Today the issue of seven deaths will peak and it’s still hard to know what to say in order to encompass the whole thing because it is in an important way the story of America.
The very idea of race was invented in America as early as the 17th Century, and its story in the forced migration of Africans as slaves, the bloodiest war which that crime finally brought on, the persistent failure to solve the issue of white supremacy from then on, the sort of peak of success when today’s grandparents were young, the slow disregard of laws from those gains, and now a new peak of white backlash perhaps coming to a head with a serious minority of Americans speaking openly of erasing all the gains of black people as a group two generations ago – two generations ago – by “taking my America back” or “making America great again.”
The context of a pivotal presidential and Congressional election is inescapable, at the same time, with two candidates chosen in controversy and rejected by many of the party of each. And a black President, just finishing his term successfully in every way except getting his legislation passed into law!
Presidents from both parties will speak today about this, and the one who is the ex, it seems obvious, is of a political family that is not for their “own” candidate – as in, of the party they might have expected to “own.” The current President can’t speak for his own race without being criticized again for causing the divisions of America, he will speak again in full awareness of that and once again, one more time and maybe not even the last, will visit bereaved Americans whose loved ones were killed by a gun no one in this country should own, but some of which were carried openly and legally in the streets of the city as a form of protest, even confusing the police in the immediate crisis of a sniper picking them off from an unknown perch.
There are questions about funding, and don’t talk about the mental health issue of this without asking why we don’t fund mental health programs. We dump the problems on the Army to hand over to the police! Yes, we do – a young black man of intelligent parents who totally fails at school is sent to the Army, but “it just didn’t live up to his expectations” – the problem of him to be solved finally by the police whose comrades he killed. When and who was to provide the psychiatric care he probably needed in his teens?
Tonight we’ll also see a smart and aggressive questioner spend a couple of hours probing (while publicizing) the Speaker of the House, who is talking about what good he wants to accomplish, but has supported an ongoing policy of obstruction of all good and an absolute opposition of fair taxation as a means of solving any of these problems, yet who is considered the “intellectual” of his party – in some way their leader not just in Congress but in “deep thinking” and in being budget “expert” or as we say today, “wonk.”
Oh, I almost forgot – this same day Bernie Sanders will finally endorse Hillary Clinton perhaps with some reservations. While maybe the other candidate will continue to seek votes by pretending to be Richard Nixon – yes, believe it or not – because “law and order” and a secret plan for ending war he then didn’t end, until his/our generals refused to keep fighting, got the guy elected in a process ending with resignation in shame, but that’s who this proven con-artist has chosen to channel this week.
Anything could happen in terms of this complex of issues today! All of it will greatly effect the election. We perhaps have never seen such an important day in advance of an election when neither candidate is going to address anything except by comments after the fact. There will be elements of political debate on these issues in today’s statements, yet I think some real and sincere efforts to speak truth from both the ex-president and the soon to be ex.
Very unusual day in a very unusual time. In some ways similar to the times of two generations ago and in some not.