat to Blacks and Hispanics (me) who may be defenseless because they have underlying health problems or lack adequate medical care.
Many turn on the television and they see danger and disaster everywhere. This is not a happy time.
Mobs are on the streets in “usual suspect” cities; St. Louis, Los Angeles, Detroit, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Oakland but now — in a normally sane small-town U.S.A.
Saturday night, a thousand people gathered to protest in La Mesa, California, a small city of 60,000 (3 or 4% Black) next to San Diego that has never hosted a protest of any sort except, perhaps, when the city celebrated its first Little League World Series victory in 1957.
A thousand people gathered to protest the killing of George Floyd, a Black man, by a police officer who killed the man by kneeling on his neck for over eight minutes. Floyd pleaded for the officer to let him “breathe.” Bystanders begged the officer to let the man breathe. They took videos with their phones. All the proof needed to send the officer to prison was on the internet within minutes. The videos don’t lie; they are raw, unedited, and powerful.
The City of La Mesa is 1965 miles from Minneapolis.
The officer wasn’t arrested. He was fired but not arrested. Protests started. Finally, he was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. No bail. The legal system was working. Unfortunately, the cogs of justice work slowly; the delay led to protests, violence, looting, and fires.
There was and is no excuse for the violence, looting and fires, none.
If the President of the United States had appeared on television from the White House within hours of the video hitting national newsrooms, he would have short-circuited the protests. He could have by stating that what he saw was unacceptable; that he had ordered the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to determine if the man’s civil rights had been violated. If so, he could say that federal prosecutions would ensue if they had. Would any of the protests, looting, and fires have happened? We’ll never know.
President Trump harangues governors of riotous states with being “weak” and tells them to be “strong,” to “take back” and “dominate the streets.”
Another brilliant Washington D.C. denizen, Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton (R), is advising President Trump to invoke the federal “Insurrection Act of 1807” to flood riotous cities with federal troops. The 1807 law was used during the 1992 Los Angeles riots when Republican Governor Pete Wilson asked Republican President George H.W. Bush for U.S. Marines to help the National Guard control the Los Angeles riot. Congresswoman Maxine Waters called it an “uprising;” it took 50 lives and caused billions of dollars in damage.
Is now the time to flood the cities with federal troops? Only one man is necessary; that would be President Donald J. Trump. He won’t because he’s a coward. He should go to a large Black church and lead its parishioners in prayer for justice. That would be someone we could trust. President Donald J. Trump will never do what I suggest. He’s not “strong” enough or brave enough to do it.