Friday, June 19, 2020

Juneteenth - Reflections On The Tulsa Massacre

Friday, June Nineteenth, 2020

My Dear America:

We have been through some difficult times lately. 

In the middle of a Dangerous Pandemic we have seen an Incredible National and eventually Worldwide Movement result from the lonesome Videotaped Murder of a tall black man named George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Floyd died as the result of a Minneapolis Police Officer kneeling on Floyd's neck for nearly 10 minutes.  Several videos of the incident showed that before the officer kneeling on Floyd there seemed to be little or no sign that Floyd was resisting arrest for a suspicion that Floyd was passing counterfeit bills.

It is still not clear whether or not George Floyd was or was not passing counterfeit bills.  One thing is for sure, though.  George Floyd will never be buying anything ever again.

The Amazing Movement that has resulted from Floyd's senseless murder has already reverberated into every Police Department in America and has resulted in the fact that many people who had not paid much attention to Police misconduct when it comes to minorities are now out on the front lines in nationwide and even worldwide protests demanding police accountability for their actions.  

Although the Black Lives Matter Movement was producing minimal change in our country prior to the Floyd Murder that is no longer the case.  As the result of George Floyd's murder and the unnecessary deaths of countless African Americans, many are now paying close attention to what goes on in their local police departments.  Certainly the heat is on American Police Forces.  

Although some protests have unfortunately allowed some individuals to burn and loot stores and tarnish the reputations of George Floyd and other innocent murder victims, for the most part the protests have been peaceful and positive.  Mostly the reactions to the peaceful protests have been measured and restrained by authorities

One exception to that rule was the reaction to peaceful protests in Washington D.C.across the street from the White House when, at the request of Donald Trump a mixed group of law enforcement and military troops forcefully cleared out Lafayette Park so that President Trump could walk across the street to stand in front of a church and hold a bible upside down for a Photo Op.

Donald Trump had initially planned to have one of his Rallys in Tulsa, Oklahoma today.  There was tremendous pushback on that plan because today, June Nineteenth (Also known as Juneteenth) was to be remembered not only for marking the end of Slavery in the United States.  It was also a day that was seared into the minds of black people everywhere (But especially in Tulsa) because of a long ago massacre of hundreds of black people by whites in Tulsa.  Although Trump initially didn't seem to care about the black massacre on Juneteenth, he finally came to his senses and changed the date of his rally to tomorrow, the twentieth of June.

I don't know what is going to happen at Trump's rally tomorrow.  Certainly Donald Trump should not be having a rally in the middle of a Covid 19 Pandemic.  But Donald Trump does not seem to be willing to put the health of his followers above his need for adoration.  How many people will die as the result of his rally tomorrow does not seem to matter to Donald Trump as long as tomorrow they will be there in Tulsa yelling and screaming his name and making him feel "Great Again."

Sincerely Yours

Jerry Gallagher

Friday, June 12, 2020

Trump In Tulsa On Juneteenth - One More Last Straw

June 12th, 2020

My Dear America:

Something that I have heard often and that I totally believe to be the case is that with Donald Trump there is no bottom to how bad this President can be.  Clearly Trump has made serious overtures to Racists in the past.  Namely Charlottesville where he found "Very Fine People" on the side in which Klanspersons and Nazis dominated the group.

As if that wasn't bad enough it seems clear that Trump is willing to go lower than that in the near future.  In an upcoming Rally in Tulsa Oklahoma Trump is celebrating Juneteenth (June 19th) the day that Slavery finally ended in America in the city that had the worst massacre of Black Americans in history.  Hundreds of Black Tulsa citizens were killed and hundreds of black operated businesses were torched.  What a place to celebrate the end of Slavery.

Indeed, Slavery is a stain on the American soul that can never be honestly removed.  It was an institution that lasted for well over a century in America and the end of the institution of slavery was so entrenched that the south was willing to sacrifice thousands of southern lives to keep slavery from ending.  Slavery was brutal and inhuman and the effects of that brutality and inhumanity can still be seen today in the picture of a Minneapolis Police Officer kneeling on the neck of a black man.

That picture and the death of George Floyd that resulted from it set off a firestorm that is continuing to burn and has caused the United States and the rest of the world to continue to chant "Black Lives Matter" and "Defund The Police."

The truth is that Police Departments often require a city to turn over more than fifty percent of its funding to Police Departments.  We certainly can't completely defund Police Departments.  Nobody wants to live in a real life Purge in which there is no control of unlawful behavior.  

On the other hand, no one wants to live in a world in which Police Departments and Police Officers are out of control and unlawful themselves.

In the situation in which we find ourselves whereby most of the citizens of the United States are responding with compassion and caring toward the black Community, our President is responding with a "Screw You" to the Black Lives Matter Movement.  

Trump's response to Black Lives Matter is to have his In House Nazi, Stephen Miller write a speech for Trump to address the issue of Racism in America.  

The truth is that Americans don't need to be lectured by Miller and Trump about the issue of race.  These people are way out of the loop on this matter.

What we need is Donald Trump out of the White House and Joe Biden in there and some serious changes in the United States Senate so that Mitch McConnell can't kill every progressive bill that the House sends to the Senate.

What we need to realize as we watch all polls predict Joe Biden's election is that we cannot let our guard down.  We have seen this scenario before and we should learn a hard lesson from the result of overconfidence by Democrats in 2016.  We all thought that Trump couldn't win but we were wrong.  

We need to realize that Donald Trump and his supporters will be doing their best to purge the rolls in every state that they can to suppress minority voting and bend the prospects for Trump.  We must not rest easy until the November voting is over and Donald Trump is finally gone from the White House and with him many of his cowardly Senate Minions.  

There should be no overconfidence by Democrats who see an easy win for Biden in the upcoming election.  Every Democratic Voter needs to either march to the polls, pandemic or not, or vote by mail if you are allowed to.  

Despite the fact that things are looking good for Biden at present, things can change very quickly.  

There is certainly no limit to what Donald Trump is going to be willing to do to defeat Biden.  Trump will continue to Lie, Cheat and Distract all the way to November and Democrats need to be ready to respond to whatever Donald Trump chooses to throw at them.

No Time for Overconfidence.  Only time to work hard for Biden.

Sincerely Yours

Jerry Gallagher

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

There's Something Rotten In America - Making Sense Of The Senseless

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2020

My Dear America:

There's Something Happening Here.  
What it is ain't exactly Clear
There's a Man with a Gun Over There
Telling me I got to Beware

These words are the lyrics of a song written many years ago by Stephen Stills and recorded by the Buffalo Springfield.  The words are just as relevant today as they were in the 1960's.  In fact, they may very well be even more relevant today than they ever were.

Why was George Floyd killed in Minneapolis by a police officer who stared into a video being taken by a bystander and showed a complete disregard for the life of the person on whose neck he was kneeling.

Why did this trigger the madness that erupted from this incident?  We may never know.  What we do know is that the madness has continued since that killing into nearly every big city in the United States.  

Certainly this was not the first or the last incident of police abuse of a black man in police custody.  American History is loaded with incidents like this one and, indeed, many incidents that have been far worse than this one. 

Lets not forget that many Ku Klux Klan members have also been members of Law enforcement and participated in the killing of black people not only in the south but in the north, as well.  Certainly not all police officers are Klansmen but there is no doubt that some officers view black people with extreme prejudice.  It must also be said that there are many good and decent Police Officers who find the killing of George Floyd and other incidents of this kind abhorrent.

Even in recent years we have seen countless incidents in which mainly black men but occasionally even black women have died under sometimes mysterious and disturbing circumstances. 

The list of victims of police brutality is extensive.  What is is that separates people like George Floyd being killed from long ago lynchings of blacks.  

The answer is cell phone cameras.  Back in the day before cell phones people on the street did not carry cameras in their purse that they could pull out and snap pictures or videos at a moments notice.  What we have seen happen in recent times is that when something is going on that doesn't look or smell right people at the scene can and often times will pull out their cameras and start videotaping.  That is what happened on the Minneapolis street where George Floyd lost his life. 

One of the oddest things about the overwhelming reaction to George Floyd's death is that the reaction of the mayor of Minneapolis was not the complete disregard for the victim and excuses for the officer that we have seen in so many other public executions of individuals of color.  

The Minneapolis Mayor made it clear very quickly that he was upset, outraged and not on board with the Killer Officer remaining on the force where he had been for decades.  The Mayor quickly fired not only the killer officer but also the three other officers who stood around apparently saying and doing nothing as George Floyd pleaded for the killer officer to get his knee off Floyd's neck.

So what was it that has sparked the national madness that we have now seen for several days and especially during the night time.

I don't know for sure what is going on but I do have some theories that I certainly can't prove but feel might explain what is going on.

In the matter of George Floyd the black community has seen incidents like his killing before over and over again and the total disregard for Floyd's life that was displayed by the white officer kneeling on his neck was just one more murdered black man, too many.  For what.  George Floyd lost his life because he was suspected of passing a counterfeit bill.

Also people in general have been stuck indoors trying to keep alive in the era of Covid 19 and this tragedy seemed so incredibly outrageous that people could not ignore this incident in Minneapolis or anywhere else.

What seems to be evident is that at this moment in time people of all colors, creeds and beliefs have had it.  Like Peter Finch playing Howard Beale in the movie, "Network" we are all "Mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore."

Certainly anger is warranted regarding the death of George Floyd and all of the other black individuals murdered in police custody in America.  What is not warranted at this time is the wanton destruction including burning of buildings and lootings by criminals taking full advantage of George Floyd's death.

Clearly George Floyd would not want to be remembered as the reason many businesses burned to the ground and put people out of work.  He would also not want to be remembered as the excuse for criminals looting stores all over America.

George Floyd's tragic death should not be celebrated by criminal behavior.  We need for Americans of all colors to learn from our mistakes and stop the madness.  

There is a proper way to celebrate the life of George Floyd, who has been identified by his family as a peace loving man.  We must remember at this time the words and deeds of Doctor Martin Luther King and we must practice what he preached all his life.  

If ever there was a time to practice Non Violence it is now.

Another way to celebrate George Floyd is to put what energy we have into voting out of the White House the man who has not only encouraged police to be violent but has corrupted every Government Agency he could put a flunky in charge of.  

We have a chance in November to change the kind of Government we live under.  Lets organize together and get a caring man elected to the highest elected office in America.

A great blues song written by Wilbert Harrison has the following lyrics

United We Stand
Divided We fall
So come on Now People
Lets get on the ball

Lets work together
Come On Come On
Lets work Together

Well, together we will stand 
Every Boy, Girl Woman and Man 

It is time to stand together and take back our country from those who would do to us what was done to George Floyd.

Sincerely Yours

Jerry Gallagher