This blog represents the views of the author alone and not the newspaper.
Peaceful protests during the daylight hours are American as apple pie but once the sun goes down, they often take on a life of their own.
Americans were already anxious over their lives are being disrupted by the coronavirus. Then breaking news of another unarmed black-man being murdered by the police, now replaced the news of reopening our economy, to a white police officer who has his hands in his pockets and his knee on the neck of the already subdued George Floyd.
Why does this matter to anyone in Victoria Texas? Yes, I was stunned when I read that comment in our local paper. It matters because it could very well happen here if we don’t take serious steps to destroy that type of mindset.
The solution has to start with a simple but serious proclamations such as Chattanooga police chief’s proclamation of telling his police officers to turn in their badges if they don’t have an issue with George Floyd’s death. Firm and no room for ambiguity.
I saw a clip of three black protesters that really brought it home to me. One of the protesters was a 45- year old saying that he’s had it. Another was a 31 years-old trying passionately to convince the 15-year to try something else besides protesting because it obviously wasn’t working.
I know the obvious question will be “what about the looters and those destroying property?” We can put that aside and treat it as a criminal matter like we normally do. We have destruction of private property after a World Series win but we don’t associate it with the millions of fans. Those who want to do harm to people and property will always find a venue.
As much as I like to try to stay away from blaming President Trump for all the things that are wrong in America, this is one occasion where I cannot.
I agree that the president might have been joking and he didn’t mean that every prisoner should be roughed up but on July of 2017, he told a gathering of police officers “Trump did advise police not to be "too nice" with people in custody and encouraged officers to stop protecting peoples' heads when they're handcuffed and ducking to get into squad cars.” The police officers laughed but could that be a sign of “I’ve got your back.” That could be a form of approval like when he told his rally to punch a protester in the mouth and he would pay the fine. It’s not something that you would expect from the President of the United States. It’s a reason that I think that the solution will come at the local level and trickle- up to the federal level.
President Trump has yet used his bully pulpit to try and calm the nation but instead called some governors weak for not being more aggressive on the protesters. After the president’s last attempt at calming the nation, his Charlottesville fiasco ,I can see why his advisers are making that a last resort.
There are several who disagreed with the Trump impeachment but as predicted, left unchecked, President Trump would only feel embolden.
Several thought that Trump using congressional approved aid to Ukraine as leverage to gain political dirt on Joe Biden was business as usual. The president saw that he got away with that so he used that same Quid pro Quo in doling out crucial medical supplies to the governors who praised him.
Just when you think you have seen it all,President Trump and Attorney General Barr take it a notch by removing peaceful protesters with gas just so the president can have a photo op. I can’t think of a single president who would have stooped so low. Seeing Trump holding that bible reminded me of seeing that clip of Michael Dukakis in a tank.