Enough Silence: 100,000 Preventable Deaths, Incited Violence, and Police Brutality Are Appalling and Shameful

I don’t know if you’ve seen the news. You probably won’t like it. Look only if you plan on not be able to function for the rest of the day. I just did, and I am useless.

I wrote an email to my mom and dad a little bit ago on my feelings of “current events”. Summary: the racial disparity that has been present in this country (United States of America, I admit I live there) for 400 years, especially exemplified by the astronomical deaths by COVID-19 and police brutality, is unacceptable. Rage felt by being told to stay indoors and wear masks is impossibly incomparable to the rage Black people have been feeling for literally centuries.

To further my point, here is a list of deaths by COVID-19 and list of deaths of Black people by police brutality. Thank you, New York Times and Chance The Rapper, for these lists. See also detailed pandemic obituaries by the New York Times and https://mappingpoliceviolence.org/.

The email is below. It was written in a fever, so there are probably inaccuracies. It gives Joe Biden a bit too much credit, but I’d take Biden any day over what we currently have here. In any case, I wanted to share these feelings with you, dear readers.

Dear Mom and Dad,

[Name withheld] and I had received our absentee voting applications, and we’ll be sending them in the mail today. Just as for the presidential primary in March, I hope you’ll send applications (if applicable, ha) and vote absentee in the upcoming elections. So much depends on it.

Although it’s no fun to stay indoors and wear masks, it really isn’t that bad, all considered. Privileged white people with automatic weapons decided that being told, “You have to stay indoors and wear masks,” meant that they could openly carry their death machines and storm public buildings. They want to be “LIBERATED!” They have never faced tyranny in their lives.

In Minneapolis, by contrast, another horrible death by police brutality against Black people has caused a far more righteous protest. Although burning a building is extreme, the rage is palpable and understandable. The rage privileged white people feel for being told to stay indoors and not get haircuts is incomparable to the 400 years of being treated either as property or human capital stock that Black people face. Let alone being gratuitously killed by the officers who “swore to protect them”. Compare the Biden response of staying calm to the “Too Hot for Twitter” take of “the shooting starts”, and we see what kind of moral leadership is completely absent at the top.

There will no doubt be backlash for the protests, just as there have been since 2014 when police brutality against Black people became widely publicized via Black Lives Matter. However, there is a call to be on the side of justice. “Law and Order”, the motto of the beloved Richard Nixon, is not what we need. We need justice. Please support the candidates who will align the moral compass of this deeply wounded nation, support the lives and rights of Black people, and get us back to a sense of calm.

You were probably going to vote for the Democrats anyway, but, I just to share how aghast I am at the complete lack of virtue exemplified by the other party.

Love,
[Art]

Please do what you can to support elected officials and potential candidates who stand for real justice for Black people, and who will hold police officers for their atrocious acts. Please do what you can to comfort people you know who have been directly or indirectly damaged by the horrific events of this year and this pandemic and everything leading up to it. Please support food banks and medical resources for especially underprivileged areas.

It’s hard to imagine what the future looks like after this. I’m trying to, even though my default reaction to the events of our present time is horror. I’m trying to read more on “visioning”, also called “positive futuring”. Maybe these resources can help you imagine a better future, too.

Yours,
Art