As US troops surround the Lincoln Memorial to protect it from vandals, one is reminded of the Civil War, over which this guarded stone president once presided. Those desecrating US memorials to leaders who helped Blacks in American society may be nothing more than rioting opportunists during the George Floyd protests. They may have nothing to do with Black Lives Matter, or they may be people whose rage is so overflowing they will destroy even the good around them.
I haven’t talked to them, so I don’t know. What I do know, and Trthe reason I’m writing this exposé, is that the nation is enraged and perfuse with civil unrest in just the manner I described in my writings about the dawning Epocalypse. These are the times I said were coming soon to try men’s souls.
What I do know and have presented proof of in my last article is that George Floyd was executed in broad daylight by the police, so the George Floyd protests should be happening but not with the violence that only clouds the issue and damages their cause. (And I’m one who rarely takes the side of opposing tough police.)
What I also do know is that Lincoln, now threatened by riots and protests, once championed the belief that Black lives matter and helped start the nation toward later moves that made clear that Black lives are considered in our national founding documents as being “created equal.” Lincoln pursued that belief at the cost of bringing civil war to the nation.
A nation divided
Lincoln was willing to take the whole nation to war in large part to make certain Black lives do matter throughout the nation and to make sure the nation did not continue to benefit from Black exploitation. There were other factors in the Civil War, such as states’ rights over federal control, that also fueled the battle; but Lincoln made sure the war was especially about liberating Blacks from the bondage of slavery.
Ironically, the war that has divided the nation through more than a century was fought over holding it together, yet the fractures from that war remain firmly in place today as we continue more than a century and a half later to argue over the removal of Confederate flags and memorials way down south in Dixie … or at the old borders between North and South in Virginia, a state that split in half due to the Civil War.
Ironically, the riots that threatened the Lincoln Memorial could have desecrated the Great White Champion of Black Lives as rage now boils over and creates the matrix of hatred and heat that America-hating anarchists like Antifa and opportunists like looters and vandals thrive in. These bacteria of human degeneration thrive in an overheated swamp. They are also present in this turmoil.
This exposé didn’t start out to be about who is right or wrong because the heat and the hatred is complicated by all kinds of rights and wrongs involved in the mix. What I intended to write about is the simple fact all can agree on, which is that civil unrest is tearing the nation apart.
Where some might disagree with me is with my belief that the violent hearts that turn protests over the wrongful death of George Floyd into looting and destruction are just as inexcusable as the hearts of those who killed George Floyd.
I’ve said in my writings, that social turmoil would become a dominant trend in the period of economic collapse we are now entering. This article’s purpose began as just laying out how quickly and to what degree that has become true. That social anger is not just seen in the George Floyd protests or Black Lives Matter, but in other recent protests that were already sweeping our divided nation over COVID-19, which this article is also about.
These are desperate times in which corruption and greed have flourished, in which society has become more divided, Right and Left, and up and down (as in top 1% and bottom 99%). Those divisions are being held together by heavy government control, which will make unrest wilder and more common.
As Lincoln famously said, quoting Jesus,
“A house divided against itself, cannot stand.”
I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free.
I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided.
It will become all one thing or all the other.
At present, it looks like the nation is determined to become all divided.
Our economic policies assure that divide. They are not the only cause by any means, but they are a great reinforcement. It is a nation where the Haves have too long had, and the remaining 99% have not. There are many kinds of Have-nots, of course, and Black lives are often one kind. (Are there any Blacks in the 1%? It looks a lot like a good-ol-boys’ club of White bankers to me.) There are also a lot of angry Native Have-nots … and White Have-nots. The Haves would love to keep the Have-nots divided and warring with each other so they don’t unite against the tiny number of Haves.
We have added to those longstanding economic policies almost four years of turning up the heat over nationality and color rhetorically with unmeasured words. A smarter president could have limited and policed immigration by building a strong public case with wise words in the ways that Lincoln did without needlessly and destructively turning up the racially charged heat. I would have liked a wiser man to wage the immigration battle and to attack the liberal press with richer humor (ala Reagan).
The president who deepened our divisions
My battle, which I’ve sometimes brought up on this site, is not against nationality or race but against overpopulation with too many people of any kind — even my own kind — who come just to use the United States and who, in many cases, don’t even like the United States or its existing culture. We don’t need more overpopulation and should not accept it. I’m sick of overdevelopment as an economic model.
My battle is against illegal immigration, which leaves cracks for terrorists to enter, but I don’t want to see desperate immigrants demonized for being desperate. In their shoes, I might break the law to get in, too, given my alternatives. I don’t blame them, though I want to send them back; I blame leaders in both parties who have too long turned a blind eye to illegal immigration.
My battle is against creating a peasant population for a cheap labor force that helps mostly big corporate types while hurting US workers. Allowing so much immigration for poor nations has suppressed wages for so many decades in some industries, such as farming, to where, of course, Americans don’t want those jobs. They would have to want in a tin huts like the competing immigrants to survive. That’s why both parties have turned a blind eye to illegal immigration for decades. It served their rich supporters. It’s a social divide created by greed, not compassion. Keeping them illegal while allowing them in has assured they would mostly keep their mouths shut about their horrible working conditions, which were far better than what they left in their home nations.
My battle is against economic strategies allowed to proliferate for so many decades that changing them now would be catastrophic to industries that have built upon that semi-slavery. If we had never turned a blind eye to illegal immigration just to get cheap labor, industries would have evolved organically over time into forms that work with the help is available locally.
And Trump is not my idea of the right person for those battles because he bigly amplifies the divisiveness that is already inherent in trying to make those changes.
A wise president would have built support for immigration restraint with arguments built on principles more people can agree on, instead of by charging up racism with incendiary words that often sounded racist, whether they were meant that way or not.
Words like “those Mexican rapists” may have been meant for five or six bad apples, but they were slammed out in such a ham-fisted way and never clarified as referring only to a small group among the immigrants. They were used as if that is just what most Mexicans crossing the border illegally are, and Trump was content to leave it that way because he loves stirring the pot and riling the press. He thrives on the drama. All press is good press as far as he’s concerned because it’s all free publicity that keeps him at the center of attention.
We’ve had decades of turning up the heat economically. Crony capitalists and their pocket politicians in Washington, DC, have engineered a society that kept wages locked in stagnation since the eighties by many means to the benefit of corporate owners while deliberately giving away vast wealth to the richest of all.
The Federal Reserve made certain all new money was distributed solely to the richest of the rich bankers. The government made sure special tax rates were engineered to the benefit the rich alone by focusing breaks on the area where the rich make most of their money — capital gains — where few others have the disposable resources to play.
Always, it was done with the promise that crumbs would trickle down through the cracks in the table for the dogs below to eat. They never trickled, and that is all part of the rage across America now.
It is also why I’ve said during the developing Epocalypse — the next recession (the now recession) when the Everything Bubble breaks — the nation will be divided as it hasn’t been since the Civil War or, at least, since the 60’s rebellions.
Orange lives are also at stake: White House under siege
Lincoln now presides at the end of of the DC mall — a literal swamp, long ago drained, only to be surrounded by a greater swamp of another kind. At the headquarters of the greater swamp, another president, presenting an image of stone to the public, presides in a similar colonnaded edifice
This embattled president is caged behind barricades and troops to prevent protests and riots from reaching him. It’s fire he has largely brought upon himself because his mouth has done its best to enflame tempers to match his hair. You can only light and spread fires so long before the many fires join as one great flame all around you.
Only days ago, President Trump — with Army Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at hand — stormed a DC church as officers in riot gear cleared away protestors. This stoked up more fire. It did not cool or calm.
Then he practically swore on the Bible he’d activate the military to quell the protests if state governors didn’t activate the National Guard (as is the call of governors). His words enraged even his own military leaders, who left him publicly isolated in his opinions of what the military can do under constitutional law and longstanding principle.
Since then, the president had to expand the security perimeter around the White House with extensive fencing and barricades in concern about a crowd of George Floyd protestors that would number about 10,000 on Saturday.
By Friday, 1,200 National Guard troops were on Duty inside of DC. Another 3,300 were either in the district or on the way from other states. By Saturday morning, busses began lining up at the White House to unload additional troops to guard the president and his government.
Outside the ring where the president is now caged, however, protests actually returned on their own to being peaceful on Saturday as police stood down some and as earlier arrests removed some of the violent element. The area seemed more uniform-free because the president’s men had refused his orders. Throughout the earlier part of the week, peacefulness during protests was often elusive all over the nation.
The president did not just bring fire to himself from George Floyd protestors. He got caught in not-so-friendly crossfire from his own chiefs, including his Defense Secretary, Mark Esper, as well as politicians in his own party who turned against him.
President Donald Trump is not only drawing criticism from his usual political foes but also facing backtalk from his defense secretary, his former Pentagon chief and a growing number of fellow Republicans….
Retired four-star Gen. John Allen joined the chorus of former military leaders going after the president. And Republican Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski said Esper’s remarks were “overdue” and she didn’t know if she would support Trump in November.
Esper upset the president when he opposed the president’s statement that he would engage the US military for law enforcement against protests that turned into riots if states did not get things under control. Esper said the 1807 Insurrection Act should be invoked “only in the most urgent and dire of situations,” and he said the present situation did not qualify.
According to reports out today, White House tensions came to a breaking point:
The nub of the problem is that Trump sees no constraint on his authority to use what he calls the “unlimited power” of the military even against U.S. citizens if he believes it necessary. Military leaders generally take a far different view. They believe that active-duty troops, trained to hunt and kill an enemy, should be used to enforce the law only in the most extreme emergency, such as an attempted actual rebellion. That limit exists, they argue, to keep the public’s trust….
“It is a trust that the military, especially the active-duty military — ‘the regulars’ — possessing great physical power and holding many levers that could end freedom in our society and could shut down our government, would never, never apply that power for domestic political purposes….”
After a night of sometimes violent protesting in Washington last Sunday, Esper pulled several active-duty units, including a military police battalion, to bases just outside the nation’s capital. He never called them into action; just positioning them close to the capital satisfied Trump for the time being, the senior defense official said. On Friday, the last of those active-duty units were being sent back home.
At a heated Oval Office meeting on Monday, President Donald Trump demanded that 10,000 soldiers be deployed to the streets of Washington DC to quell anti-racism protests, according to multiple reports.
However top Pentagon officials Mark Esper, the defense secretary, and Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Attorney General Bill Barr, all resisted the request, a top administration official told ABC News.
Milley was involved in a “shouting match” with the president over the request, a senior military official told the New Yorker, telling Trump, “I’m not doing that. That’s for law enforcement.” The president eventually backed down.
Trump’s former defense secretary, Jim Mattis, took his sharpest aim at the president to date, rebuking him for threatening to dominate the streets of America with America’s military deployed against protestors. Mattis said use of the military to remove protestors would be unconstitutional.
“Mattis put a big symbolic barrier in [Trump’s] way and bolstered, I think, the instincts of some of the good people in the military who say we can’t be used like this,” Schumer said in an interview with MSNBC….
… Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, similarly sent an unusual message to the leaders of the different branches of the military that said members of the armed forces swore an oath to the Constitution and its protections for freedom of speech and assembly.
The implications from Mattis and Milley is that members of the US military serve the constitution first, their commander-in-chief second if there is any choice of which to follow.
In an extraordinary show of force in the clash between commander and his chiefs, the Pentagon retreated from moving the 82nd Airborne Division off standby, as had been ordered. Trump started to deliberate invoking the Insurrection Act to move army troops into the nation’s capital when large George Floyd protests devolved into riots around the nation and especially its capital last weekend.
Trump had been furious about images juxtaposing fires set in the park outside the executive mansion with a darkened White House in the background, according to current and former campaign and administration officials. He was also angry about the news coverage revealing he had gone to the secure White House bunker during Friday’s protests.
Ironically, while he didn’t want to look like a caged man, it is Trump who has circled the White House with the military and with barricades to keep rioters out. The president is as much besieged now by swarming, angry masses as he was earlier by COVID-19.
When questioned about possible intervention by the military, the White House, using language normally reserved for possible battles with foreign nations, simply responded “all options are on the table.” White House officials initially refused to state that Trump still had confidence in Esper.
Because of his response to the protests, Trump may be fighting for his political life as well as guarding his physical life. A recent poll this week showed that 55% of Americans stand against the president over how he has handled the George Floyd protests and riots. (By a 2-to-1 margin Americans are also more troubled by police actions in killing of George Floyd than by violence at protests.) Biden’s lead over Trump has now expanded to ten percentage points. Most notably, Trump is rapidly losing the independent vote.
A nation nearly at war with itself
Bringing any other branches of the military into the situation, other than the National Guard, which acts under the directive of state governors during state emergencies, would truly have taken us back to days like the Civil War.
In the civil rights marches and riots of the 60’s, President Lyndon Johnson did not call in other branches of the military. When LBJ took the rare step of a president calling out the National Guard in Alabama because the governor wouldn’t, it was not to fight marchers, as threatened by the current president, but to protect them from police and other citizens as LBJ enforced desegregation laws on an recalcitrant Governor Wallace.
In that place, Rev. Martin Luther King delivered his famous “How Long, Not Long” speech from the steps of the capitol building. Well, it has turned out to be a very long road from there — much longer than the road to Montgomery.
When the military has been called to act within the nation since the Civil War, it was usually in defense of Blacks and civil-rights activists. Trump’s use of the military would be the opposite of what happened during civil rights protests:
Almost immediately after the Constitution’s enactment in 1787, Congress passed a law that allowed the president to use the military to respond to a series of citizen rebellions….
[Trump] would likely rely on the Insurrection Act, which governs certain circumstances when the president can use the military. Signed by Thomas Jefferson in 1807, Congress originally passed the law in order to help fight citizen rebellions against federal taxes.
Over time, the law has evolved to allow the use of troops in other circumstances. For example, Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson used the Insurrection Act in the 1950s and 1960s to send the military to enforce court desegregation orders and to protect civil rights marchers.…
It was last invoked by President George H.W. Bush in 1992, when he ordered 4,500 troops to Los Angeles after rioting erupted in response to the acquittal of police officers charged with beating Rodney King.
Every time the military has been called into action within the nation against the nation’s own citizens, it has been as part of the journey down this long dark road away from slavery and oppression. Usually, it has been to protect those journeying down the road. Only once was it to protect those alongside the road from rioting protestors or to quell the protestors when Bush Sr. called in the Army and the Marines.
In the broad sweep of American history, certain years stand like grim mileposts. The year 1968, bathed in blood and drenched in sorrow, is one. The year 2020 may be another.
The nation is convulsed today in a way it has not been in more than half a century: stalked by a mysterious virus, burdened by soaring joblessness, wrestling — once again — with the twin plagues of racism and inequality that have poisoned the country from its outset….
Lately, as Trump seeks reelection, he has begun to echo Nixon, calling himself “your president of law and order….”
“The soft domestic civil war of the 1960s created the order of battle of our political discussion today….”
There is something particularly resonant and insidious in the fact the latest spark was struck not in the Deep South, with its benighted racial history, but in Minnesota, where Humphrey emerged as an early and forceful advocate of civil rights and liberals cherish the legacies of Walter Mondale and Paul Wellstone.
George Floyd protests move nation from COVID-19 lockdown to military lockdown
How much has this wide nation splintered into the kind of unrest I said we’d see at this time?
More than half the states in the nation now have activated the National Guard. 17,000 members of the National Guard have already been deployed in these Ununited States, approximately the same number of active duty troops deployed in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan.
The above map and numbers only represent calling out the Guard in response to the George Floyd protests and do not include the 45,000 National Guard members who were already on active duty to enforce and aid the nationwide Covid-19 lockdown.
Curfews have been instated and broken, and the guard is activated in clearing or blocking streets along with the local police. Individual acts of violence have exploded as unexpectedly as gunfire in the night in different parts of the nation.
David McAtee … the owner of YaYa’s BBQ was fatally shot outside his business just after midnight Monday in what city officials said was an exchange of gunfire that involved Louisville Metro police and members of the Kentucky National Guard…. McAtee’s death pushed protests to intensify here.
Many places look like war zones, involving not-so-regulated citizens’ militias:
Phones have been ringing off the hook and the line has been wrapped around the building at Coliseum Gun Traders in Uniondale, Nassau County, ever since the coronavirus pandemic began. And now with protests and rioting after the killing of George Floyd, the store has seen another enormous spike in sales.
Keeping the shelves stocked has been hard, store owner Andy Chernoff said. “We started out this week with a fair amount of merchandise. We’re running out. Literally running out,” Chernoff said. “Never thought I’d say that.”
… It’s the same story at Jimmy’s Sport Shop in Mineola…. “I see a lot of minorities buying guns to try to protect their homes.”
The arming-up is on both sides — by protestors and by those seeking to protect themselves from rioters when local George Floyd protests get out of hand. Nationwide, there’s been a 80% leap in gun sales this year over the same period last year — many of them shotguns by first-time gun owners.
Speaking of both president and public …
Current and former U.S. intelligence officials have expressed dismay at the similarity between events at home and the signs of decline or democratic regression they were trained to detect in other nations.
“I’ve seen this kind of violence,” said Gail Helt, a former CIA analyst responsible for tracking developments in China and Southeast Asia. “This is what autocrats do. This is what happens in countries before a collapse. It really does unnerve me.”
NYC up in arms over George Floyd protests
In NYC, already ravaged economically by the worst COVID-19 outbreak in the nation, protests that turned into riots left stores battered further than the economic battering they had already taken. The iconic Saks Fifth Avenue is now wrapped in razor wire like a military zone to keep looters from getting through broken windows and stealing expensive merchandise.
New York City … erupted in protests, following the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, at the hands of Minneapolis police….
Sidewalks across the SoHo neighborhood, Union Square and Fifth Avenue were covered in broken glass. Multiple police cars had been burnt to nothing but ashes. Stores, including a Duane Reade, Urban Outfitters and Swatch, were looted. Banks were ravaged. An Equinox gym had been broken in to. Graffiti covered retailers’ logos up and down some of the glitziest shopping districts
Police shouted expletives at journalists and shoved them out of the way to enforce curfew, yelling that journalists are not essential so are violating COVID-19 decrees.
City of brotherly love not so brotherly, not so lovely
In Philadelphia, White men bearing baseball bats appeared to be moving against protestors and residents last week. An outraged public accused police of responding more slowly and less severely to those with bats than to the protestors.
Residents of Fishtown, a mostly white working-class neighborhood gathered one night to show that those wielding bats did not represent them.
“I was disgusted by the people who came out here last night,” said Ski, who is white. A tattoo artist sporting a tattoo of a large skull on his neck, Ski said he was “super proud” to show Fishtown is “a good-hearted neighborhood.”
The man who claims he started the bat-bearing movement, however, says his group is in solidarity with the reasons for the protests, but they were protecting their property because the protests had gotten far out of hand. What he started as a vigilante neighborhood protection movement, he admits, also got out of hand when others who were more hateful joined in as opportunists of violence:
Yet, that is how rage spreads and intensifies and mutates like a virus among both the protestors and protectors it infects. As violent contagion turns protests into more than police can contain, vigilantes jump in to save their neighborhoods. Some become too violent. Some people who join the fray have nothing but destruction at heart. They’re just looking for a good fight. Others are opportunists from afar. The protest devolves into a mob on both sides and winds up going places that those bearing arms to defend their neighborhood never intended for it to go. The heat of battle.
For example, as the cops became fully occupied with the George Floyd protests, looters — arroused and emboldened by the terror and opportunity everywhere — blew up numerous ATMs in Philadelphia to rob them of their cash. Those actions had nothing to do with the police brutality that is the focus of the George Floyd protests. It’s the kind of rank thievery police are supposed to protect society from, and stopping such people does often require some violence by the police because those they are stopping are so violent.
Furthering the example to cover this last point, one citizen, just trying to get cash from an ATM he didn’t know was loaded with more than cash, died when the rigged ATM exploded. The looters are extremely violent and dangerous to the innocent, and getting such explosive thieves under control is bound to be a violent process at times because the looters won’t cooperate peacefully.
Attacks against protestors and by rioters sweep the nation
White nationalists bearing assault rifles showed up increasingly at protests during the week, seizing the day to literally bash Blacks.
Far-right extremists who once organized mainly online have been inserting themselves into the real-world protests roiling much of the nation, sowing confusion about the nature of the protests and seeking attention for their causes. They’ve appeared, sometimes carrying assault rifles, at protests in Minneapolis, Salt Lake City, Dallas, Atlanta, Philadelphia and dozens of other cities….
This increasingly visible spillover from radical online forums has alarmed researchers, who for months have tracked surging support for groups advocating armed rebellion as their conversations have spread from fringe platforms such as 4chan and Gab to mainstream forums on Facebook, Instagram, Telegram, Twitter and YouTube. The largest groups have hundreds of thousands of followers….
Their appearance at recent protests, often with weapons, have convinced those who study radical online groups that there is growing potential for real-world violence, as well as a knack for using events to spread incendiary ideas….
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., on Sunday tweeted an Associated Press photo showing two white men atop an overturned police car in Salt Lake City, both holding what appear to be assault rifles.
In the little town of Yucaipa, California, locals beat up Antifa and ran them out of town while a video on InfoWars has a man saying “Let the Democratic cities burn.” Police reported being extremely busy with calls about guns, fights, and disturbances.
In Charlotte, NC, the police had to bar protestors from blocking a highway. Officers shot pepper bullets and tear gas into crowds to coral them. 150 officers closing in from all sides in riot gear, then trapped the not-so-peaceably assembled crowd for arrest.
Portland, Oregon’s, justice center was set ablaze and defaced in non-peaceful protests and is now surrounded by wire and National Guards. Police used tear gas and flash-bang explosives to try to disperse the mob, which threw projectiles back at police.
Protestors insisted police take a knee in honor of George Floyd and the manner by which he died, promising they would return home if they did. A few police complied but many did not, so the crowd remained.
Officers spray-painted vehicles leaving the scene to tag them for later apprehension. A police SUV plowed through barricades, nearly injuring people in the street. Ultimately the police arrested numerous people engaged in unlawful assembly.
In Las Vegas, police responded to a demonstration outside of the Circus Circus Casino. Someone in the crowd just walked up and shot an officer in the back of the head as he wrestled with a protestor. In another part of town, an armed man reached for his gun, so police gunned him down. The officer shot in the head was last reported as surviving on life support.
“With these protests, which are leading to riots, one tragedy is only leading to another,” Lombardo said, linking both shootings to the demonstrations against how police use force that have gripped the country.
In Los Angeles, a move sweeping the nation to defund police departments gained traction. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti had been pushing for a 7% budget increase for LAPD, which would help (among many things) fund police raises and bonuses. On Wednesday, he switched his position and announced he was now looking to make rate cuts. This was in direct acquiescence to activist protesting George Floyd’s wrongful death.
Black Lives Matter and a coalition of more than 100 other black rights organizations launched an open letter this week calling on citizens to sign a petition to demand local officials decrease funding for police departments and redirect funds to “spending on health care, education and community programs….”
The Los Angeles Police Department was set to receive a large increase in its annual budget … before Garcetti axed that move Wednesday, cutting $100-$150 million — only after activists rallied outside of his home.
In New York, more than 40 city council candidates are calling for a $1 billion cut to the NYPD’s $6 billion budget over four years to help fund other programs such as the city’s summer youth employment program. In cities such as Minneapolis, Dallas, Philadelphia, and Nashville, similar movements are gaining traction.
Minneapolis, were Floyd was summarily executed by police how pinned him for eight minutes to the ground by taking a knee to his neck, was looted and things were set on fire, damaging or destroying 300 businesses. After 120 arrests, protests became more peaceful. The Minneapolis school board, in a kind of defunding movement, voted to cancel its contract with the police department. The University of Minnesota also announced it will no longer work with police. [Just after the publication of the article, news broke that the Minneapolis City Council voted to dismantle the city’s police department.]
“People have been fighting for years to get cops out of schools, and now it’s happening overnight,” said Tony Williams, a member of MPD150, an abolition group whose literature on building a “police-free future” has spread on social media in recent days. One elected Minneapolis ward member said this week that the city’s police department was “irredeemably beyond reform”
The collateral damage of defunding police, of course, is that police resign and new candidates don’t emerge. Cities will find themselves with much less law enforcement and rising violent crime from other sources than police — part of the chaos I have predicted for these new times in a divided America.
George Floyd demonstrations have even spread to such generally Red state capitals as Boise, Idaho, where thousands of people attended a mostly peaceful vigil. The capitol, however, was surrounded by police in riot gear because it got graffitied.
This is just a tiny sample of the protests and riots that have engulfed the nation. More than 350 cities have experienced protests over George Floyd’s death. Protestors this time are saying protests won’t stop until change clearly happens. No more waiting.
Conservative protests and riots embroiled the nation before the George Floyd protests
Social tension seethed in protests across the US before the George Floyd protests and riots broke out. And it wasn’t liberals or Blacks or anti-racist White activists. It was conservatives protesting all over the country because of the heavy-handed governmental COVID-19 lockdown that temporarily stripped them of civil rights. The lockdown was enforced by Trump and governors — both Democrat and Republican.
Only a few weeks ago, it was liberals who shouted at and reported conservatives for breaking the COVID-19 lockdown by protesting. Liberals told them they had no right whatsoever to assemble even peaceably. The second George Floyd was killed, though, liberals suddenly had every right to protest and break the lockdown, whether peacefully or in violence.
So much for social distancing as even Democratic officials suddenly stood up all over the country, ignoring their own COVID-19 lockdown orders to encourage people to protest before their cities exited Phase-One lockdowns. Instantly, the civil rights of Blacks mattered more than supposed “life-and-death” health lockdowns of urgent importance for survival of the human race. Publicly assembled protests over other constitutional political and religious rights only a week or two before faded into the background.
Let’s reflect via headlines on how deeply in protest conservatives raged just before the newest rounds of violent police responses to the George Floyd protests, which might not have become violent if protestors remained law-abiding and peaceful. (Many do, of course, but the many who don’t turn up the heat for everyone.)
As fever-reading drones passed over NYC and scolded Blacks and Whites alike for going out in the healthy fresh air, took their temperatures and reported their gathering to police, cities started to feel apocalyptic, and we saw all of the following turmoil break out in response to our new dystopia:
Oklahoma strikes me as a Red state and a pretty conservative place, but don’t order those conservatives to do something as impinging as wearing face masks. Stillwater, Oklahoma, had to terminate its face-mask rule after customers threatened violence against employees. The mayor said he was surprised that an order to wear face masks brought such violent responses. Don’t tell those largely Republican okies what to wear.
I hate that our businesses and their employees had to deal with abuse today, and I apologize for putting them in that position.
Michigan also saw large, mostly conservative, civil-rights protests against the heavy-handed government COVID-19 lockdown. Hundreds of protesters, some carrying guns in the state Capitol, demonstrate against Michigan’s emergency measures.
Some people wore the “Don’t Tread On Me” flag as a cape. Others chanted, “Lock her up,” about the governor. Some wore President Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” hats or carried signs supporting him.
Some tried to intimidate the state capitol with rifles, as if to let the governor know a citizen’s militia was at hand. Cars lined up for miles in an intentional “Operation Gridlock” outside of Lansing. Surely it is not legal to intentionally block interstate freeways. This time it was conservatives who didn’t care.
Self-proclaimed Trump supporters staged similar protests over the abridgment of their consitutitional rights in Columbus, Ohio. Some said protestors screaming through the locked capitol doors looked like a zombie apocalypse movie.
Alluding to old zombie movies, one person called it Dawn of the Braindead.
Resistance to the lockdown even pitted law enforcement against governors in flagrant acts of insubordination over these civil rights issues. Some Arizona sheriffs refused to enforce their governor’s stay-at-home order.
On the other hand, police in the Red state of Kentucky ordered ankle bracelets on those who refused lockdown, effectively assuring they remained under house arrest for having committed the apparently capital crime of being outdoors. This was, however, only upon the known infected.
On the other hand,
In Snohomish County, Washington, Sheriff Adam Fortney is refusing to enforce the governor’s stay-at-home order. He claims the order “intrudes on our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” On April 22, he told constituents via a Facebook post that “along with other elected Sheriffs around our state, the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office will not be enforcing an order preventing religious freedoms or constitutional rights.”
Epocalyptic predictions of great civil unrest fulfilled
This is our world in the year 2020. Fracture lines in Europe are trembling over viral lockdowns and immigration and financial disparity between northern nations and southern nations and now enjoining the outcry over US police brutality. The US is nearly back to the level of racial rioting in the civil unrest of the 60’s. Even conservatives are literally up in arms over the viral stripping of their civil rights.
Anger is rising over renewed bailouts and ever-widening wealth/income disparity. In looting scenarios during the George Floyd protests, some young Black kids were yelling that they were just finally “getting theirs.”
You may remember how recently I quoted what I had written about the coming Epocalypse back in 2015:
Civil unrest has grown a great deal in the US over racial issues and immigration issues. Harder times with broad new failures in the job market will only make that unrest worse, and that leans toward stronger government controls becoming necessary to sustain some semblance of peace…. Thus, the intrusion of big government will expand more into individual lives and out onto the street.
We are there.
Even since I repeated that prediction in late May, you can see how much more that ground has opened up. Our focus on the things that divide us and our anger have become major growing trends throughout the world now.
That part of the Epocalypse is fully upon us, whether in the George Floyd protests, the riots that grow out of it, the earlier lockdown protests, the European immigration protests over globalism. Left and Right, Black and White, have not been this enraged and seething with civil unrest in nearly fifty years.
Without social justice, economic justice, and guarantee of civil rights, we are not be far from those times memorialized below.
I am certainly not intending to suggest people should not protest racism or police brutality when it happens or the stripping of their civil rights even due to viral attacks or economic disparity that is coded into our financial laws. I made that clear in my last article. In fact, we live in a world breaking down, not coming together, because so much injustice has been allowed to prevail — racially, financially, and legally. We live in a world elected by and run for the benefit of rich corporate owners, and we must protest all of that.
However, it would be beneficial to all if we could also take Lincoln’s words to heart as we continue to protest for intensely needed change. After the Civil War, when Lincoln sought to restore badly broken relationships between southerners and northerners, he was chastised for not finishing the job by destroying his enemies.
“Madam,” Lincoln replied, “do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?”
Reprinted with author’s permission from The Great Recession Blog