SAME RACIAL SONG, SECOND VERSE

By George Smith

After Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated in Memphis in 1968, peaceful protests turned into riots and from April though mid-summer, this nation was washed over by the largest wave of social unrest since the Civil War.

Today, same racial song, second verse.

The slow-motion murder of Minneapolis resident George Floyd by four police officers — coming on the heels of the killing of several black Americans by law enforcement officers (and in one case by “vigilantes”)— has ignited violent protests in more than 140 cities in the U.S., and even in foreign countries.

Since 1968, there have been remarkable changes in the overall racial landscape in America: The most visible wrinkle in a racial snapshot of the U.S.in the last 50 years was the election the first black president 12 years ago.

Now, today, we’re right back to 1968, where distrust and fear of the police by a large segment of this nation’s population is rampant and fear and loathing is turning to rage and violence.

But, unlike the reactions of those trying to quell the unrest in 1968, some individual officers and even entire  police departments are reducing the anger level of protestors by JOINING them in kneeling in honoring the life of Floyd and other victims of unnecessary police violence. 

President Trump could learn something from these officers.

The president can be defined by many of his absurd and detrimental actions as the nation’s CEO; you either like him or you don’t, there is no middle ground.

However, his absence in the current framework of nationwide protests and violence, the absence of empathy, his absolute refusal to take time to try and calm the nation in this time of double crises (pandemic and coast-to-coast protests) is an abdication of his duties as president.

The fact he is tweeting about his confounded MAGA crew as “liking blacks…liking African Americans” is proof of how he views blacks, i.e., they are not part of MAGA congregation, and, thus, not part of HIS vision of America.

For more than two decades, the Republican Party has made it a priority to work to create a bridge of understanding with minorities, knowing those voting blocs are growing in numbers.

All that work, all the money burned in that effort has been wasted due to the callous and prejudiced actions of the Man from MAGA.

Trump’s chaotic handling of the pandemic response and his clueless response to the nationwide protests is proof-positive of his abject ignorance of what drives the majority of people in this country to get up every day and create opportunities for personal and professional growth.

He is, in a phrase, a wounded president, laid low by his constant lying, woeful management style, dearth of patience and his inability to comprehend the importance of briefings on important domestic and foreign issues.

The president claims to be a “stable genius” but his ignorance of history, the Constitution, his duty to all citizens (not just members of the MAGA cult) and how his knee-jerk reactions affect not just Trump World by the global community, prove that he is a spoiled, rich bully. 

Trump claims to be a Christian but displays no Christian values; he came to power to “drain the swamp”, but his  “swamp” is deeper, more murky and more corrupt than any administration since the Watergate era of Richard Nixon and that of Warren G. Harding’s Teapot Dome scandal.

He should never have been elected. His re-election would ensure the continued decline of this nation on all fronts, foreign and domestic.


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