Point of View Columns

Another Week in the Life of America in 2021

July 7, 2021

The day begins with the news that gunmen assassinated Haitian President Jovenel Moïse at his residence. This killing continues centuries of destabilization and dysfunction of the first nation every founded by virtue of a revolt of Black enslaved men and women.

Indeed, since 1804, then President Thomas Jefferson articulated the need to make sure that the Haitian Republic did not succeed in order to dissuade the enslaved people of the United States from following the example of their Caribbean brothers and sisters. Incredibly, the nation of France has demanded and collected billions of dollars from Haiti as reparations for its liberation.

American corporations have drained further billions from Haiti over the past 100+ years through a wide variety of rapacious “investments” that benefitted the Haitian people not at all. And so, in the midst of all of this dysfunctions – to be clear there are many wounds that have been self-inflicted by the tiny elite class of Haiti to only make matters worse – the murder of President Jovenel is just one more example of the long road away from dysfunction that confronts the people of Haiti.

July 8, 2021

The day sees a continuation of the concerted Republican drive to skew the voting process for decades. Stealing elections before a single vote is cast is nothing new, what is new is the nationwide scale.

The outrage and uproar that will ensue when the election thefts happen will threaten the entire concept of democracy – and clearly the Republicans just don’t care – or perhaps tearing down the temple may be the endgame for them after all.

July 9, 2021

A fourteen-year old Black girl by the name of Zaila Avant-Garde won the National Spelling Bee. It is good to know that something as basic as spelling bees still exist as there is no way to digitize or monetize spelling bees – at least not yet.

But the youthfully innocent spelling genius in her comments displayed an unshakable belief in the possibilities of life as she articulated all that she wanted to accomplish by the age of 25.

I am putting my money on Zaila Avant-Garde and all the other young people who can’t spell the word “impossible”.

July 10, 2021

The CPAC Convention has never been palatable to those with a taste for something left of the far right. But now the CPAC Convention has become a right of the right wing echo chamber screaming lies, more lies and threats to every viable institution in this country.

July 11, 2021

Does Richard Branson (kind of) flying into space augur the new neo-luxury fantasy come true for the uber wealthy of this planet? The answer is probably yes – and that cannot be a good thing.

It should be clear to all that this notion of space tourism will only be available to the truly wealthy. And it should also be clear that the regular disruption of the atmosphere by regular space travel cannot be a good thing for this planet.

It is right to give pause and consider that in a time of unlimited wealth, unlimited behavior of the destructive kind will take place and every human, beast and plant will suffer.

July 12, 2021

What happens if government just stops working? It is a question worth asking because in this country the effectiveness of the government relies upon the cooperation, compliance and faith of the population – coercive measures are typically the last resort and typically fall in to the area of law enforcement and public safety.

Now this country is facing a challenge that could not have been foreseen even five years ago.

It is not a matter of wishful nightmares. It is clear that if over one hundred million Americans refuse to get vaccinated that more Americans will die. And more will die after that. And that cannot be a good thing.

Nevertheless, there are elected officials and news commentators and run of the mill rabble-rousers who think that it is a good idea to promote the idea that not getting vaccinated is a badge of honor – presumably to be worn just before burial or cremation.

There is this cruel confederacy of dunces that would have susceptible Americans believe that after all the progress that has been made by reason of science, that science is not to be trusted and that ignorance provides safety from reality.

Clearly nothing good can come from this nightmare scenario.

July 13, 2021

Once more President Biden is leaving Washington to go to Pennsylvania – clearly a must-have state for 2022 and 2024 – this time to put forth the argument that elections should be fair and that it is unfair to deny people the right to vote. And it is amazing that in the year 2021 the President of the United States has make this argument in the face of absolutely steadfast commitment to do just that.

Certainly, in the modern era we have never seen such a nationwide commitment to deny the franchise to so many Americans, and especially Black Americans. And the U.S. Supreme Court (with three justices appointed by #45) has already issued an opinion that racially-based disparities are inevitable and not necessarily unconstitutional.

And with that bloodless and soulless statement the Supreme Court has given permission for James Crow – the direct descendant of Jim Crow – to spread his wings and befoul the democracy of this nation – however imperfect it has been – and make it the sole property of the shrinking white majority of this country.

In effect, we are watching the building of an infrastructure that will embed minority rule for decades to come.

Freedom is not always free.

Justice is not always just.

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