A Few Words About This Week's Protests

I need to say a few words about what our country, and indeed the world, has been experiencing this week. Our system of policing in the US has fully come into question, and it is long overdue. We are in no position to judge other countries when we ourselves operate in the very manners we condemn. We have become a system based on punishment and enforcement rather than one of support and aid, as was laid bare with the murder of George Floyd and so many others before him.
     With Covid, mass incarceration, and mass unemployment, our country has reached a breaking point. While we've been steadily moving to a more and more polarized system of 'haves' and 'have nots' we have reached the inevitable point of insupportability. The social contract, which Trevor Noah spoke so eloquently about, is broken and no longer tenable. Our economy and our police force has become a culture in opposition to the best interests of the people they are supposed to be serving.
     I wish we had listened to John Oliver when he talked about police accountability back in 2016. And I hope we'll listen to him now, when he talks about the root causes of how and why the police system is broken. I hope we will realize that we have asked the police to take on too many reactive responsibilities to issues that should be solved proactively - those of hunger, poverty, homelessness, mental illness, etc. I hope we will take the truly spiritual path to help the weaker among us, and honor life in all its forms. While these are words from the Christian Bible, I believe all of us can defend the ideas that it represents:
Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God. He is the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them—he remains faithful forever. He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets prisoners free, the Lord gives sight to the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous. The Lord watches over the foreigner and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked. — Psalm 146:5-9
The ideas are these:
     We should uphold the causes of the oppressed.
     We should give food to the hungry.
     We should set prisoners free - and stop the rampage that has oppressed black men unfairly for too long.
     We should help the blind see that we are all one.
     We should lift those under the weights of life that are too heavy to bear.
     We should watch over and protect those who come to our shores in need.
     We should support those who have been forced into situations in which they cannot support themselves.
     We should push back against a system run by greed and racism.

      I hope that those who follow the voices that espouse might is right, to each his own, and the idea that we do not have the responsibility to help our brothers and sisters will realize that, in this Covid-infected world, we all rely on each other to survive and thrive. No-one is immune, we are connected. That they will understand it is more important to invest in personal protective gear for our front-line healthcare workers than in riot gear, to invest in education rather than incarceration, to invest in all people rather than in corporations that do not recognize the value of the individuals within them.
     It is why I have created my VOTE mask, because this election is vital to determining who we are as a nation of values, as a true community...
and why I created my line of protest images...
Please, won't you join me in doing what we can to instigate change? The Covid virus has given us a rare opportunity to reflect upon the things that truly matter to us: community, connection, each-other. Let's not let this opportunity pass us by.

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