One More

Jacob Blake. A Black man.

Shot eight times by police.

At close range.

In the back.

In full view of three horrified children.

Incredibly, he’s still alive, though paralyzed from the waist down, perhaps permanently.

And the streets of Kenosha, Wisconsin, are filled with the now familiar sights and sounds of anger and frustration, manifested in protests, rioting and destruction of property.

I don’t, by any means, condone the violence that has occurred since Blake’s shooting.

But I can’t condemn it, either.

 

Because there’s no way I could say I would react any differently if I was a Black man in America.

Jacob Blake is yet another name to add to the ever-growing roster of Blacks being shot, and usually killed, by the police. Add the strangulation of George Floyd to the list, and it’s hard not to understand why the outcry for justice is so passionate as to spill over into acts of violence.

And all our government is interested in is maintaining law and order, i.e., shutting down the protests. Why not address why they’re protesting in the first place? Why not act to prevent all this excessive force used by police? Why not acknowledge the undercurrent of racism in the history of law enforcement?

No, we’ve got to crack down on these protesters, instead. Great, that’ll solve the problem.

I can’t possibly understand the fear Black people live in every day in this country. Knowing that one wrong move, even a perceived one, can get them killed.

That’s why I can’t just judge them for their reaction whenever one more of them gets added to the list of victims.

Even when the only attention it gets is riot squads and tear gas.

Blake family, I’m sorry for what happened. I’m sorry those three boys were eyewitnesses to it, and forever will be in their memory.

I’m not sorry somebody got video of it on his cellphone. Would America have ever known what happened otherwise?

Justice, and peace, require effort from all of us. Now is the perfect time.

“With Liberty and Justice for all,” it says in our Pledge of Allegiance. It’s long past time for that to be a reality.

 

 

 

 

 

John Lewis’ Final Words …

Everyone, everywhere, needs to read these words, and apply them. God rest your soul, John Lewis.
Larry

Filosofa's Word

John Lewis knew he had few days left on this earth, and he left a powerful message to us all to be published on the day of his funeral, today.  I let his words speak for themselves …


John-LewisWhile my time here has now come to an end, I want you to know that in the last days and hours of my life you inspired me. You filled me with hope about the next chapter of the great American story when you used your power to make a difference in our society. Millions of people motivated simply by human compassion laid down the burdens of division. Around the country and the world you set aside race, class, age, language and nationality to demand respect for human dignity.

That is why I had to visit Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington, though I was admitted to the hospital the following…

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It’s So Easy

Today, July 15, is the birthday of my favorite female vocalist: Linda Ronstadt.

You younger readers out there have likely never heard her. If that’s the case, treat yourself to a voice that can be sometimes powerful, sometimes tender, always crystal clear.

Ronstadt ruled the airwaves in the 1970’s, racking up hit after hit, like Blue Bayou, It’s So Easy, You’re No Good, That’ll Be the Day, Poor Poor Pitiful Me, Ooh Baby Baby, Tracks of My Tears, Don’t Know Much, Adios and so many more. And she made it sound just effortless every time.

Those of you who closer to my age, if you hadn’t heard Linda in a while, give her a listen today, wish her a Happy Birthday, and celebrate one of the all-time great singers of our time.

What Makes A Nation Great — Part III

My friend Jill has written a brilliant three-part essay on America as it is vs. America as it should be. This is the third part. Do yourself a favor and read Parts I and II first, and see how much you agree with it. I agree with all of it.
Larry

Filosofa's Word

In Parts I & II of this project, I spent a great deal of time pointing out the things that, in my view, keep the United States from being ‘great’.  In truth, the word ‘great’ is a superlative that sets my teeth on edge anyway, but it’s something we should always strive for.  If we strive for greatness, perhaps we can at least achieve ‘goodness’.

Make no mistake … despite its many flaws, some potentially fatal, there are good things happening in this nation, there are things that should give us hope for the future.  I didn’t want to end this project without pointing those out too.

A nation is only as good as the people who inhabit it, and we have, in this nation, millions of good people.  Every Wednesday, I write about some of those good people.  Most all of the people I know in this country are…

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I’m Trying Ringo…

Idiots are trying to kill us. I’m with this guy 100%.
Larry

The Off Key Of Life

I consider myself a pretty patient person who doesn’t get angry often. In fact, the one or two things that really get under my skin relate to matters of disrespect.  It’s been a pet peeve of mine for as long as I can remember and the one thing that will cause me to say something I should probably keep to myself. But sometimes, that’s just not possible.

I have tried not to watch the news very much, as it relates to the coronavirus and believe little of what I might read on social media. Everyone seems to have their own agenda, which shouldn’t surprise anyone. Facts are distorted or adjusted to meet individual agendas or platforms and what should be a coming together for the greater good of everyone has deteriorated into politics at its worst. It was disheartening a couple of months ago. I don’t know what word  I…

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Independence Day Thoughts

We’re all familiar with this part of the Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

But do you know what it says next?

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, —That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. (emphasis mine)

Something to keep in mind come Election Day, you think?

As we Americans celebrate our independence tomorrow – responsibly, of course, with social distancing, face masks, etc. – let’s remind ourselves of our right to institute new government when the present one is a threat to our rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, which most of us, I think, can agree is very much the case.

Happy Independence Day, y’all. Be safe.