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.

 

 

 

 

 

There’s a Killer Out There

I know you’re getting anxious to go back to work.

I know you’ve got bills to pay, and you’re worried.

I know you’re just flat tired of sitting around the house, and that you think your precious freedom is being taken from you, and you really need that hair cut by now, and all the other reasons for wanting your life to get back to normal.

But friends, it can’t. Not yet.

There’s a killer out there, a silent assassin, and it’s got one hell of a body count that grows exponentially by the day.

It’s not a hoax. It’s not “just the flu.” It’s the real deal.

You may not like it; I don’t. But you can’t ignore it, deny it, or refute it, just because you’re scared. The best you can do is acknowledge it and follow the warnings of the health experts trying to prevent the spread of it.

Get this straight: Nobody is trying to deprive you of your freedom or your rights.

They’re trying to keep you from dying. Plain and simple. This is a major public health issue, and it takes precedence over the economy. Period.

It’s about trying to stop a killer, one that doesn’t care if you’re white or black, male or female, Republican or Democrat, urban or rural. It is ruthlessly indiscriminate, and we must do all we can to defend against it.

That means staying home.

That means wearing a mask if and when you go out.

That means washing your hands religiously.

That means social distancing.

That means not marching downtown with your automatic weapon and trying to bully anyone into opening everything back up. Grow up, will you?

This is gonna be a long, tough fight. And it’s gonna take all of us doing what is necessary to win.

So, please, folks, hang in there awhile longer. We all want things to return to normal.

But that’s not reality. Not yet.

Be safe.