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Est. April 5, 2002
July 16, 2020 - Issue 827
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Can't Stop Now


"Neither Donald Trump, nor most of his sycophants know
anything about the reasons for the demonstrations and
marches, because they live in a different world, one that
allowed them to never think about those who have been
marginalized and oppressed.  All of a sudden, they have
to think about these people, who they would term
'the masses.'  Well, the masses are showing up on their
doorsteps and they're kind of hard to miss."

The demonstrations, rallies, and marches that have occurred in the past several weeks could be the biggest in U.S. history, according to a report in the New York Times.

The paper, from its own research and the research of others, estimated that there have been more than 4,700 demonstrations, since the first protests against the murder by police of George Floyd. The demonstrations ranged in size from a few dozen participants, to tens of thousands and they occurred in some 2,500 cities and small towns.

There's something in the air. This time, the people have said, “Enough,” and they're demanding change, from the White House to the smallest city hall. Protest against overt racism against individuals has grown to protest against structural racism in housing, education, jobs, and more, including the removal finally of some of the last physical remnants of slavery and Jim Crow, statues of historical figures who supported and fought for the Confederacy and perpetuated the overt racism that has allowed the nation to roll over black and brown citizens as if they didn't exist. Of course, all the while using their physical strength for some of the most difficult jobs, their intellectual strength in science, academia and research, and maybe most important, taking the money out of their communities and sending it through the banking system to benefit white overseers.

Abject power over the many communities by the power of institutional racism is beginning to be seen by not just the people who are directly suffering from this offense against humanity, but it is being realized by the compatriots of those protesting the death of George Floyd and the endless list of those who have suffered the same fate at the hands of the whites who have been in power since the founding of the country.

In all, in recent months, according to Crowd Counting Consortium (CCC), the numbers of protests have continued and, the Washington Post speculated in June that “The Floyd protests are the broadest in U.S. History, and are spreading to white, small-town America.” While the protests may have been started by younger people, there have been older participants, many of whom have been fighting for freedom and justice (even in the “land of the free”) since they were young. It is heartening for the latter to see the enthusiasm, energy, and devotion to the idea of equality, liberty, and justice, and to know that the young participants know exactly what they are fighting for.

It is what has thrown a scare, a big one, in the ruling class, such as the president, who said recently that he didn't think most of them knew why they were in the streets, that they were just following the crowd. Neither Donald Trump, nor most of his sycophants know anything about the reasons for the demonstrations and marches, because they live in a different world, one that allowed them to never think about those who have been marginalized and oppressed. All of a sudden, they have to think about these people, who they would term “the masses.” Well, the masses are showing up on their doorsteps and they're kind of hard to miss.

Some of them have been met by drawn weapons, by military dressed in combat garb, and by cops who are dressed in the same armor as if they were going into combat in a place like Iraq or elsewhere in the Middle East. But this is America, or it used to be and there have been few, if any, instances of the protesters being equipped and armed in the same way that the military and police are. This should not be happening, but it is. And, it's because those in power are scared. They are frightened by the idea that so many are moved to go into the streets and show their opposition to the status quo.

President Trump and his supporters in the ruling class are frightened by the historical record, about what other peoples in other times have done to change the status quo and it wasn't a pretty sight. They know the possibilities and have expressed their apprehension about what exists for people in the streets and ghettoes, about the national economy and the politics of structural racism. They have reaped the financial benefits for most of their lives and they are apprehensive for the time when the piper must be paid. In recent years, during the World Economic Forum that is held in Davos, Switzerland, the press has reported that corporate CEOs and others have expressed their concern over the disparity in wealth between themselves and the working class, between themselves and black and brown citizens. The demonstrations that have been occurring in the U.S. are the clear evidence for them that their concerns were correct and that the people are fed up and want to see some of the freedom, justice, and pursuit of happiness that the founders promised to some in the founding documents.

There's no point in looking toward the White House for relief in the disparity between the average white family and the average black family. Trump doesn't believe it exists or he should have said something about it and made some effort to fix it. Recall that the average white family's wealth is about $170,000 and the average black family's wealth is about $17,000. That's 10 to 1 and that should not stand. Expect the protests against the murder of black and brown citizens by the police to expand to include these kinds of historic and structural economic and political oppressions.

Trump is the president who sees only what is in his own best interest. He has never given up control over his business interests, having feigned abdication of control by handing over his enterprises to his sons. So far, he has flim-flammed his supporters and many others into thinking that he does not talk to his sons and hasn't talked to them about his business interests while he has been president. He has been given a pass on so many wrongdoings and likely crimes since he's been president (can't forget the nearly 20,000 lies he's told just in three-plus years) that the body politic has come to believe that this is our new reality. As a consummate con-man, Trump has counted on it. He knew it would happen, and it has. Even politicians in his own Republican Party who called him a fake and worse have, in three short years, became his yes-men (and women) and worse. Yet, he would step on their faces as he ran out the door, if he thought he could get away with just one more con. That's the kind of loyalty that Trump demands and it's all one way.

He also does not show one scintilla of loyalty to the American people, to the ideals on which the country was founded, or any of the words of the U.S. Constitution. Yet, he commands, and has, the loyalty of millions of those on the margins of society, who make up his cult, and that's the only way they can be described, because he has nothing but contempt for them and their way of life. They are “losers,” according to his definition of losers and he really wants nothing to do with them, except for their votes. To get those votes, he will do or say anything and never mean a word he speaks. It's one of the problems of electing a reality television personality to run the country. He has run it like one of those shows and the disaster the U.S. has become on his watch proves it. His incompetence is monumental and historic. There have been drunks and sick people who were ten times the president he is. Everyone pays the price, but black and other minorities have paid the greater price.

Whoever is elected president in November will have to deal with the chaotic mess that Trump has left, including the coronavirus and its aftermath, the plunging economy, a kindergarten-college education near collapse, a jobs and homelessness crisis, an environmental debacle of Trump's making, and the structural racism catastrophe that is finally on the front burner. That's why the Black Lives Matter demonstrations, rallies, and marches need to go on into the presidential election and far beyond. It's the only way that the ruling class has ever paid attention or ever will. Columnist, John Funiciello, is a former newspaper reporter and labor organizer, who lives in the Mohawk Valley of New York State. In addition to labor work, he is organizing family farmers as they struggle to stay on the land under enormous pressure from factory food producers and land developers. Contact Mr. Funiciello and BC.

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