I Went from Hope to Fear in 12 Hours

Pandemic Diary #60

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Image by ArtTower from Pixabay

September 7, 2020

I am a rather upbeat person. I am white, female and, a woman of indeterminate age. I have had my fair share of knockdown, drag-out life-altering events, but I have, on the whole, managed to remain optimistic about humanity and the world in general.

That changed in the last week of August. I will begin by saying I live in San Francisco, California, so if you are going to begin reading this with the attitude that I am a left coast libtard, please, go find something else on Medium that will be of interest to you.

This has been one of the longest years in history from a universal emotional standpoint. The world was turned upside down by COVID. The United States has been forced to face its inherent racism with the Black Lives Matter movement and we have people in the streets clamoring for police reform.

It has not been a pretty situation in the streets of so many towns and cities. I do not believe in violence for violence sake. I do not believe in looting or rioting, and while I understand that peaceful protests apparently have not waken up much of America, I also know that destruction angers more than it accomplishes.

It is also important to note, that much of this violence has been shown to be instigated by white supremacy groups and not the protestors. Even the Department of Homeland Security has said that white supremacists present the gravest terror threat to the United States.

So when a 17-year-old White Boy can cross a state line with an automatic rifle, kill two people and maim one, and then be praised by news media and select groups of citizens, we are in a state of anarchy and on the edge of complete failure as a nation and definitely as a democratic republic.

I am as angry as anyone about the needless deaths of black men and women at the hands of the police. The list of Black victims of excessive force and police violence is much too long. This is exactly why we have people in the streets protesting.

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Image by Leroy Skalstad from Pixabay
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I am sickened by people who find the white boy, from Illinois a hero. He is a thug and a murderer. If he were Black he would be called a gang member, but as a White boy he is a militia member or a vigilante.

You do not cross state lines with an automatic rifle to protect the property of people and businesses you know nothing about, and call it vigilantism, it is bald faced racism.

If this boy had been black, he would have been killed getting out of his car with an AR-15, and yet this boy walked past the police, went home and slept in his own bed after murdering two people.

This boy is not the first, this has been boiling all summer. The fuse lit by white supremacists because of their unfounded, uneducated, racism, and conspiracy theories is so very close to the case of dynamite that I have now gone from hope to despair.

All summer I have watched lines and lines of white boys carry confederate flags and arm themselves with automatic rifles that should only be in the hands of the military. These boys taunt, intimidate and, harass innocent white, brown and Black people quietly protesting in the streets against police overreach.

The police have been shown in many cities to be fraternizing with these gun-toting lunatics, handing them water and, shaking their hands. The message is clear, white supremacy still has a following not only in America but with the so-called boys in blue that are sworn to serve and protect.

Not much could articulate our systemic racism any better than that.

I do not have words. I do not own a gun, I do not hunt and I see no reason to own one for protection. I live in a town with a reputation for craziness as much as peace and love, but the streets are not running amok with violence and I have never had a feeling for a need of anything but a kind word, and a simple nod to defuse most any situation I have felt uncomfortable in.

And yet, there are news outlets that are utilizing these very situations to scare the bejeezus out of people that most likely do not know a person of color, and possibly have only interacted with them as the gardener, the maid, or other less than desirable jobs performed in their primarily white neighborhoods.

The Civil War turned on one question. Who belonged to this nation? Who had a claim on liberty, and what did that imply? I feel history is once again asking that question.

I don’t know what to say, I do not know what to do, I just sit, feeling helpless as I watch my country teeter on the brink of hell.

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Remarks on the first anniversary of the Alliance for Progress, March 13, 1962

In normal posts I would add a Trivia section, that seems a bit perverse today.

My travel blog www.PassportandBaggage.com and my www.ArtandArchitecture-sf.com blog are quiet due to the Pandemic. I need to write, so here I go.

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