Cannon here. I have not said anything about the George Floyd trial because I've not said anything about anything for quite a while. But right now, I will say this: The accusation that Biden "inflamed tensions" with his statement about the verdict strikes me as silly.
On the other hand, Maxine Waters was ill-advised to say what she said. I can understand why she said it. I can sympathize. But if she had given any thought to the atrocious events of January 6, she would have re-phrased.
Look, we've been trying to make the case that Trump incited violence on January 6 even though he did not specifically ask for violence. Making that case against Trump gets even harder when Maxine Waters -- whom I usually admire -- does more or less the same thing. Both sent "GO" signals under the cover of plausible deniability.
Trump did not actually say "I want you to kill Nancy Pelosi." But that's what he meant and everyone knows it.
Waters did not actually say "I want you to riot if we don't get the verdict we want." But that's what she meant and everyone knows it.
* * *
The Deprogramming Dilemma – 17
In the fight against racism, do we want purity or progress? Justice or revenge?
Is racism alive and well in America?
After four years of Trump, do you really need to ask?
Maybe not, but before we decide that Critical Race Theory (CRT) is the answer to everything and that racism is the critical component of every aspect of American life, there are several other questions that desperately need to be examined.
Let’s take the last one first.
The answer is as simple as it is horrifying. As I outlined in my last Cannonfire post, 2030 or bust, a consensus is emerging among many of the world’s top climate scientists that if we haven’t made a very serious global effort to drastically reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by the end of 2030, it’s pretty much game over. Critical tipping points will be passed and there will no longer be anything we can do that will save us from the worst effects of climate disruption.
If power in the U.S. returns to the Trumpists and QAnon types again, or even if Mitch McConnell is once again in a position to halt all effective Congressional action, we are literally doomed.
EVERYTHING we do from now needs to be viewed through that lens.
No matter how justified the fury of the African American and other minority communities might be, if the way it is expressed helps put white nationalist climate change deniers into power, the result will be death.
And in the short term, all the current efforts to actually improve the situation of minorities in the U.S. will also be derailed.
Jingoistic tribalism based on your culture or the color of your skin.
Having lived for 30 years in non-white majority parts of the world and having spent time in some 80 countries in my 70 years on the planet, I feel pretty comfortable suggesting that at various points in their lives, to one extent or another, this is something felt by almost everyone, everywhere.
The question, then, is what kind of society do we want? Do we really want an end to racism? Do we want a country – and a world – in which “people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character,” to quote Martin Luther King?
The white nationalist crowd clearly doesn’t.
They are just fine with race being the primary factor in just about everything.
And, more-and-more, it seems that people on the “progressive” side of the aisle are mirroring their position.
The question I have is this – can racism be eliminated by putting race at the center of every action, thought and policy?
Would the Democrats have picked up even one or two more seats in the Senate if Black Lives Matter organizers and supporters had taken a much stronger stand against the rioting and looting that sometimes followed their demonstrations? If so, Joe Manchin wouldn’t have the deciding vote on filibuster reform and we would have a much better shot at passing meaningful voting rights and police reform legislation.
Has the time come for people who like to call themselves progressives to ask themselves if they are more interested in genuine progress or ideological purity?
And as police officers are brought to trial for the deaths of black Americans, are they really looking for justice…or revenge?
As this article is being written, jury deliberations in Derek Chauvin’s trial for the death of George Floyd are under way.
Can a good result be expected, regardless of the final verdict?
If he’s convicted on all counts, most BLM supporters will feel satisfied, but Fox News and friends will spin it ad nauseum as a perfect example of left-wing hatred of all police and everything good and holy about America.
If he’s found innocent or convicted only of manslaughter, large-scale demonstrations can be expected, at least a few of which will eventually dissolve into rioting and looting. Fox News and friends will spin it ad nauseum as a perfect example of left-wing hatred of all police and everything good and holy about America.
Either way, racial animus will only increase and the Trumpist / QAnon / white nationalist movement will strengthen.
Heads they win, tails we lose.
If the goal is real progress towards a color-blind society with equal opportunities and justice for all, sometimes we need to examine our own biases and deprogram ourselves.
Contributing factors to our democratic decline:
From the Right
Truth Decay – Destruction of the Ability to Distinguish Fantasy from Reality
Ever Worsening Demonization of the Media
Manufactured Distrust of Science and Expertise
The Iron Bubble of Disinformation
The Dark Money Conspiracy
Information Warfare Aimed at Us
Emergence of a Full-blown Cult of Personality
Ongoing Voter Suppression and Gerrymandering
Continued Weaponization of Social Media
Toxic Right-wing Pseudo-Christianity
Sexism and a Pseudo-Macho Mentality
Putinism and the International Neo-Fascist Movement
Lack of Education in Civics and Critical Thinking Skills
Destruction of Crucial Democratic Norms
The Collapse of Good Manners and Propriety
From the Left (and Sometimes the Center)
OTT PC (Over-The-Top Political Correctness)
Lack of Media Investment
Surrender of Rural America Without a Fight
Failure to Call Out and Counteract Toxic Right-Wing Christianity
Failure to Call Out Right-Wing Racism, Sexism and Fascism for what it is, and Counteract it in Time
Framing Too Many Issues as Being Rooted in Race Rather than Economics and Class
Failure to Recognize Just How Bad Things Can Really Get
Forever Bringing Beanbags to a Knife Fight
Failure to Protect Critical Norms