A Paradigm Shift?

 

 

Are we witnesses to the birth of a new paradigm? One in which all people are equal? Where there’s not such a disparity between Rich and poor? White and black? Where no college student has to take on debt so enormous that they’ll never be able to buy a place to live?

In this time of instant photos, instant video, instant everything, a Smart Phone video taken by a 17-year-old girl, may be key.

The video of George Floyd’s death clearly shows now fired cop Derek Chauvin pressing his knee against Floyd’s neck until it killed him. When I first saw the video, several things shocked me: the way Chauvin kept his hand in his pocket, sort of casual, the way he looked at the videographer- the directness of his gaze – and that I was watching a white cop kill an unarmed black man while three other cops stood nearby, watching.

During the news tour tonight of various cities where protesters were out I recognized Lafayette Park. In 1970, I was there for a huge protest against the war in Vietnam. We slept in that park. I remember someone handing out tubes of Vaseline and advising us to smear it all over our faces to protect ourselves against tear gas. I remember being really uncomfortable sleeping on the ground and worrying that we might be gassed during the night. I also remember thinking that Vaseline wouldn’t work since I’d have to rub it in my eyes and inside my nose and mouth to be protected.

Interestingly, Rob was also at that protest but got to sleep in a real bed that night above a bookstore where some protesters had gathered. Our paths didn’t cross.
Protest is our first amendment right.We protest against situations — war, inequality, discrimination, a rigged system, sanctions against and invasions of foreign countries. The idea with democracy is founded on certain rights and many of them have been trashed during this administration.

It’s not as if the murder of George Floyd by a white cop is anything new. But because a Smart Phone captured it on video, because that video went viral, this murder is different. This moment is different. In his final moments, we hear George Floyd calling out to his dead mom.

When Rob and I heard that, we looked at each other and Rob vocalized my thought: He called out to his mom because she was there, ready to accompany him into the afterlife. And now the tragic death of George Floyd has triggered a massive movement for systemic change.

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10 Responses to A Paradigm Shift?

  1. Alisha says:

    I am sure it’s happening. We move towards being more kind and more equal to share this planet with all living. Else we perish! The system collapses! We feel the world state right now. Particularly here, the rich-poor equation is being felt more strongly and being opposed.Tens of thousands of migrant workers (who migrated from their native states) were left to fend for themselves when the country went into lockdown. My feeling is my country is sitting on a time bomb waiting to explode, if the powerful don’t make policies to aid the needy, we’ll soon see civil unrest.

    • Trish and Rob says:

      Stay safe and well, Alisha. You all are dealing with the same issues we are – the disparities.

    • Nancy says:

      My cousin made a comment the other day that has stuck with me – “pretty soon all the poor will have to eat are the rich.”

      And if history has anything to say about it…

  2. Nancy says:

    I, for one, intend to keep intense pressure on elected officials from now on. I’ve had enough of this BS. Hopefully Biden will bring some sanity to this nation, but even under Democratic presidents this militarizion of the police has advanced. I did a blog post on this topic several years ago and what stood out in my research was the lack of formal education for police officers, most are recruited from the military and were trained to kill or be killed, and often have PTSD. The massive amount of military gear they receive is one way for the Pentagon to churn the American public for more. No wonder so much of our tax dollars go for military spending. Mossad has trained our police force in some cities, and we know how aggressive they can be. All in all, there has been a progressive march, under all of the presidents for many years now to militarize our police.. It was under Obama’s watch that the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 allows for a President to take people off the street and disappear them without due process. It was passed on a Friday, just before Christmas when everyone was otherwise preoccupied. So NONE of them are without blame for where we are now. It’s time to hold them all accountable.

    • Trish and Rob says:

      True that none of them are without blame. And Obama made other mistakes, like pretending that the drinking water in Flint Michigan was just fine. However, compared to trump… Obama was an orator, elegant in speech. Trump always sounds like he’s suffering from a brain injury.

      • Nancy says:

        No comparison between Obama and Trump. One is a decent human being and one is not. Just that this issue is far-reaching. The Pentagon is a good place to start. I like what Hawaii has done and will no longer accept military gear. There needs to be a way to make sure our police are not out gunned without turning them into the pseudo soldiers they are now.

  3. Iysa says:

    I was surprised to see the visual and even more to read your impassioned essay. Paradigm shift was the topic of our final webinar on the coronavirus. It’s been on my mind for weeks.

    • Trish and Rob says:

      Good synchro then, Lysa! I guess all of us have to make sense of this in our individual ways.

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