Thursday, July 2, 2020

Streets of Blood

To truly understand the South you would have to be a combined Anthropologist, Sociologist, Theologian and Economist.  The South post Civil War failed at Reconstruction and in turn faced a series of economic boycotts over the years that began with the great migration by many Southern Black faces to the North that promised work.  The South remained largely agrarian  and in turn lost significant power over time Legislatively but thanks to the sheer numbers of folks who have remained has made the region one of political import.  But what is more important is that if one recalls the South was the site of many battles in the American Revolution, which residents of South Carolina never fail to mention, that civil war thing yes, but that history of their role in securing American's independence is something that of which they are resolutely proud of.  The Citadel sits in Charleston and is the school of legacy and in turn demonstrates that while the northern schools, such as West Point, get the attention the reality is that the South has been driven economically by their large numbers enlisted in the military.  It is the most significant institution next to schools of which again the South take great pride in, and they do that through college sports.  And it is not without its own history of abuse and scandal. But hey that is what makes you tough right.  Police, Warrior, Cop.

After time the South started to invite foreign businesses to set up shop, they created right to work laws, like their endless pursuit of religious freedom attests that is the most significant ways the South has come to rise again in America.  The Southern migration of many Black elite to rebuild and rebrand Atlanta gave the area a cache that had been largely resigned to the trash heap of Hee Haw and the Beverly Hillbillies and then came Medea.  Part satire, part honorarium, it brought the new money to the new faces of color that had for decades known how to put assess in seats and find white audiences to black theaters. And then of course sports.  You know the great equalizer until that black fist is raised or a knee bent.  But the greatest equalizer was and frankly is the Military.  One can note all the significant faces whoop I mean face of color in Colin Powell who attained one of the most respected places at the table of the White House until a young man named Obama took the next higher seat.  And again that was a way for everyone to say, "See we are not racist."  What.ever.

Meanwhile the South did not change, did not evolve at all in fact it doubled down on the hate laws. They carefully took voting rights away, re-examined civil rights and directed it towards another group, the Gay community and in turn under religious freedom ensured that hospitals or Planned Parenthood would be denied access and availability to any and all options when it came to family planning. They did the same for education, embracing charters and testing and other means to break any concept of public and equal education established in Brown, a color that is not just one in the Crayola box.  The South still had statues, markers and other symbols scattered throughout the cities and towns that were somehow equal notes about people, places and things that demonstrated growth and evolution. What.ever. Meanwhile the oppressive laws and legislative acts say otherwise

I toured the South and spoke and visited many sites of note.  I elected to avoid Alabama given their current attempt to destroy women's right to choose but I am still planning to go.  As a result of my "boycott" I  have not seen the Lynching Memorial in Montgomery and we know now it is about 1,000 names light as to number actually killed during that time. But then again the South numbers are not their best suit.   It is like today when we speak of George Floyd we are forgetting the seventy or more that in the prior year said variations of "I can't breathe."  They too were smothered to death at the hands of the Police, another protected class under the new name, "First Responders" that give cache and honor to a job that includes murder.  For anyone who chokes the life out of someone and does so with deliberation is a murderer.  Hard words but we give a pass to those who wear a uniform for they do so to save our country, to protect and serve and whatever other bullshit we like to say when we excuse the accuser.

So in the last decade the South rose again, the schools, the football, the basketball and their endless parade of flags to note that every single elected official were largely white men with dubious histories regarding civil rights and often relegated as public jokes. But meanwhile they made powerful allies and friends and they stay very much elected in office without issue or scandal.  Well some get busted and yet they are back again and again as the South is tribal, forgiving their own and seeing the "other" the "outsider" with suspicion and doubt. Well that is until a check is offered be it at the fund raiser or the church plate it is in that God We Trust.

Today Mississippi, the poorest state in the Southern union finally a century later removed the Confederate flag from their state flag. Tennessee which has resisted any call to remove the head of the KKK, Nathan Bedford Forest, statue from the Capital may do so. In fact, the Tennessee state Legislature passed a law when the City of Memphis sold a park with another absurd Confederate statue to a private investor who promptly removed the work of "art" and then deeded the land back to the city as a gift. The white powers that be immediately made that illegal and the statues stayed in place all of this after a young white woman, Heather Heyer, died in  Charlottesville against others fought those wanting to remove one from public land.   They were not residents from there, but they felt that vested in a statue that has nothing to do with their own history other that being one of a racist white man, they were willing to kill people to do so.   And finally Facebook today says, whoops sorry about giving them a forum.  How many deaths in the streets does it take?

Speaking of Facebook.... how many Russian trolls will it take to topple it? NONE.

This week it has been revealed that Russia was paying bounties to the Taliban to kill American soldiers, and that this might have been going on during the Obama Administration is not a message lost on me, as Obama reneged on that promise to get us out and failed to.   But given what you will read later on it makes sense.  But then again unlike the idiot in the White House I read.  This war was about rage and honor and I get it as I can walk out my door and see in my backyard the tower that replaced the two ripped out of the skies.  I can see memorial after memorial here in Jersey City and in NYC about that day.  There is no way to ever explain that rage and loss that included many "first responders" many whom did not need to die had they had better communication and linked lines that would have allowed them to know what was coming.  And again that lays as the hands and feet of another idiot in the Trump orbit and yet in those days he was America's Mayor.  Wow we could not do worse.  More deaths in streets and yet the powerful still go on being powerful.  His best friend, Bernard Kerik, was recently pardoned by Trump, and Trumps pardons go on to those who least deserve them but then again the powerful never get justice in the same way the rest do.

Another Trump pardon was an Army Sergeant who committed murder, or what we call War Crimes. War crimes that have been going on since WWII and we have spent much of history trying to call to Justice those in power who perpetuated them.  Sometimes it works but then again Stalin never faced a Jury nor will Putin.  Nor will any Saudi Prince for their own crimes against America that fateful day nor for any in the most recent day.  They will go on with life as usual as blood washes away quit easily when you have the money to make it so.

This is the link to the story of Sergeant Lorance ,who had been in command of 1st Platoon for only three days in Afghanistan; however,  in that short span of time he averaged a war crime a day.  Remember Police kill an average of 3 a day in America.  a military jury found.  The day before he was dismissed, he ordered his troops to open fire on three Afghan men standing by a motorcycle on the side of the road who he said posed a threat. His actions led to a 19-year prison sentence.  He served six years and then Trump made him a hero.  Well Chauvin may end up with the same if Trump remains in office, just a thought.

What I want to remind anyone is that no one acts alone.  That Police have accomplices and they are partners in crime and they too walk away or not as again this act on Mr. Floyd was not the first and certainly not the last until it is.  The reality is that for those who choose to not or find themselves unwitting aids to one who has the power and authority to damage their lives if not actually enable their lives to end, it is a precarious journey.  And I urge you to read the stories of the men who now see their former colleague walk free as if nothing he did wrong. The same goes for those who were victims of crimes, of sexual assaults and other serious matters where the laws seem to favor the accused and in turn enable them to walk out the door, if they ever even get inside in the first place.

In my case I hold two men responsible for what happened to me, two white men, two Lawyers, Ted Vosk and Kevin Trombold, as the ones who did more damage to me than my date Char ever did as he never finished the job, but they did their best to do so. To the massive staff at Harborview Hospital, their role cannot be ignored as they allowed me to wander the streets for a week without anyone caring for me putting me further at risk and perhaps even allowing me to invite the maniac back into my home. To them I wish them a special place in hell.  And this also goes to the ones who have done this to others, the professionals with whom we entrust to serve, to protect, to heal, to make a life better and as this pandemic has proven they are not capable nor truly able to do so. This is America, in God We Trust, and by that I mean the God of the word on the dollar.  We trust and respect no other and those uniforms that are worn be it of Police, Military, Fire, EMT, Doctor, Nurse or the Robes in court they are not there for the citizens of the country they are there for their own self interest.  They can go fuck themselves.   We have the power in number and we refuse for whatever reason or belief to vote, to engage, to read, and to know. And because of that our streets run with blood.

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