As we move from chaos and calamity back to community, can we take honest stock of just about the worst period of time in living memory and salvage something good? Not even halfway through it, 2020 – afflicted by COVID-19 truths and lies and the George Floyd protests – already ranks as Annus Horribilis in Extremis.
Lurching from the left’s attempts to assassinate Orange Caesar with the shiv of impeachment to the Coronavirus plague to a national reckoning on police brutality, race, peaceful protest, and lawless nihilism, the new decade has only just begun. Sometimes memes capture the truth like the wisdom of an ancient Sanskrit sage. The one where one alien tells another that the show he’s binge-watching is season 2020 of Earth and “S—‘s gettin’ wild!” nails it. But if we can rearview mirror these shattering events and engage in honest conversations about them – ay, there’s the rub – could we pull a rabbit out of an excrement-filled hat?
Chaos on the Streets
Don’t hold your breath, but has the rattling, nationwide violence and mayhem seamlessly braided into the legitimate protests following Floyd’s sickening death reached its apogee? Trump has pulled the National Guard out of Washington, D.C., stating, “Everything is under perfect control.” Whether that is entirely true or not, is it trending quieter now – although somewhat imperceptibly? Most of us would like to think so.
The majority of Americans are not big fans of chaos, anarchy, mayhem, arson, violence, or bonfiring the rule of law – despite what some media outlets would like to force-feed you. A Morning Consult poll from June 2 showed that 66% of registered voters support the National Guard being called in to quell violence in our cities. The same survey found 55% of respondents supported the military being brought in to keep peace in the major metropolitan areas.
You wouldn’t know this from the usual hurly-burly at the credibility-anemic New York Times, however, where editors printed Senator Tom Cotton’s (R-AR) op-ed about bringing in the military to protect cities – only to quickly walk it back, prostrating themselves to their angry editorial staff. If there’s a sadder, more slow-motion demise in the history of journalism than that of The Times, it’s being hidden in an underground bunker somewhere. The spectacle of the once-trusted, storied, and venerable Gray Lady Hindenburg-ing itself daily, as it prints all the news that’s fit to spin, is a Fourth Estate Greek tragedy. Oh, the humanity.
As the ashes settle, as bricks return to pallets for rebuilding razed structures instead of for skull bashing, and Antifa rioters go home to video games and sloppy joes at mom’s house, the rest of us have some questions. As crucial as organized labor was for the lower and middle classes in the last century and a half, does the undifferentiated, ironclad solidarity demanded by unions protect those in their ranks who should be cast out? The three police officers who watched their colleague murder Floyd in broad daylight did nothing and surely bear responsibility for his death, as does Officer Derek Chauvin. But are they as unthinkingly brutal as he is, or have they been conditioned by the monolithic groupthink of police unions never to break ranks – even when it means a man could die?
One of the officers had been on the job only four days when faced with the choice to confront a senior training officer choking out a man in front of a horrified crowd of onlookers. Was being new on the job what stopped this man from acting? Or was the union of which he had just become a member derelict in leaving a man like Chauvin on the job in the first place? Teachers’ unions also protect legions of bad apples – but a student can overcome having a lousy teacher. How do you overcome a man kneeling on your neck for nine minutes?
Statistics and common sense don’t support the narrative that policing is mired in systemic racism – but this is cold comfort to those blacks and other minorities subject to it when it does occur. False narratives impede our ability to confront the issues head-on with honesty.
If there is a silver lining to the relentless tumult of the past weeks, it is that we may begin anew to discuss in earnest how to move forward honestly, not only in honor of Floyd’s tragic death but also from the international farce that the Coronavirus has become. In 2017, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimated that deaths from seasonal influenza are as high as 646,000 worldwide – and that didn’t even factor in the terrible 2017-2018 season, during which 80,000-100,000 Americans alone died from the flu. We are within a week or two of the beginning of summer, and there have been 400,000 deaths from COVID-19 internationally. The difference? At least 250,000 more deaths three years ago and the stark fact that we didn’t stop the world dead in its tracks for seasonal flu.
Our current lockstep obedience is based on the lies and collusion of the World Health Organization and China, as well as on the idiotically flawed Imperial College model pimped by professional ninny Neil Ferguson that locked us in our homes like shuddering rabbits for most of this year.
“Beware of bad actors in moments of upheaval and relative calm.”
There is zero science indicating that muzzles – I mean masks – work and plenty to suggest they harm the wearer by restricting oxygen flow, which can reactivate latent viruses in the system. The same is true of social distancing and quarantine. They have been revealed for the tragi-comical joke they are by the protests of the last two weeks. If you’ve seen demonstrators wearing masks, it wasn’t because they were deathly afraid of contracting the Doomsday Flu but of being identified on camera. Dr. Anthony Fauci is predicting a spike in Coronavirus cases after the events of the past two weeks, but does anyone care anymore? Risk to children is barely perceptible, and the lion’s share of COVID-19 deaths are those 70-90 years old. The whole thing can now be revealed as the coordinated, international gaslighting to concentrate globalist power that it always was.
It is time for TOYMA – Take Off Your Masks, America! Go outside, get some free vitamin D from the sunshine, and remember to middle finger Bill Gates when he offers you his miracle jab for Coronavirus. It is a lie that America supports violent reprisals against the police and our cities for the terrible actions of a few and that quarantines, masks, and social distancing did anything other than apply a baseball bat to our collective knees.
There are a few things about which we should be clear-eyed as we move past nationwide demonstrations and Coronavirus lockdowns. As is the case during any flu outbreak, we need to isolate the elderly and most vulnerable, while optimizing for them medical care and opportunities to be visited by their loved ones. We need to immediately open America again, without science-free social distancing and subjugating masks.
We need to examine the cover provided to bad cops by police union contracts. We need to establish open, vigorous, honest conversations at state and federal levels on police brutality, racism, black-on-black crime, and how to bridge-build between warring, distrustful factions. And we need to uphold law enforcement’s work and reject anarchist cries for defunding the police, even as we make our officers accountable for unlawful actions.
Together, we need to reclaim the freedoms we willingly and unwittingly surrendered during “safer at home” measures because our leaders told us we had to. As with the prevailing narrative that desecration of our cities was warranted to honor Floyd ‘s memory, we need to be more discerning in the future about simply obeying and to what and whom we listen. If we can, 2020 may be salvaged for its painful but instructive lesson.
From now on, free thinking is required of all global citizens, as we make sense of this moment so clearly weaponized to the advantage of the elite and the powerful. Beware of bad actors in moments of upheaval and relative calm. They must be seen for who they are because they have always worn masks – and never take them off.
Read more from Pennel Bird.