“Please. I Can’t Breathe…”
On Monday, May 25th, a video surfaced of a Minneapolis police officer kneeling on George Floyd’s neck. “Please. I can’t breathe…” the dying Floyd pleads to his executioner. Floyd, an unarmed black man, became a new face for the revitalized movement demonstrating for police reform. In a moment of unity, observers from all walks of the political spectrum expressed their disgust at the officer’s actions. The killing has resulted in the firing of four officers involved in the scene, the arrest of the offending officer, and a city on fire. The following days have seen riots across the country and a renewed distrust for our local institutions.
Cops Stand with Peaceful Protestors
Across social media are images and stories of burning cop cars, the destruction of businesses, and even people dying. However, the protests that deserve attention, and are not getting any, are the peaceful ones where protestors and cops stand side by side to make a difference. In New Jersey, a white cop marched alongside protestors, helping to hold a sign that says “standing in solidarity.” Atlanta’s police chief went into the protests to listen to the people and condemned the murder of George Floyd. Two cops held an “End Police Brutality” sign up at a rally. This is how we move forward as a country and keep these protests peaceful. We need cops who are willing to listen and protestors who are willing to talk.
Dominic Goings? Nope, Our Dom is Here to Stay
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson continued to enjoy high levels of public support until it was revealed that his chief advisor, Dominic Cummings, violated lockdown rules. Mr. Cummings has refused to resign and the Prime Minister has backed him, despite pressure from Conservative MPs and a decline in approval ratings. With the reputation of a political Machiavel, Mr. Cummings both helped Mr. Johnson to his crushing victory and masterminded the 2016 Vote Leave campaign. His notoriety earned him a portrayal from Benedict Cumberbatch in the BBC documentary Brexit: The Uncivil War. The Prime Minister’s willingness to defend Mr. Cummings at the heavy price of his political credibility shows how reliant he is on his chief advisor to implement his post-Brexit agenda to transform Britain into a vibrant economy. However uncertain the world of British politics may be, it’s very clear: our Dom is here to stay.
The End of Hong Kong
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared that Hong Kong is no longer autonomous from China. With the imposition of a national security law on Hong Kong, China has nullified the One Country Two Systems policy and broken its treaty with the UK. Hong Kong was one of the freest places in the world with a representative government, laissez-faire capitalism, and the recognition of individual rights. However, Hong Kong as we knew it is dying in one of the most tragic political losses of freedom in the 21 Century unfolds before our eyes.
Trump’s Tweets Are Disqualifying
This month marked the lowest point of President Trump’s four years in office thus far. As deaths from COVID-19 surpassed 100,000 and riots plagued major cities nationwide, the President took to Twitter. In the span of four days, the President peddled a ludicrous conspiracy theory involving the 2001 death of a Congressional intern, employed deplorable rhetoric in discussing the riots in Minneapolis, and pushed the widely-debunked claim that mail-in voting leads to large scale voter fraud. My question to those that continue to condone the President’s divisive tweets: what does he have to say to disqualify him from the office he seeks to retain in November?
Food for trying times
One of the greatest concerns during this pandemic besides getting toilet paper was the ability to get fresh food when needed. Seeing billions of pounds of food going to waste amid decreased demand, the Trump administration took the initiative to create the “Farmers to Families Food Box” program. This program buys food from contracted farmers and redistributes the food to food banks and community centers around the nation. With corona, many farmers lost their customers when restaurants, sporting events, and colleges shut down. Most commodities have a short lifetime and the food goes to waste without a backup plan in place. That’s where the Farmers to families program comes in. It protects farmers and allows families to provide the food they need. President Trump praised the program and said “It’ll be helping farmers, ranchers, but it’ll be bringing food to some of the food lines and some of the food kitchens that you’ve been seeing on television.”
So Are We Open?
I’ve been out to eat a few times now. Runners, bikers, walkers, and their dogs fill the trail near my house. Protests, peaceful and otherwise, continue in cities across the nation. More stores are opening up. At least from the perspective of my window, it seems like America is returning to normal. The Washington Post reports that studies using cellphone data confirm this observation. More people are leaving their homes and traveling farther. What this means for the pandemic is a mystery but if reports about its inability to survive outside, in sunlight are to be believed, then perhaps we can enjoy these next few months of summer in a quarantine respite. It’s summertime and the living is easy.
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Author: Columnist Team