Friday, June 05, 2020

¡Viva la Revolución!

Thoughts on a Thursday afternoon. Or why I can't sleep at night.

There's something happening here
What it is ain't exactly clear
   For What It’s Worth
   Buffalo Springfield (Stephen Stills)

Or, as Sam Cooke put it:  A change is gonna come.

The question of the day:  Is the change coming from the left or the right?

If the president of the United States loses the upcoming election, or if he decides before the vote that he will lose the election, will he stand down and allow the peaceful transition of power?  This is the man who called on his supporters to assault dissenters at his campaign rallies; who berated  governors for not “dominating” anti-police-brutality protesters with military force; who stated that rioting white supremacists and neo-Nazis were “good people”; who casually uses racist bellicose rhetoric to stir up his followers; who practices the Hitler principle of “the big lie”; who was labelled a threat to our Constitutional values by his former Secretary of Defense; and who has lashed out against critics, journalists, political rivals, and former allies with threats to use (and the actual misuse of) the power of his office in retaliation.

Meanwhile, the people united over the killing of George Floyd have continued to pressure the political infrastructure, from mayors to governors to police chiefs, for a solution to police murders of black people, and for justice for the victims of such killings.  Some victories have been claimed, but will the momentum continue?  Will more killers who happen to be cops be charged and tried for their crimes?  Will the cops who have been charged in the Floyd murder be convicted, or will the country again erupt in frustration and anger when the perpetrators are acquitted? 

Will the changes produced by the current surge of activism carry over to other issues and systemic problems in the U.S.?  Are we at the morning of a new day, where hope, justice, equality and common decency are encouraged and supported?  Or is this the beginning of a long dark night where the forces of repression, hate, and authoritarianism seize power and assume rigid control?

And will there finally be justice for George Floyd?

Suggested reading (please suggest titles you think are worthwhile at this crucial time):

Against Police Violence:  Writers of Conscience Speak Out –  With writings by Angela Y. Davis, Aric McBay, Assata Shakur, Howard Zinn, Huey P. Newton, and Paco Ignacio Taibo II -  free ebook from Seven Stories Press at this link.

All the King’s MenRobert Penn Warren

Between the World and Me -- Ta-Nehisi Coates

It Can’t Happen HereSinclair Lewis

Sometimes There Is No Other Side:  Chicanos and the Myth of EqualityRodolfo F. Acuña

The House That Race Built – Edited by Wahneema Lubiano

The Iron Fist and the Velvet Glove:  An Analysis of the U.S. Police The Center for Research on Criminal Justice. 



Manuel Ramos writes crime fiction and is working on another Gus Corral novel.

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