This week’s Burke’s Law is full of grief, rage and heartbreak. My heart, Leonard’s heart, Michael’s heart and the heart of everyone with an ounce of decency. We are witnessing an historic moment in time. I wish it was historic for the uplifting, come-together moment of unity over the slaughter of yet another Black man, George Floyd, by police. But it is historic because we are witnessing what hundreds of years of systemic racism and the systematic killing of Black men and women have done to our collective American psyche.
The rage, the unrelenting horror, the images of police and now the National Guard shooting at unarmed protesters and journalists with the approval of our Coward in the Oval Office. Gassing, shooting pepper bullets, physical violence against mostly peaceful protesters is a national disgrace. And yes, we know there is human garbage taking advantage of unrest to loot and burn. But the vast majority is just desperately trying to be heard without being arrested or injured.
The Coward Donald, hiding in his bunker, calls for oppression. Dominance is the ugly word he used on a call with the nation’s governors while denouncing them as weak and fools. No call to calm, not word of empathy, not a scintilla of emotional support, just dominance. Because, according to the mentally unstable mind of the Coward in the Bunker, if there is a fire, toss some gas on it and let it burn: MAGA.
This is a moment in our history that will be looked on with as much disgust as the race wars of 1968. During the span of 12 months, there were two assassinations and protests against the Vietnam war, including some that became violent. There was the cultural explosion of feminism and long-haired hippies, a coming recession, the rise of Richard Nixon and a violent racial divide over civil rights. Nobel laureate and civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. told striking workers in Memphis on Apr. 3, 1968 that “the nation is sick, trouble is in the land.” He was assassinated the very next day.
In 2020, we have a mentally unstable, vicious, authoritarian racist president; a pandemic that has killed, as of this writing, more than 102,000 people (and 1.6 million sick, a figure also growing, 40 million unemployed and economic collapse, and now the latest murder of a Black man. And the murderer was not just any old murderer, this was a Minneapolis cop, kneeling on the neck of George Floyd neck for eight minutes and 26 seconds in broad daylight before witnesses, filmed the whole time while George Floyd cried for his mother as the life was choked out of him. I Can’t Breathe. It was like the murderous cop knew that he could get away with it because, in the past, he got away with it. This murderer, who I will not name, had 18 prior complaints filed against him in 18 years with the Minneapolis Police Department. Why was he still a cop?
This is what set off massive nationwide protests. This is why rage overflows like an erupting volcano into the streets of our cities. This is why we must stand and support those who seek to find change and fight for that change. We have a moment in time in November when we can throw this dangerous malignant narcissist out on his fat ass along with his pitbull Attorney General and every single Republican who supported him. If this monster is re-elected, this country will burn in a civil war like no other. And I do not know if we could ever get our country back.
The images on our TV are overwhelming, yet we can’t stop watching. Yet we will watch and we will grieve. We also have a moral responsibility to do everything we can to make sure we put right what went wrong in 2016. Vote, volunteer for a human rights organization, volunteer for your Democratic nominee or anyone running for any offie — hell, work to change your School Board. But vote or I do not ever want to hear a word from you. Ever.
Please take three minutes to watch the Houston Chief of Police Art Acevedo show what leadership sounds like.
And now, a sincere note of appreciation to our listeners for your support. If you enjoy this podcast, leave us a review and share this episode on social media. On Twitter, follow Liz at @burkelawNYC and follow CFR at @TheCFReport. Stay safe.