By Robert A. Vella
Today we’ll examine a lot of evidence indicating that fundamental change is happening in America and around the world specifically regarding police reform and generally concerning the legacy of western imperialism which has been based inexplicitly on social stratification since the collapse of monarchism in Europe following World War I. This underlying sentiment has been building in western democracies for decades after the neoliberal revolution of the 1980s, although it manifested itself more expressively as a reaction to longstanding racial injustices in the U.S. The spark that ignited the massive protests now occurring across the globe was, of course, the brutal videotaped murder of George Floyd by a white policeman (Derek Chauvin) in Minneapolis, Minnesota. However, that populist firestorm would never have erupted had not an explosive tinderbox of discontent been continuously fed by a callous and self-serving social hierarchy.
Sir John Dalberg-Acton (a.k.a. Lord Action) wrote in 1887:
“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority, still more when you superadd the tendency or the certainty of corruption by authority.“
That quote is the most revealing appraisal of authoritarianism in human history, at least in my opinion. Individuals simply cannot be entrusted with undue social influence or political power because their baser instincts will inevitably dominate their behavior. It is incongruous with stable, civilized society. Autocrats always end up destroying more than what they had promised to construct. In January of 1933, Adolf Hitler declared the beginning of a “Thousand-year Reich.” Just twelve years later, Germany and much of the world lay in ruins. Dictators always make such grandiose proclamations. In 2016, Donald Trump promised to “Make America Great Again.” Four years later, America has been devastated by a deadly pandemic, economic collapse, institutional distrust, cultural strife, and international ridicule.
Like all things in nature, social imbalances are always rebalanced. People can be suppressed, oppressed, injured and killed; but, only up to a certain point. Sooner or later rebellion occurs. That is what we are witnessing today. It’s pent-up populist angst suddenly an unexpectedly released. What results from this moment in history has yet to be determined. Change is unpredictable. However, the sins of commission and omission are eliciting both admissions of guilt and stubborn defiance. Those in power are torn. Some are trying to rectify the injustices of society, while others are adamantly trying to perpetuate it. For the rest of us, their choices are easy to see. Who is doing right and who is doing wrong? You already know the answers.
Here’s the news:
Americans overwhelmingly support the nationwide protests that have taken place since the killing of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis, and they say police forces have not done enough to ensure that blacks are treated equally to whites, according to a Washington Post-Schar School poll.
President Trump receives negative marks for his handling of the protests, with 61 percent saying they disapprove and 35 percent saying they approve. Much of the opposition to Trump is vehement, as 47 percent of Americans say they strongly disapprove of the way the president has responded to the protests.
The poll highlights how attitudes about police treatment of black Americans are changing dramatically. More than 2 in 3 Americans (69 percent) say the killing of Floyd represents a broader problem within law enforcement, compared with fewer than 1 in 3 (29 percent) who say the Minneapolis killing is an isolated incident.
WASHINGTON — That massive fence erected around Lafayette Park has become a do-it-yourself gallery of protest art. Messages, posters and portraits, ranging from loving to enraged, almost blot out the view of the White House across the way.
One block away at the corner of 16th and I streets — a constant flash point for most of last week — the calliope version of “La Cucaracha” rang out from an ice cream truck parked just outside the police roadblock. In front of St. John’s Episcopal Church, it was so tranquil Monday afternoon you could hear the birds chirping while a white visitor paid for a $20 Black Lives Matter T-shirt with Venmo.
As the nation’s capital emerges from a violent and chaotic 10-day stretch of protests and street battles, a different mood is taking hold. The anger has given way to something closer to a street fair as community leaders, members of Congress and the D.C. government have rallied to the protesters’ cause.
For the following story, note that:
- Republicans are in control of the state government.
- Republicans are worried that Georgia could swing towards Democrats in the 2020 election.
- The largest concentration of Democratic voters reside in the Atlanta area.
Significant voting system failures have been reported this morning throughout the metro Atlanta area, from malfunctioning voting machines to precinct locations with no new machines whatsoever, in an ominous sign for Georgia’s much-contested new voting system.
In many instances voters have headed to the polls, donning masks and spacing themselves out in line amid the coronavirus pandemic, only to find themselves waiting hours with no progress in sight.
Voters have reported issues in essentially every single metro Atlanta county, from Canton to Riverdale to nearly every corner of the city of Atlanta.
Those states are not reporting probable cases, according to the daily case count listed on the CDC’s website. Probable cases include those that show evidence of an infection without the confirmation of a lab test and cases where coronavirus was listed as a cause or contributing cause of death but are not confirmed with a lab test.
Some of the states with the largest populations — like California, Florida, New York and Texas — are among those listed as not reporting probable cases, despite CDC guidance that they should be included in the case count.
This comes as 26 states see an increased or steady rate of new cases. Accurate rates of new cases are among the metrics that help officials track how the disease is spreading in the US and make decisions about how to reopen and loosen restrictions put in place to mitigate its impact.