So, what I’m wondering is…. where’s the response?
People across the nation are protesting. There is clearly a problem, and many people are speaking out their anger and frustration. Although George Floyd’s inexcusable murder was a triggering event in the midst of a bizarre and stressful time, the emotions didn’t evolve overnight.
One would think that leaders in our country would be proposing actual solutions.
Instead, while everyone is protesting the police, in response, all we get is more policing. Videos abound of police in their damn riot gear intimidating peaceful protestors, bullying them, yelling at residents and protestors, and using violence that ranges from pushing people down, whether they are walking with a cane or not, to ramming them with their vehicles.
And sure, I applaud people like Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson in Flint who set his baton down and marched with the people, but we have to look beyond moments of solidarity and ask, okay, how are we really going to fix this?
Where, I ask, where is the leadership? There is an absolute void, whether Republican or Democrat, of a leader anywhere who is stepping in to actually address the grievances being raised across this nation right now. Shooting for looting is not a problem solver. Nor is empty rhetoric like calls for “healing this country“ from Mr. You Ain’t Black.
Hellooooo!!! We are looking for a real leader who actually has some vision and the ability to articulate it, formulate it, and execute a meaningful response. We’re talking about substantive, structural, practical changes on behalf of the people. We want positive, compassionate action, not just words.
So far, crickets.
How about defunding police departments? As in, let’s have less policing, not more. I know I’d feel safer. Invest those funds in the creation of positive, healthy communities that stand on peace, justice, and equality.
How about demilitarizing the police? Yeah, we really don’t like seeing those bully lines of black-garbed soldiers ranged against we the people. We don’t want to see tanks on our streets. We’re sick and tired of SWAT raids, tasers, and bullets.
How about developing a compassionate approach to policing, implementing new commonsense training right from the get-go, and recruiting a suitable type of person for such work?
How about a livable minimum wage? As in, why, yes, we actually do care about all of our workers and their families, essential and beyond.
How about depopulating and closing prisons? We all know there’s just no reason for us to be the worldwide leader for imprisonment, unless, of course, you want to make a profit.
How about healthcare and housing solutions? How about equity in the workplace? How about equity in schooling? How about meaningful work? I don’t know, I could go on.
And just as there is a dearth of healthy leadership in government, we also yearn for leadership for those oppressed. Both the literal and figurative knee on the neck serve well to suppress much needed organized dissent and vision on behalf of the suffering classes. Maybe now is the time those visionary voices can rise and lead again to make for a better nation for all.