Jacob Blake and the United States of America

I lived in Washington, DC with my sister and parents in about 1958. We resided on Edmunds St NW coincidentally around the corner from then Vice-President Richard Milhous Nixon. I was in the same class as his daughter Patricia Nixon at Horace Mann Elementary School. Ever since I can remember there have been racial problems in the United States of America.  I have always found it to be a weird peculiarity of an entire nation especially one which openly and relentlessly prides itself on equality, freedom and opportunity. As might be expected my exposure and understanding of the dilemma was insulated and far removed from the source. 

As a Canadian I can honestly say that racism is not a recurring theme of our national identity. I don’t pretend that problems surrounding racism do not exist in Canada. The alliance of the black population in the United States of America – aside from an unsurpassable record of athletic achievement – has always been associated with poverty, lack of education and health care, crime and confrontation with the police (arrests, convictions, physical abuse and murders). Trump’s media headliner “Make America Great Again” has been repeatedly and knowingly aligned with preservation of good ole white supremacy, everything from creating borders, terminating international alliances, imposing tariffs, canceling trade agreements, imposing marshal law upon rightful and peaceful protesters, pretending to call upon religious strength (and white urban housewives) and not so subtle toleration of Confederates, Naxis and the KKK.

Trump — who has focused his reelection push on stirring fears about urban violence — did not immediately address the shooting. But in remarks on the opening day of the Republican National Convention, Vice President Pence made the administration’s sympathies clear.

Trump and the Republicans, Pence told cheering supporters, “will always stand with the men and women who serve on the thin blue line of law enforcement. We’re going to back the blue.”

Crump said in a statement that Blake’s “three sons witnessed their father collapse after being riddled with bullets.” According to Crump, Blake was “simply trying to do the right thing by intervening in a domestic incident.”

Stella London, who lives in the area, and her daughters said Monday that they think Blake was breaking up a fight between two women over a scratch on one of their cars.

“It all came from a scratched vehicle. It’s just so sad,” said Sheila Winters, 65.

Police shot Jacob Blake, who witnesses said had been trying to break up an argument between two women, as he walked back toward his silver SUV on Sunday, an officer trailing behind. As three of Blake’s sons looked on from the vehicle, the officer fired seven times toward Blake’s back at close range. The incident was caught on video, which immediately ricocheted across the Internet

“If you watch that (Jacob Blake) video, you don’t need to be Black to be outraged. You need to be American and outraged. And how dare the Republicans talk about fear? We’re the ones that need to be scared. We’re the ones having to talk to every Black child. What white father has to give his son a talk about being careful if you get pulled over? It’s just ridiculous,” Rivers said. “And it keeps going, there’s no charges. Breonna Taylor. No charges. Nothing. All we’re asking is you live up to the Constitution. That’s all we’re asking. For everybody. For everyone.” Doc Rivers, Coach

It completely baffles my intelligence and capacity for reasoning to fathom how white America will ever better itself or be great again without recognizing that care for others is not a disadvantage or decline. Nor can I truthfully imagine that giving minorities an education and health care will somehow rattle the existence of white America – whereas the opposite offence will do just that. The only more laughable assertion – again, so often made by Trump and his shameful minions – is that guns don’t kill.

The sorry reality is that for most of us the madness of racial conflict is a short-lived groan. It doesn’t help that – intended or not – in many instances the question arises whether the victim “deserved” his punishment. Though equally surprising – but often unconnected with a life of deprivation – is the information about the victim’s prior police record (robbery, sexual assault, battery).  This frequently amounts to the preposterous ancient enforcement of the punishment for stealing food to eat; namely, cutting off the hand of the thief.

In more ways than one Trump and his carpet bag of mongrels are out-of-date. Already thinking Republicans have joined the Lincoln Project with the stated and painfully unambiguous ambition to defeat Trump.

The Lincoln Project

In my view the Democrats represent a palatable social agenda of education, health, infra structure improvement and promotion of local manufacturing, produce and development. To pervert – as many Republicans have – these perfectly human and useful plans with the meaningless suggestion of rampant socialism, Marxism or Bolshevism is absurd and designed only to diminish the truth and thereby lower the populace! The lower working white classes – without the benefit of education and health – have yet to confess that they are the modern day slaves of capitalism. The ruling oligarchs of the Republican party have clearly a vested interest in preserving the obsequious behaviour of its supporters.  Just because it works to have slaves doesn’t mean it’s right or the preferred way of building a society.