I think it was 1968 when I flew off the backseat of a Ford Sedan and smacked my nose pretty hard on the back of the front seat. It seems my father had run the car into the back end of a delivery truck that was stopped at the Greenbriar light, west bound on Sunset Boulevard in Houston. We were only going about five miles an hour and my nose didn’t even bleed, but I hit it just right for maximum pain of the non-bleeding sort. The truck wasn’t damaged, but the Ford was crunched up a bit, some radiator damage. The truck driver was a young black man in a clean white T-shirt and he looked scared. I had never seen fear on a grown man’s face. I didn’t know what to make of it. I was six years old. The first policeman on the scene was, as I remember, a walking cop. I don’t remember seeing a patrol car or a motorcycle, and he had neither a helmet nor tall boots. He wore the brown uniform of sixties era Houston police and he had a pen and a ticket book ready. I couldn’t hear the officer’s questions, but he glared at my father, who kept repeating, “No sir, it was my fault, I was looking off across the street at the house with the “For Sale” sign . . .” I don’t know how many times my father had to repeat his knowledge of the fact that he was at fault in the accident and that, if a ticket needed to be written, he should be the recipient, but the conversation went on for a while. I don’t remember if a ticket was written. I do remember the driver’s fear and the policeman’s increasing anger. The features of the cop’s face just seemed to disappear. He had no lips by the time he left. Some other cops came and looked around and shrugged and drove off. They didn’t seem so angry. The cops and the truck all went away, and a friendly good ol’ boy came along with a tow truck, and I didn’t think much about that day for many years.
We had no cell phones or camcorders in 1968. That incident could have ended really badly, phones or no phones. The truck driver knew it. I didn’t. I hear the Houston police are a much better force now, but, fifty two years later, I’ll bet a black man involved in a wreck at Greenbriar and Sunset would still know that fear that the young truck driver knew all those years ago. He would still be a black man involved in a wreck in a white neighborhood.
On one of our pre pandemic tours, back in the old world, my band and I played on a fall night in Holyoke Massachusetts. I was hungry after soundcheck and managed to google up a Puerto Rican restaurant. I had never eaten Puerto Rican food, so I hoofed it over there just to find that the place was closing at 6PM. I was dismayed. After the show I asked a local why the place closed so early. She replied,
“Because if you’re Puerto Rican on the streets of Holyoke after dark, you will be arrested.
For years, I had honestly believed we had improved.
So, Trump has signed an executive order requiring meat processing plants to stay open, despite them having become Covid-19 hotspots, on the grounds that meat is essential. I love meat, but most of the world considers it a luxury, not an essential. During the last depression, my grandfather spent his days working for a veterinarian, digging pits with a team of mules and a fresno(big scoop that you dragged behind a team to dig pits back when back hoes and dozers were unusual), then herding cattle into the pits, then shooting the cattle to death, then covering the carcasses. There was no market for beef on the hoof, not because a pandemic closed the packers down, but because no one could afford meat. So when the recent lock down loomed, I bought forty pounds of dried rice and forty pounds of dried beans. I bought some meat too. It might not be enough. But I believe I'll be spending the bulk of my food dollars on non perishable staple items, because those are essential. Trump's executive order is just an extension of his war on immigrants. Should we require non white immigrants to risk their health so us privileged white folks can eat pork? I don't think so. I feel bad for the meat producers with no one to sell to, but I'd rather euthanize the pigs than the people.
Now you say you were being sarcastic when you put forth the notion that injecting disinfectants into the human body might be a viable treatment for Covid-19. Assuming, for the sake of polite discourse, you are now telling the truth, the question becomes, why, at a national briefing concerning the greatest national and global crisis of our lifetime, we're you wasting our time with your sarcasm? We don't need your sarcasm and we don't care about your ratings. We need leadership, and you are either incapable or disinterested in leading. If you are a wartime president, then fight the war. Mandate that someone make ventilators, just as Franklin Roosevelt ordered typewriter manufacturers to re-tool and make guns for the war effort. Mandate that some one make enough test kits to test all Americans, so we can safely go back to work, because we know who's infected, even though our knowledge of the real numbers will make you look real bad.
Of course, you're lying about having been sarcastic. One of your handlers finally got through to you and convinced you that your performance at the briefing was moronic, but in the desperate quest for damage control, all the handlers failed to notice that resorting to sarcasm at such a time is every bit as moronic and unprofessional as believing the president's bullshit. Pence, McConnell, 25th this guy. You can do it. Just say you're upholding the Constitution. Your claws are getting tangled in Trumpty's coat tails and he's dragging you under. How much more does he have to resemble the Mel Gibson character in a certain episode of South Park for you to realize that you can no longer hide the fact that the president is not mentally sound?
So now the President wants a “National Heroes Garden” eh? I guess he’s been studying fascist dictators again, has moved on from Mussolini, and discovered Francisco Franco’s “Valle de los Caidos” up the hill from Madrid, The Valley of the Fallen, which Franco billed as a national act of reconciliation after the Spanish Civil War, supposedly a monument to the fallen on both sides, but really a monument to Franco himself. No doubt the President is perusing a list of bronze sculptors who might produce his orange likeness to be placed in the garden. I would suggest Terry Allen, of Santa Fe. Terry would have such fun with Trump. Check out Terry’s “Corporate Head” online and just imagine.
The President seems to care a lot about the dead. He doesn’t seem to care much about the living, or the currently dying, unless they constitute MAGA votes. If he likes the dead so much, he should be a happy man, because American dead are stacking up like cordwood on his watch, while he plays golf and bitches about his press coverage and his polling numbers.
I propose that The President, by executive order, create a park commemorating American dead from both Covid-19 and racial profiling, as an act of national reconciliation. He’d need maybe a half section of land, at this point, only about a tenth the acreage of El Valle de los Caidos, maybe not big enough to suit his ego. Trump would want his park to be bigger than Franco’s.
I sense a lot of anger in your Twitter rants, of late.You seem to be upset about your media coverage. I must say, I can't remember a president who didn't incur a certain amount of scorn from the national media. The media has always loved to pick on the president. As a TV personality, sir, how can you blame them? Picking on the president produces an instant uptick in ratings because there are always plenty of people pissed off at the president. Just ask Jimmy Carter or George W. Bush, or Barack Obama. Every president has had to grow a thick skin in order to carry out his(so far, "his") duties. Your skin doesn't seem to be growing any thicker, sir. And what can a president expect when he presides over an American death toll that over the last four months is only about eight thousand shy of American military losses during the entire ten year Vietnam conflict? By the time this pandemic dies down, more of us will have died on your watch than on those of Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon combined. Dare you waste any more of our time with your piss ant crybaby whining about your press coverage. If you think you are a president deserving of the title, put on your big boy britches and go to work. Start by getting us tested. If you are not brave enough to face the real numbers, step aside, sir. Pence might at least be an able administrator, knowledgeable enough to listen to experts.