It was a bad week in Amer­ica

Times Standard (Eureka) - - OPINION - Matthew Owen Matthew Owen re­sides in Eureka, and be­lieves the First Amend­ment al­lows for free speech, even when mar­ried to a Hum­boldt County su­per­vi­sor.

It was a bad week in Amer­ica. From New York’s Cen­tral Park to the streets of Min­neapo­lis, Min­nesota to the White House, three ig­no­rant white peo­ple showed the worst of our coun­try.

“Karen” is slang for an en­ti­tled, ob­nox­ious, mid­dle-aged, an­gry, usu­ally di­vorced, white woman, which fits Amy Cooper of New York to a T. Last Mon­day, Chris­tian Cooper, a Har­vard-ed­u­cated black man was bird-watch­ing in Cen­tral Park when he came across Amy Cooper (no re­la­tion) walk­ing her dog with­out a leash in an area of the park where leashes are re­quired. He po­litely asked her to put her dog on a leash when things es­ca­lated. Amy called 911 and said, “There’s an African-Amer­i­can man who’s record­ing me and threat­en­ing my­self and my dog.” If a white man had asked her to put her dog on a leash would she have told 9-1-1, “There’s a white man threat­en­ing my­self and my dog”? Would race have en­tered the equa­tion? What would have hap­pened 60 years ago in the South had a white woman said “a black man is threat­en­ing me”? Amy was an in­vest­ment banker at Franklin Tem­ple­ton In­vest­ments. She has since been ter­mi­nated by the com­pany. Amy also sur­ren­dered her dog back to Aban­doned An­gels. Amy may have an MBA from Univer­sity of Chicago’s Booth School of Busi­ness, how­ever she has zero in­tel­li­gence when it comes to so­cial skills. Her life got turned up­side down in two min­utes of be­ing ob­nox­ious.

Also last Mon­day, Ge­orge Floyd, an­other un­armed black man, was killed — no, mur­dered — by the Min­neapo­lis po­lice. Mr. Floyd was pulled over for an al­leged try­ing to use a coun­ter­feit $20 bill. Mr. Floyd was hand­cuffed be­hind his back and placed face-down on the street. Why he wasn’t placed in­side the po­lice ve­hi­cle? While Mr. Floyd was hand­cuffed face­down on the ground, Of­fi­cer Derek Chau­vin puts his knee on the man’s neck for al­most nine min­utes while Mr. Floyd could be heard scream­ing over and over again, “Please, please, please I can’t breathe, please man. I can’t breathe.” How do we know this? By­standers were film­ing the po­lice’s ac­tions on their cell phones and post­ing on so­cial me­dia. After six min­utes, Mr. Floyd stopped say­ing any­thing be­cause he stopped breath­ing. What did Of­fice Chau­vin do then? He kept his knee on Mr. Floyd’s throat for al­most an­other three min­utes. So­cial me­dia sites (Face­book, YouTube, Twit­ter) do not al­low mur­der to be posted on their plat­forms. How­ever you can wit­ness a dis­turb­ing mur­der with a sim­ple Google search as all have al­lowed it to be shown. This is Amer­ica 2020, folks. This ain’t Mis­sis­sippi, 1960. We should be a bet­ter na­tion, re­gard­less of the color of your skin or the size of your bank ac­count. Be­cause of this mur­der of an­other un­armed black man by the po­lice, civil protests led to ri­ot­ing around the na­tion.

While I firmly be­lieve in your right to peace­fully protest, ri­ot­ing only makes things worse. I lived in L.A. dur­ing the three days of Rod­ney King riots. What started off as com­mu­nity anger turned into a free-for-all of what­ever you could steal be­fore burn­ing the busi­ness to the ground. St. Paul, Min­nesota Mayor Melvin Carter said Satur­day that a vast ma­jor­ity of the ri­ot­ers ar­rested overnight were from out of state. That changes the dy­namic from peace­ful protest to “Purge” vi­o­lence.

Which brings me to the third white id­iot this week. Yes, our Twit­terer in Chief. As the ri­ot­ing es­ca­lated in Min­nesota, Trump tweeted, “I will send in the Na­tional Guard & get the job done right ..... ” Only prob­lem is the pres­i­dent has no au­tho­riza­tion over the state’s Na­tional Guard as the Na­tional Guard is un­der state gov­er­nors’ con­trol as com­man­ders-in-chief. The Posse Comi­ta­tus Act of 1878 lim­its the use of U.S. mil­i­tary within the United States; how­ever, Na­tional Guard can be mo­bi­lized at any time by pres­i­den­tial or­der Sec­tion 1076 (more Ge­orge W. Bush Pa­triot Act B.S.) , which has never been used as we don’t want to see the Army and Marines on our city streets. Trump then tweeted, “When the loot­ing starts, the shoot­ing starts,” which was in­fa­mously said by Mi­ami Po­lice Chief Wal­ter Headley in 1967 to quell ur­ban (black) un­rest. When our coun­try needed a leader, in­stead we got Don­ald Trump, who tweeted about “Sleepy Joe” Bi­den, “Oba­m­a­gate,” and “Psy­cho Joe Scar­bor­ough” and 2001 ac­ci­den­tal death of for­mer Con­gress­man Scar­bor­ough’s in­tern Lori Klausutis.

We not only can do bet­ter, we must do bet­ter mov­ing for­ward.

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