My thoughts with the US tonight

What Mr. Guterres, General Secretary of the UN, said…

I hope I don’t wake up tomorrow (or rather, later today) to a Tiananmen 2.0 in the US.

Source: https://www.neweurope.eu/article/the-lasting-tragedy-of-tiananmen-square/

I had many more words written in another post but decided to not publish that. I get incoherent when I’m angry and that doesn’t help. Just three short points I want to make:
– Black lives matter!
– Listen, talk and change; violence (looting or militarized response) is not the answer.
– Please vote when the time comes.

I was thinking of not posting anything ‘trivial’ anymore for a few days but this trivial stuff keeps me sane. So, I’m letting my next scheduled post (the final fictional crush challenge) go live in a couple of hours anyhow in order to retain a sense of normalcy in this crazy world. I know I am privileged enough to be able to do so.

To my friends in the US: my hopes for a peaceful discourse are with you. Please stay safe and stay well!

26 thoughts on “My thoughts with the US tonight

    1. Atlanta has always been ‘late bloomers’ when it comes to protesting and if I recall, they calm down pretty fast. I had hoped with the mayor coming out hard in the beginning, she’d be able to nip that in the bud. Sad.

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        1. Servetus

          This is how I see it. There are two things we can say here:

          “It’s a shame that they’re killing black men, but the looting has to stop.”
          “It’s a shame that they’re looting, but killing black men has to stop.”

          I don’t have any problem deciding where I am on that. People before things is a rule I learned well before I can remember learning rules. Or, to use a Bible verse I learned when I was six or seven (and remembered because of the “strange” word): You cannot serve G-d and mammon.

          Looting is a really complex activity (as sociologists acknowledge) and there is not a lot of recent research on it. (Apparently the last wave coincided with 1968, there’s a surprise.) That said, the vast majority of the protestors are not looting and many of those who are looting are not protestors. Some of them are white supremacists whose precise goal is to make it impossible for (Black) protestors to do anything by escalating every protest into violence. Some of them are organized crime elements who’ve seen an opportunity. Some of them are just people who want to fight (we’ve seen a bit of that in Wisconsin). Apparently, some are antifa people although interestingly even the FBI is admitting that’s not the main problem. We have a constitutional right in the US to protest peacefully for the redress of grievances. We can’t let fringe elements take it away from us and we certainly can’t let the US President (who has totally militarized the capital, from what my friends are saying) do so, either.

          Liked by 3 people

  1. The thing with Tienanmen Square is the protesters destroyed nothing. They didn’t ransack stores, set things, cars, buildings,churches, etc… on fire. They didn’t get on freeways and stop traffic. They didn’t loot stores. They didn’t block emergency vehicles from helping rescue children from burning buildings. The cities being hit the hardest are run by Democrats who have refused help their citizens. We have idiot Hollywood celebrities bailing domestic terrorists out of jail! Barry let Baltimore burn and that city has yet to recuperate. Rioters say it’s their right, their ‘slave money’ and business owners have insurance so they’ll get over it.

    And a Democratic politician was caught on a hot mic saying – I could really care less about all of this, but it’s an election year.

    So no, any comparison with Tienanmen Square is incorrect. Their protesters are NOT our rioters. China’s military is not ours. There is no comparison between the two and right now, I’m so very happy I live in a military town, where protesting has been peaceful and no one dares to act stupid.

    Now. We’re agreeing to agree to disagree, I know you hate Trump and you know I’m so grateful that evil heinous witch lost. I love you and I have a family of raccoons in my backyard and chimney swifts in my chimney who between the two are driving my kitties half crazy. It’s going to be a long night.

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    1. Yeah, we so very much do not agree!

      Arresting (black) news crews who are respectful and keep their distance where possible is the precursor of a Tiananmen, aggressively advancing on peaceful protesters is a precursor of a Tiananmen, firing tear-gas at peaceful protesters for a photo op is a precursor of a Tiananmen.
      I’m copying something I said elsewhere: Martin Luther King once said, “A riot is the language of the unheard” and he is right. Does the looting need to stop? Hell, yes! And does the president need to stop threatening and start to listen? Hell, yes, too! Instead, he just stokes flames higher and higher and people are getting angrier and angrier because they are not being heard. I agree, governors and police chiefs and anyone in a position of power (regardless of party) need to listen as well but first and foremost people look to the leader of the nation to make some sense and make things better and this leader is just incapable. He does not know how to do anything about conflict resolution. On a small scale, I see it in my real life, especially at work, as well. People get angry over something not working, complain aggressively and it is totally unhelpful to get angry back and police them. If you do, things escalate easily. You let them rant at you for a bit (and I don’t mean loot, just rant) so they can ventilate their frustration and then take it from there. Mr. Esther always compares it to a balloon that has been blown up too hard – you need to let it deflate or else it will explode. So, you listen to the person’s anger and concerns, you acknowledge that they are angry. That act alone helps to calm things down a little. Then you sit down together and calmly and systematically try to figure out how you can make things better. A democratically elected leader should be able to do that, but the one in the US has no such capability… He’s a bully and can only respond with bullying tactics.

      So, yeah, I do not agree with you and yes, maybe we’d just best leave it at that.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Servetus

        to add to this: Tienanmen looked really different from *inside* China than it did from outside. To us, it looked like peaceful students protesting for more political rights and personal freedoms. From inside China, the government exercised strict control of information flow so many had no idea of what exactly happening, and for those who were aware, it looked like spoiled rowdies who were trying to subvert the entire governmental system and the general stability of Chinese society. Many Chinese shared the view of the Chinese Communist Party. They saw the occupation of the square as a direct offense against government, order, and peace. Just like some people see the protests in the US today.

        To me, looking at a historical pattern longterm, a lot of what you say about “letting people blow off steam” also applies to governments. To cite a few examples: In 1642, Charles II of England started a way on his own people; in 1649 he was deposed and executed. In 1793, the National Convention of France, a democratic government, started a campaign of violence in order to suppress resistance (“the Terror”); by 1794 it was over and the goals of the French Revolution abandoned; five years after that Napoleon — a notorious non-democrat — emerged. In 1905 Nicholas II fired on protestors at the Winter Palace in St Petersburg. He was almost immediately forced to allow the creation of a legislature; fifteen years later his whole family was dead and the Romanovs had been replaced by a Communist government. In 1989, when the Communist Party ordered the Army to fire on protestors, the country was at serious risk of civil war — factions of the Politburo and the army being on the side of the protestors, as Deng Xiaoping (who was very old by then) told outsiders. The event led to the purge of about half the Politburo and a strong restructuring of the country’s attitude toward market reforms.

        However we feel about these things (I’m anti-Charles II, negative on the Terror, happy Nicholas II left but unenthused about Communism, and horrified by most of modern Chinese politics), the takeaway here is that the point at which a government has to enforce its dictates by making war on significant portions of its own citizens is an irreversible turning point. In many cases, the decision to fire on one’s own people means the end of a governmental system. If we care about the United States, we should absolutely oppose any kind of military action against protestors. It involves an inherent delegitimation of our system and the things we care most about. Indeed — it turns us into China.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. “The point at which a government has to enforce its dictates by making war on significant portions of its own citizens is an irreversible turning point.” Yes!

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          1. Servetus

            I was thinking afterwards (and this is the last long comment I will make and then get off my soapbox) that the part of the Declaration of Independence we had to memorize in school is directly applicable.

            “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.-”

            Not that I’m in favor of a wholesale revolution — I’m not. But governments are here to serve our needs and by our consent.

            Liked by 2 people

    2. I didn’t know at first what you meant with “Barry let Baltimore burn” – been reading up a bit and now do and also see that that statement is nonsense. It’s so easy to always point fingers at others and not look at the issue at hand. In this case, Obama condemned the looters and rioters (even calling them ‘thugs’, that is language almost befitting Trump!) and called for peaceful protests. Riots and looting were ended in specific actions and investigation into the police was started. Yes, Baltimore did burn but it was not Obama’s fault. I’m not saying that US cities burning now is Trump’s fault either (although, maybe I am, because of his incendiary actions, where for instance Antifa is a terrorist organization but far right thugs are some “fine people”). I agree as little with extreme left violence as I do with extreme right violence, both show an utter disrespect for human life. Also, protestors aren’t terrorists, they deserve to be freed on bail like anyone else that is arrested. To have rich people walk out on bail after a protest arrest but have poor people languish in jail because they can’t afford it is not really that fair, especially considering that very many of those arrested are already in an underprivileged situation.
      Statements like “Barry let Baltimore burn” are untrue and disrespectful, as is the passive aggressive “truth hurts”, and I ask you to please not post stuff like that on my blog. You are free to give your opinion on my blog but please do so respectfully.

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      1. Agreed however, we – and I don’t mean us, I mean the world – has lost the fine art of discussion, the sharing of different ideas. We can’t fix anything if we can’t come to the table and discuss different view points. I was talking once with a mutual friend whose views are MUCH further left and the comment came up that we’re watching the same wreck, from different corners of the intersection. We see what’s happening, but there are different view points and in order to get a full picture, all view points must be considered.

        But that’s becoming harder and harder to do because fewer and fewer people are willing to sit down and discuss. And because it’s becoming so hard to do that, the problems we face as a nation and as a world become more difficult to solve. And truth is, we can’t solve it on our own.

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        1. See, this is something I can’t work with, the “I’m willing to talk but you aren’t” vibe. It’s not that I’m not willing to discuss, it’s that it seems pointless when basic truths and even attitudes can’t even be agreed upon. “Barry let Baltimore burn” is not true and it is extremely disparaging as well. That protesters are terrorists is not true. Seeing everything in only black and white (excuse the phrase in these trying times) is not helpful – you can not blame all democrats for everything bad in the world and making snap judgments on big groups of people is not helpful either. It doesn’t feel like discussion, it feels like trying to convert the other with half truths and if there’s one thing I hate it is someone trying to convert me to a way of thinking that is so alien to my own.

          Now, if we had a real problem to tackle in a real life community, for instance, should guns be allowed inside a school, then I would gladly sit down and tackle that specific problem with you and come to a solution. But this kind of overall discussion is a pointless exercise because all we will do is fight and argue and we will never get closer to the other’s point of view. I am someone who does not do so well with conflict, so if the conflict is totally pointless, I’d rather avoid it altogether.

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      1. there are definitely other forces at play in USA with regard to the looting/rioting-and that appears to be done to deliberately undermine the effort of the protesters. It’s done deliberately to put fear into average Joe to prevent them from changing the status quo.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. It’s all playing into Trumps hands with the looting so he can use it. I hope Biden is taking careful notes and really turns this pandemic back on Trump for his delayed response, blatant lies and totally incompetence.

          Liked by 1 person

            1. Esther you and me both. I live in a suburb of DC and the area hit hard downtown I know really well!! It breaks my heart what is happening but it’s a sign of the degradation of law and order in America.

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  2. Esther sometimes in the light and airy there is depth and meaning so post away!
    All I will say is Covid 19 is real and racism and inequality in the US is real. Which party is in charge now???? Hmm starts with a R

    Liked by 1 person

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