“No justice, no peace.”
Surely we have all heard that chant for decades at various protests ... well, all but the most cloistered in their white privilege. One can debate about the justification for violence in the wake of still another police murder of an African American man, this time George Floyd. But there is, in the final analysis, one major reason to go home and shut down the rioting: the sheer numbers and arsenal that the power structure can rely on for brute force.
It is not worth more human sacrifice to make the point that African Americans, and those whites who support them on the street, have had enough of the police state in which they live. Certainly blacks have. But several governors have already called in the National Guard to supplement heavily armed and armored law enforcement forces. Besides, the support from Americans of goodwill collapses when justified rage is overtaken by hooliganism.
The answer is to leave the streets and organize for the upcoming election. And then, in an overwhelming turnout, vote to remove the unvarnished bigot who is president with clear instructions to Joe Biden. He must make it the priority as president to untangle the racism that ties the United States of America in knots, starting with police reform that removes the bigoted psychopaths in the ranks. It is a country of broken promises for so many of our citizens, including the pretense of “equal protection under the law.”
President Donald Trump is showing his true colors, which are supremacist white, with his series of tweets and other pronouncements like, “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.” If that sounds familiar, it was part of the repertoire of George Wallace the segregationist, and also for a police chief in Miami in the ‘60s who said, “We don’t mind being accused of police brutality.”
But back to the Trumpster’s garbage ... he was taken frightened, to his bunker, all the while taunting on Twitter demonstrators at the White House, that if breached the gates, they’d be met with “vicious dogs” and “ominous weapons.” It couldn’t have been an accidental reference to Birmingham, Alabama, Commissioner of Public Safety “Bull” Connor, who turned attack dogs loose on civil rights activists in the Jim Crow convulsions of the ‘60s.
But it’s Donald Trump, as president, who has made bigotry a staple of his administration. Along with incompetence and self-serving politics to answer a crisis. Look no further than the coronavirus pandemic, where blunders by Trump and his gang have accounted for thousands of deaths that could have been avoided, shortages in the equipment necessary to fight it and an economic disaster where the jobless rate rivals the depression of the 1930s.
In particular, blacks and other people of color have been victimized because of the nation’s racism, which consigns them to second class citizenship. Not only that, but to save his political skin, he has panicked and egged on a “reopening” that is premature, already resulting in more COVID deaths.
Anyone of good will — black, white or other hues — who is sick of his mess and the dirty tricks of Trump supporters must turn out to cast a ballot this November. Not doing so is, in effect, voting to re-elect Donald Trump, and not voting for any hope of justice.
Bob Franken is an Emmy Award-winning reporter who covered Washington for more than 20 years with CNN; his opinions are his own.