Pictures on a Sunday afternoon

Apparently the services of this talented cartoonist, Michael de Adder, were deemed no longer necessary to his Canadian corporate employer once he hit the nerve a little too directly:

 

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Too soon?    The dead bodies were a migrant father and daughter found drowned after trying, unsuccessfully, to cross the Rio Grande river into Trump’s America.  They’d gone into the water hoping for a better life — they didn’t find it.

How about this photo?   The face of George Floyd, the man who was held down by three police officers, a knee on his neck for more than 8 minutes, the last 2:53 of which while he was “unresponsive,” until he died?   Too soon?

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I truly can’t imagine what it feels like to be black, brown or genetically tan today in this country, this exceptional democracy run by some very fine people, very fine people, the finest power-obsessed racists and grifters money can buy.   

I can only compare it to how a Jew must have felt in the early days of the Third Reich, during the eight years or so before the actual death camps were up and humming, before the organized night of mass rioting against Jews almost five years in, before the special death squads went from town to town a couple of years after that.  Assuming, of course, that the Third Reich had already gone on for centuries at that point.

I’m angry, I’m numb, I feel helpless, watching the same murderous shit that has been done to people who look like George Floyd since 1619 when the first boatload of African chattels were offloaded in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.  Done, as always, in the name of the greater good: law and order, preserving the peace, enjoying the freedoms of liberty.    I can only imagine how many orders of magnitude worse it must be for people who look like George Floyd.  In fact, I cannot imagine it, literally.   Fuck.   What do you actually do when you are up against  injustice this brutal and violent? 

A lynching in 2020, under cover of state authority, in broad daylight, on the public street of an American city, over the alleged passing of a counterfeit twenty.   Four cops, working together to make sure this suspect was not resisting their authority, deliberately inflicting their will on him, heedlessly persisting until the man was dead.  Only one of these motherfuckers has been charged with anything resembling intentional or recklessly depraved murder.   And that only because the wrenching video evidence, from multiple eye witnesses, where the now dead man pleads for his life and the officers continue to kill him, is indisputable. 

The fact that the Minneapolis Police Department immediately cut all four loose speaks volumes, as they say.  Usually this kind of bad cop stays on the payroll pending the outcome of a series of administrative hearings, sometimes for years, enjoying the protection of all sorts of union procedures.   The police are among the last American workers to still enjoy those very hard-won worker protections no longer available to most other American workers.

The predictable, smug,  red meat response from the authorities comes next:   seeking justice, a fair process for the accused, and not tolerating crowds that get enraged just because police may be forced to lob tear gas and mace them to get them to obey the curfew.   Angrily blame those who are rightfully upset, you know the drill, every asshole in the world masters it their first day in asshole school. 

Also, equally crucial:  blame outside extremists for setting the night on fire — how long can it be until we hear George Soros mentioned in connection with these dangerous, cynical, enraged outside extremist groups that are supposedly planning and coordinating (a la Koch Brother funded, spontaneous nationwide anti-Obama uprisings) all this violent mayhem?   Not to mention that government provocateurs have long been employed, since the days of the insane, racist J. Edgar Hoover, to incite violence and justify state violence in return. 

Martin Luther King called rioting the voice of the unheard.  MLK is often thought of as a saintly man of peace who was always gentle in resolutely trying to bend the moral arc of the universe.   His name is immediately invoked by men like Bagpiper Bill Barr, as an example for how angry protesters must always act.   That he was, for years, America’s number one most dangerous Negro, a controversial malcontent persecuted by the FBI for the threat he posed to the status quo, has been pretty much written out of the official history of our great nation.

What we forget today is that King was a radical with an incredibly strong spine, a genius sense of moral purpose, and personal fearlessness.  The thing he warned against, from his Birmingham, Alabama jail cell, as the biggest enemy of equality for all Americans, were white moderates, those lovers of order, and peace, and gentle compromise, and patience changing the intolerable conditions of people they had great sympathy toward, but not really much empathy for.   

It’s human nature — not one of these white moderates has ever had to bury a child killed by police who mistook him for a dangerous wild animal — and faced no consequences for their “justifiable mistake”.  Or ever had to plan a funeral for a little girl blown to pieces by klansmen, in her Sunday best, while sitting in a church basement learning about the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Not one of these moderates was ever in danger of having a cop kneel on their neck until no pulse could be found, and then kneel there for three minutes, just for good measure, or having vicious dogs unleashed on them, or high pressure firehoses, or truncheons, or tear gas, or the full violence of the state.   Not one of them even knows anyone personally who has to worry about any of those things happening to her.

What were these four now former Minneapolis police officers thinking as they were “unintentionally” killing a handcuffed prisoner?    What could they have possibly been thinking?   Probably nothing more than “fucking nigger.”

 

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