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Endgame for John Wayne/Rambo/Trump, “Reality” TV and “Virtual” History

by Charlie Barber | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Last Word | August 31st, 2020

“I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me.” – Ralph Elison, Invisible Man, 1951

“Although the (1965) Voting Rights Act was sponsored by a…pro-civil-rights president who was…a Southern Democrat, most Southern Democrats opposed it. However, (LBJ) could count on strong support from Republicans: In the House, 82% of Republicans voted yes, compared to 78% of Democrats; in the Senate, 94% of Republicans voted yes, compared to 73% of Democrats. But things changed...In 1968, with the country deeply divided over civil rights and the Vietnam War, Richard Nixon and the Republican Party implemented the cynical “Southern Strategy” aimed at converting…white Southern Democrats into Republicans. Under the guise of its “Law and Order” slogan, the Nixon campaign made direct appeals to the opponents of civil rights and racial equality—and the GOP has never been the same.” - Pierre Atlas, Indiana Business Journal, 8/13/20

“It (Republican Convention of 1968, Miami) was not totally representative of the power of the Republican Party. Some poor delegates (were) there as guests…They believed in America as in God—they could not…expect that America might collapse and God survive…What an obsession was the Negro to average white American(s)… the obsession was hung on…how to divide the guilt, how much to the white man, how much to the dark? (For) the guiltiest man alive…not to know if one was partially innocent or very guilty had to establish an order of paralysis…if suburban America was not waiting for Georgie Wallace, it might still be waiting for Super-Wallace.” - Norman Mailer, Miami and the Siege of Chicago, 1968

“(Charles Manson’s) followers committed a series of nine murders at four locations in July and August 1969. Although the motive for the murders was disputed by Manson, the Los Angeles County district attorney believed that Manson intended to start a race war…The prosecution conceded that Manson never literally ordered the murders, but they contended that his ideology constituted an overt act of conspiracy.” - Wikipedia

“Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler (D) denounced President Trump on Sunday after the president attacked his leadership and claimed it was to blame for the escalating unrest in the city. ‘It's you who have created the hate and the division,’ Wheeler said at a news conference. "It's you who have not found a way to say the names of Black people killed by police officers even as people in law enforcement have. And it's you who claimed that white supremacists are good people.’” Justin Wise, The HILL, 8/31/20

“(Hitler’s and Himmler’s) SS began as an organization outside the law, became an organization that transcended the law, and ended up as an organization that undid the law…For violence to transform not just the atmosphere but also the system, the emotions of rallies and the ideology of exclusion have to be incorporated into the training of armed guards. These first challenge the police and military, and finally transform the police and the military.” Timothy Snyder, On Tyranny

“Defying Wisconsin governor, Trump says he will still visit Kenosha: President Donald Trump declared Monday that he would move ahead with a planned trip to Kenosha, Wis., in defiance of Gov. Tony Evers’ request that he stay away from the state amid raw tensions surrounding protests against racial injustice and police brutality.” - Quint Forgey, POLITICO, 8/31/20

It’s bad enough with gun nuts running around and shooting people, but the acceleration of white cops weaponizing “Deliberate Indifference,” against people of color, looks more like bounty hunting: “free enterprise--premeditated murder” sanctioned by law, as in Ancient Sparta and the Antebellum South or practiced within and beyond the law in all corners of Jim Crow America; dark skin as one more uncovered precondition in President Donald Trump’s war against our health and welfare. It’s even worse when our unglued Commander-in-Chief, is Rioter-in-Chief.

I taught European and World History at a low tuition, commuter friendly State University in Chicago, 1967-2000. Students from 50+ countries of origin (some considered sh*t holes by President Trump) were the first in their family to attend college. Some of the best were Chicago police officers, planning to enter teaching, after 20 years allowed them a living pension. My favorite cop student, Ken C., told me that reality TV cop shows of that time were more like the comical Barney Miller (1975-1982) than the violent N.Y.P.D. (1967-1969). Once, we were both using the University swimming pool and I saw his arm was in a sling: “I broke my arm chasing down a perp(etrator)” he said. Shooting was not an option he considered necessary. Imagine that!

Ken also told me that teaching and nursing were the only other professions he had any respect for, other than police work: “because you guys take as much “sh*t as we do.”

There were racist, undisciplined cops in Chicago’s ranks back then, of course, whose sense of realism, unlike Ken’s, was not tempered by a sense of humanity. After the Chicago Police “Riot” at the Democratic Convention in 1968, major attempts at reform of its paramilitary structure were undertaken, especially in the area of recruitment of women and people of color. Decades later, a female officer, asked about her treatment by fellow male officers, responded that she was usually treated well, excepting for “strategically placed jerks.”

“Strategically placed jerks,” using violence and racial profiling, are the main factors in lethal consequences for Americans of color, done in by those sworn to “preserve and protect.” It may be random, but it sure ain’t accidental, as many videos force us to observe. Too many “macho men” in blue uniform are weaned on a culture of resolving difficult problems by militarized force, rather than wisdom of beat cops who understand that “honey works better than vinegar.”

From Hollywood’s stages and FOX’s Roger Ailes and Sean Hannity, for the money of course, fiction as news, or even history, has been fed an hysterically crime conscious white America for decades. Subtlety in leadership is rejected. Instead we get John Wayne, Rambo, and cringe-worthy “Law n’ Order” Presidential campaigns from Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II. Such “royalty” from white vs. black America, has no room for Technicolor productions. Grim facts about redlining of black neighborhoods are filtered through rose-colored glasses.

Donald Trump’s Reality TV campaign of 2016 and the Republican National Convention of 2020 are logical and awful results. “Strategically placed jerks” have taken over the White House. The “Jerk-in-Chief” holds up an insanity mirror to the country. Thanks to willing executioners at FOX News, and right wing poison dispensers on Radio, TV and Facebook, at least a third of us see normality. As Democratic Presidential and Vice Presidential challengers, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, publicly confront Trump’s, Sean Hannity’s and Rush Limbaugh’s mystical connections to the sorcery of Charles Manson, it was time to consult my KGB animal advisors.

High Plains Reader: Although rainbows of racial and gender equality are visible this time, they may fade away forever from tyranny over our elections. A critical mass of white Americans, a few laying down their lives for the cause of Black Lives Matter, are finally ready for sanity and order that come from just laws, and preservers and protectors who actually preserve and protect. Will their voices be heard on November 3rd? President Trump still has many enablers. These jerks are strategically placed in executive branches and “news” outlets nationwide.

Putin: Not as many jerks as before. Remember: Trump is a coward. His weakness has helped his dictator flatterers the past four years, but that same yellow streak can aid democracy lovers in bringing back the rainbow that was promised by Barack Obama and Joe Biden 12 years ago.

Rasputin: People with backbones eventually stand up to Trump one way or another, either in silent sabotage over the past four years, or increasingly in the open as the days dwindle down toward election day. The timing is exquisite, with respect to short attention spans of voters who have other things to do, like survive a pandemic and economic crisis made worse by Trump.

HPR: The November 3rd elections are the only thing that can pull off a relatively peaceful revolution of fairness dreamed of in earlier violent confrontations. Trump has many power hungry, criminal billionaires, and useful idiots wielding AR-15s, willing to end democracy in his second term. They have always hated democracy: a publicly owned Post Office, regulators who regulated, and other lovers of what the late Senator John McCain (R-AZ) called “regular order.”

Mr. Swamp Fox: Violence is the autocrats’ game, and violent outbreaks, either from privation or provocation, create the visuals that Trump toadies hope will justify “strong man” approaches.

Prudence Possum: Here’s the bad news. Trump’s White House gang, and Senator “Moscow Mitch” McConnell plan to “starve out” Americans, by withholding essential services needed now, into the Fall, and blame it on Democrats and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). My swamp creature friends and I overheard two of the biggest jerks, Mindless Mark Meadows and Badass Bill Barr (B-6th power) discussing the pros and cons of their “mayhem management.”

Mindless Meadows: I think you’d better unleash your “October” surprise by Labor Day. Our boy who cries “hoax” in the White House is running out of fake mayhem to compete with Covid-19, Hurricanes, and high profile basketball players no longer willing to “shut up and dribble.”

B-6th power: The ball players aren’t the ones I’m worried about. Their billionaire owners control the fate and fancies of more voters in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Arizona, and Florida than we do. They might even force local Republicans to hold honest elections, or the local police board in Kenosha to fire that killer cop, and prosecute him to the fullest. It’s not like stonewalling in Louisville, KY, where Mitch is still in control of things.

Mindless Meadows: Actually Bill, Attorneys General in some of those States are Democrats. You missed a few. Killjoy (Postmaster General Louis DeJoy) is being sued by dozens of them. He could land in the slammer before Trump does.

B-6th power: Damn, that’s right! All these fascist wannabe tactics we’re trying can’t possibly make up for Trumpies like Killjoy who are as massively incompetent as our boy Trump.

Mindless Meadows: At least Democrats still think they have to play by the rules. We don’t.

B-6th power: I’ve got news for you Mark. This country has laws that favor Democrats more than you think. I’ll be lucky to have a law license after all the rules and laws I’ve bent, but breaking them is one thing I won’t do for our pal Trump. Didn’t you notice that Moscow Mitch made his pitch for Trump from the safety of Kentucky, rather than that super-spreading madhouse on the White House lawn? Have you forgotten that (Democratic VP Candidate) Kamala Harris, a heartbeat away from next year’s Presidency, is a former California prosecutor?

Mindless Meadows: Are you saying that Biden and Harris are going to beat us in November?

B-6th power: I don’t like our chances. Massive voter turnout has usually defeated voter suppression in the past. And FOX news is beginning to lose its magic to sports channels. It’s easy to demonize Unions, but not popular millionaire ballplayers, with billionaire support.

Mindless Meadows: What do you mean? Is a revolution going on before the election?

B-6th power: Yes. You and that burned out, ex-wrestling coach bawling about “crime in the streets”(Cong. Jim Jordan, R-OH) must smoke those Tea Bags you’ve been peddling since 2010. There are more white fans of the National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball than black ones. Those folks support players, coaches and management, speaking out against unwarranted police violence against black people and systemic racism that goes back 400 years.

Mindless Meadows: I do find it strange that FOX Sports always sticks more to objective truths than FOX news, but I never thought that such a thing would find its way into politics.

B-6th power: It’s worse than that. Sport announcers and sports talk show hosts, who in the past were expected to “shut up and drivel,” now interview black strategists like Dr. Harry Edwards, organizer of black athlete demonstrations at the 1968, Mexico City Olympics. Every game in the NBA and MLB now features serious conversations about racial injustice and get out the vote strategies to do something about it. Americans need their sports on TV as much as drugs in the mail. Sure. We’ll play dirty. That’s what we do. But 2016’s playbook is out of trick plays.

Mindless Meadows: I should have noticed something was up when NFL owner Daniel Snyder dropped the racist nickname from his football team in Washington, D.C.

B-6th power: Dan Snyder is in a heap of trouble over sexual harassment charges. You will know that the day of strategically placed, sexually chauvinist, white male privileged jerks is done if he changes the name of his team to the Washington Alligators, to properly reflect D.C. culture, and offers a tryout for backup Quarterback to Colin Kaepernick.

HPR: Wow Ms. Possum! That was quite a conversation you heard.

Prudence Possum: My alligator friends enjoyed the reference to possible future fame for their predatory natures, but they are more intrigued by possibilities for greater mayhem and carnage due to Trump’s tweeting.

Agatha Alligator: We have been composing a mystery, written by a “virtual” Agatha Christie in which Miss Marple’s niece, Mary Marple, investigates Trump Border Wall guru, Steven Miller, and his research into Charles Manson’s efforts to start a race war in the 1960s by inducing his supporters to kill people he didn’t like for one reason or another. We are going to call it: “The Twitter Murders.”

HPR: That’s awful!

Prudence Possum: Perhaps, but the real Trump and Miller policies are worse. We also found a memo from one of the many White House insiders who have been deserting the inner circle like rats from a sinking ship. It read like this:

“(Lawyer Henry Page) has,…opinions about the future of the private security industry, and contrasts the post-9/11 ‘license to kill’ to a passage from A Man for All Seasons in which Thomas More stands by the letter of the law against the wishes of the king, who wants to bend the rules to divorce his wife...:‘If the laws protect you like trees from the devil, and you cut them down to get to the devil, what will protect you when the devil comes after you?’” - Robert Young Pelton, Licensed to Kill: Hired Guns in the War on Terror, 2006

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