The protests stopped comparisons to the 1960s, giving hope to some, while dispelling others from the stench of apathy. Aside from the exhausting query, “Why are we still marching to solve this mess?” On the other it was valid and living proof that my sisters and their ilk have created a generation of people who are fierce, aristocratic and more honestly inclusive and boldly egalitarian than their elders. Thousands of young Americans lay on the sidewalk in full view of the American White House, chanting George Floyd’s last words:
“I can’t breathe.” I can not breathe. I can not breathe. “
The leadership vacuum created by the epidemic was now at critical mass.
The first Saturday after George Floyd’s death, Donald Trump gave a speech about a rocket launch. On Monday, he went to his bunker under the White House and emerged late in the night for a photo op in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church on Lafayette Square, where protesters were turned away by chemical repellent and non-riotous measures March there to flee and keep a clearly unused copy of the Bible – a terrible echo of Europeans arriving with a side order of their Bibles and Syphilis.
In June, still defying the idea of wearing a face mask, he held a campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where his campaign workers removed stickers that specified proper physical distance. The turnout was disappointing, so it is probably a coincidence that the rally saw an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases. In July, he sent federal troops to American cities. More viral videos showed unidentified officers breaking unarmed protesters into unmarked vans.
Through the dog days of summer, Barack Obama talked about concerted efforts in the interest of public health, praised the overwhelmingly peaceful protesters, and advocated meaningful police reform. Meanwhile, Trump complained that people wore masks because they didn’t like him, condemning “thugs and robbers” and repeatedly increasing the military “domination” of American citizens.
In August, we hit one serious milestone after another: four million cases in the United States, 120,000 dead, 130,000 dead, 140,000 dead.
At the time, we thought it was a lot. That pattern was about to shift.
Of james baldwin Fire next time It was published in 1963, as JFK was preparing to fulfill its fate in Dallas, and Martin Luther King Jr. was praying to sleep on a fetus bed in the Birmingham City Jail. I was not born when Baldwin’s book was written, and Baldwin was dead by the time I read it, so it was shocking how well I knew it. My first store copy of the 1980s is still on my bookshelf. The margin is extricated with mind-blowing notes. Prohibition underlining the score on almost every page. The book itself is slow and elegant: a 144-page lively tale, lively commentary, dry wit and supernatural vision. It begins with a sweet grunt for his nephew and finally ends with a guheri, which today rings, chills and presents in my ears: “If we dare to do everything now If not, fulfill that prophecy, rewrite the Bible in song. A slave is upon us: God gave Noah a rainbow sign, not water, fire next time.“
This is fire. We are in it JFK and Obama lead us to the rainbow; Trump set us on fire. And then he poured petrol on it.