I’ve been getting headaches over the past few weeks thanks to all the awful things going on in the U.S. I try to think about other things and work on my yard, but somehow the images crop up to make me explode with emotion.
A cop kneeling on a man’s neck while others scream for him to stop.
White men, some with the president’s re-election flags on their vehicles, trying to run down people protesting the above murder.
Armed men screaming in cops’ faces at a statehouse while said cops are wearing masks to protect themselves from the spittle no doubt flung from unmasked faces.
More shootings of unarmed people by police or wannabe heroes.
It’s enough to make one want to scream.
And all the while, the Great Pumpkin in the White House has nothing to say. Nothing positive. Nothing to the people as a whole.
Just empty words for his echo chamber.
No address to the nation to give an honest assessment of what’s going on and what needs to happen.
No address to calm fears and unite the people.
Only hate, or nothing at all.
Heaven forbid the current occupant in the White House show any semblance of humanity, that he can actually feel something for other people. And by that, I mean people he may have never met, who never stayed at his hotels or resorts, and hell, maybe never even voted for him.
Or even the opposite.
How many times has a crisis come up in this country? How many Presidents, Governors, Mayors have had to approach the podium with some hastily-written on scraps of paper and say something–anything–to show that they’re there, that they’re going to take care of things? How many have gone to the microphone and had their voice carried over the airwaves, taking their time to be reassuring?
How many sat there and pointed fingers instead?
There’s a word I’ve been using all week to describe how I feel and what I’m seeing all around: powerlessness.
The ones screaming at the cop to let up on the man’s neck so he wouldn’t die were able to record, but not act lest they get shot by the cops around him. That’s powerlessness.
The protests that have sprung up as a resort to this senseless death, some more violent than others. I knew one violent outpouring would be against the precinct those officers belonged to. That was a way to take power back in a small way.
And now people decry the property damage while neglecting the human beings who died–and have been dying–before this kettle boiled over. The screaming protesters at the state houses demanding that businesses reopen don’t give a damn about the workers that have to serve their stupid asses. The main cogs in the service economy.
“Human capital stock,” right?
And just weeks later, here those same folks are screaming about the property damage caused by people protesting the senseless deaths of black people.
“It’s the economy, stupid,” right?
We have no leadership. In God we Trust. Unfortunately, the only god that’s recognized is the stock market. To hell with people, because, yeah, I’m sure Jesus was mostly focused on corporate interests when he preached.
Forget healing the blind and lame, he should’ve been shaking the hands of the moneylenders in the temple (instead of whipping them) and just snapped his fingers and made shekels fall from the sky. After all, the blind and lame are poor folks, and they can’t do much for you when you’re declared the leader.
I have to remember–before this country took a mental vacation and elected the Great Pumpkin–that we had leaders at one time or another. Some I didn’t particularly like, but they all had something to bring to the table when darkness reared it’s ugly head. Some might’ve been more successful than others, and that’s okay. But they tried to be leaders.
Going back in time:
Pres. Barack Obama, post Sandy Hook shooting
Pres. G.W. Bush, post 9/11
Pres. Bill Clinton, post Oklahoma City Bombing (with a room full of kiddos) –had trouble finding the initial addresses with good audio quality.
Pres. Ronald Reagan, post Challenger disaster
Those were just the ones I remember watching myself. And then you go further in the past, and have leaders all over the place (even ones not yet elected to office).
This one’s my favorite, and unfortunately, one of the most relevant today even after more than 40 years. I can’t stop tearing up when I watch it, because to know he delivered it at it’s most impromptu, on the back of a truck and had barely written anything down, was clearly winging it… but knowing he had to speak and help the community that was going through massive grief… a grief that was tearing the nation up.
And yet, when his words went out, Indianapolis, Indiana, where he delivered this speech, did not erupt in rioting that night.
Robert F. Kennedy, April 4th, 1968, within hours of MLK’s death.
Where have all the leaders gone?
It starts from the bottom up, as Beau of the Fifth Column says. Find good leaders within your community and help raise them up. They’ll do the same for you.
Be well, my fellow human beings out there.