So, let me get this straight. People of color have been demonstrably abused by both citizens, police, and the legal system in the US from before the beginning. I don’t think there are any people who are truly denying things like lynchings or white rioters burning a whole neighborhood to the ground. (Tulsa, 1921, right)
In 2020, there seems to have been a new escalation, so fine tune this layout if you will or if you can:
- People of color, both innocent bystanders and criminal suspects have been killed by police officers.
- People of color, and their allies protested these injustices.
- Sometimes the protests got heated and police responded in various ways, including attacking peaceful protesters, arresting credentialed journalists.
- Some protesters and counterprotesters upped the ante by attacking police and damaging property.
- Protesters, unable to get what they perceived was an adequate judicial response, found that economics might hold the key. Hence, defund.
- Other bystanders got nervous about that and mobilized politically in the 2020 election cycle.
- Supposedly, the expected blue wave was blunted by radical talk, a repudiation of a peaceful resetting of priorities.
It doesn’t really leave us in a better position. Given the militarization of police in the US, it seems there’s a certain amount of money in which to swim and give to arms dealers. (I happen to think it’s part of the American worship of guns, but you may disagree.) Given the frustrations of many citizens we’re likely not going to see an end to activism, political, budget, or marching/chanting anytime soon.
A lot of the heat tends to chase people away from the root causes of racial violence, namely a coherent public policy that not only caters to the 1%, but strives to build communities where 100% of the citizens have the room to reach a certain potential. Not just aristobabies inheriting mom and dad’s billions.
What’s left? The pandemic looks on track to wipe out another few hundred thousand lives and gouge the economy into 2021. We like our guns, but we also like property and money. When there’s less to go around, the decibel level tends to grow and the shopping runs will expand beyond paper products.
Can we pray with the psalmist?
The wicked shall depart to Sheol,
all the nations that forget God.
For the needy shall not always be forgotten,
nor the hope of the poor perish for ever.
Rise up, O Lord! Do not let mortals prevail;
let the nations be judged before you. (Psalm 9:17-19, NRSV)