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Turmoil

by Ron Holdraker
June 9, 2020

Yes, it was a week of turmoil and troubles for America and no amount of denial will prevail. We are a racist society. There are those who deny any form of personal racism, but one must really dig deep for the truth.

We transcend bigotry by substituting the word ‘nigger’ with “N-word”  and suddenly feel we have moved on, but in reality, our beliefs are coated with generations of distrust and fear.

Even with the advent of cell phone video, we stick to the notion that being Black in America is not prejudicial in the arrests and deaths of scores who are simply not born White. The question has surfaced, how many more names must be added to the list of the dead before we admit there is a snake of racism in our lives, in our system?

Actor Will Smith recently commented: “Racism Is Not Getting Worse, It’s Getting Filmed”

Tom Jones of The Poynter Report wrote: “If history has taught us anything, Americans need to actually see injustice before they fully accept it. That’s not a good thing. In fact, it’s disturbing. But it’s true.”

Even journalists were fodder for mistakes by over zealous police. Again Jones wrote: “It’s not clear exactly how many instances there have been of police assaulting, attacking or otherwise stopping journalists from covering protests. But even one is too many.

One of those assaulted by police was Tyler Blint-Welsh — a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, which is owned by News Corp, the same company that owns Fox News.

Blint-Welsh tweeted Sunday night, “Lost my glasses and my ankle is in searing pain after NYPD hit me in the face multiple times with riot shields and pushed me to the ground. I was backing away as requested, with my hands up. My NYPD-issued press badge was clearly visible. I’m just sitting here crying. This sucks.”

An Australian TV crew was accosted during the move to clear the way for President Trump’s bible totting move for a backfired photo-op in front of St. John’s Church in Washington, DC. 

The police officer believed to have fired pepper balls at a Louisville TV crew has been reassigned pending an investigation. Over the past week, more than a dozen police officers have been fired, with some facing charges. Yes, hundreds of protesters have been arrested and scores of looters.

The upheaval was not limited to just news video, or comments, but social media also took a hit. 

Facebook employees, many in managerial positions, have staged a virtual walk out and some in higher positions have threatened to resign. This, the result of CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s take how the company has dealt with (or not dealt with) President Trump’s misleading, lying and even threatening posts. Facebook design manager Jason Stirman tweeted, “I don’t know what to do, but I know doing nothing is not acceptable. I’m a FB employee that completely disagrees with Mark’s decision to do nothing about Trump’s recent posts, which clearly incite violence. I’m not alone inside of FB. There isn’t a neutral position on racism.”

Meanwhile misleading and downright false statements by media have led to  inflaming the situation. This was not an exclusive FOX faux pas, but in some standards across the board.

In many cases the news coverage was not only brave, but nothing short of “extraordinary”. Many Americans have now grasped the seriousness.

Bottom line...

What does all this mean? In what could be an ominous warning printed in the Washington Post, along with social media posts current and former U.S. intelligence officials have expressed dismay at the similarity between events at home and the signs of decline or democratic regression they were trained to detect in other nations.

“I’ve seen this kind of violence,” said Gail Helt, a former CIA analyst responsible for tracking developments in China and Southeast Asia. “This is what autocrats do. This is what happens in countries before a collapse. It really does unnerve me.”  

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