“I understand we’re in a global pandemic right now, but I also feel like our lives are in a state of emergency as well because of the police. That’s why we’re out here.”
— Chavon Allen, Houston protester (5/30/20)
“The only good Democrat is a dead Democrat.”
— Trump retweets video remark from a protester (5/22/20)
By Dan Peak
The Commoner Call (6/1/20)
Dear Fellow Readers,
Chavon Allen is a 33 year-old black woman who brought her eight year-old daughter to downtown Houston on Saturday to protest, chanting, “Black Lives Matter”. Part of her motivation was the shooting of her brother by a Houston police officer three years ago; he survived. On Saturday she weighed her decision to protest deciding the systemic threat to her health and safety was more important than the risk of exposure to coronavirus from the crowd or protesters.
Trump’s leadership during this time of emotional crisis is as much a failure as his choice to dismiss and take no action in the face of a global pandemic. Because we know how he reacts to any crisis or challenge, Trump, his personal attorney and attorney general William Barr and Trump national security advisor Robert O’Brien are all railing at their scripted boogeyman du jour, Antifa – without a shred of evidence. Barr told us the protests around the White House were organized and professional, a phrase repeated by Trump – again without offering a shred of evidence.
O’Brien appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday morning, added, “I haven’t seen the reports of far-right groups…this is being driven by Antifa”. If O’Brien is confused by all those white men carrying automatic weapons while wearing Hawaiin print shirts he might want to
Google ‘Boogaloos’. But we know the accusations and denials are canned and politicized, they know what they will say before the crisis unfolds in front of their see-no-evil eyes.
Trump has failed to address the country – another demonstration of his failed leadership and we are likely better off without such an address. The reason for addressing the country would be to build unity but that’s not Trump, he’d rather fuel hate and divisiveness through his tweets, like threatening protesters around the White House with, “Big crowd, professionally organized, but nobody came close to breaching the fence. If they had they would have been greeted with the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons, I have ever seen. That’s when people would have been really badly hurt, at least.”
“The only good Democrat is a dead Democrat” Trump tweets and almost certainly there is a small part of your brain asking, ‘why?’.
The History of Fascism and Racism Repeats With Trump
“When the looting starts, the shooting starts”, is another recent Trump tweet, now lost in the word salad of his ugly remarks just like any other Trump dumpster fire. But this one answers the question of ‘why’. The origin of that comment goes back to a remark by a former Miami police chief in 1967. At the time the president of the Miami chapter of the NAACP, Dr. George Simpson, accused the police chief of “setting up the first fascist state of Miami”.
Following the violence of the late 60’s the Kerner Commission set out to report on the cause and effect. The report warned:
“our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white — separate and unequal.”
Former Alabama Gov. George Wallace ran for president for a third time leading up to the 1968 election, the same point in history as the remarks of the Miami police chief. Fifty years later we are seeing the same issues unfold in violence – as if we’ve made no progress in coming to terms with our racism. Wallace ran again for the 1972 Republican nomination and managed to get 42% of the vote in the Florida primary; he was a serious candidate for the nomination, not in spite of his racism, but because of it.
Trump’s polling has his support hovering near of just over 40% through his time in the White House. The core of his support is white males – while he tweets “the only good Democrat is a dead Democrat” it doesn’t add to his base, but it does motivate them – something you will see reflected in polling over candidates and the fervency of their support — Trump will get his 45% as a floor. But the question is will he get more, or enough votes in the deciding states, to win reelection?
Minneapolis is the confluence of the two crises we now face simultaneously.
“The twin tragedies of police violence and Covid-19 are rippling across the country, and they are not entirely disconnected. Health inequities like lack of access to health care have exacerbated chronic conditions in black Americans that have made them more vulnerable to coronavirus.
“Minnesota grappled with both tragedies this week. The state had 35 Covid deaths on Thursday, a new single-day high, and hit 1,000 deaths today. Black people have suffered a third of Covid cases in Minnesota and a quarter of the state’s Covid hospitalizations, despite making up only 6 percent of the state’s population.”
The article comments, neither tragedy is under control. Too true.
South Korea is closing schools again after a coronavirus spike only days after reopening. South Korea is a success story for fast and effective response to the virus in contrast to Trump’s failure in the US. South Korea’s quick response to this latest risk was only possible with testing with the spike happening despite the significant precautions taken.
Trump is sending us back to work, back to school, with none of the precautions and inadequate testing.
Trump is pushing for a national GOP convention held in an enclosed space without ‘visible’ precautions like face masks — all is meant to appear ‘normal’. But an adult Trump supporter electing to attend such a convention is one thing –forcing our kids to also shill for Trump’s ‘normal’ Potemkin Village is another.
Certainly this will come up many times as we move forward, but as Trump forces the cart before the horse for his personal political advantage, we are NOT at ‘normal’ and will not be for some time:
I will leave this as a headline for now. And this one as well; even if someone contracting coronavirus survives:
As we see reports of the more instances of how as many as 300 children, previously thought to be unaffected, are showing characteristics in common with Kawasaki disease, the sub-head here is: “It is a true roller coaster of symptoms and severities, with each new day offering many unknowns.”
Trump is willing to risk violence against many as a price he’s willing to have us all pay while he feeds the fervor of his devotees.
The protests in the face of the murder of George Floyd and Trump’s failure to unite is his latest, “never let a crisis go to waste”.
We face twin crises – stay safe.