George Floyd was a black man killed by police last week in Minneapolis. An officer knelt on his neck as a control tactic while George pleaded for his life saying (this should sound familiar) “I can’t breathe”. Nine minutes the officer stood his ground, kneeling on a person’s neck, while bystanders told him to stop. Our of defiance, stubbornness, and fear, the officer killed him. He didn’t want to be wrong, didn’t want to appear weak by stopping and listening to his victim or bystanders. And now a man is dead who should have lived. Who should not have been stopped at all.
And now there are riots in cities across the country — Denver, Los Angelos, Washington D.C., Boston. Last night, the evening of June first, looters came to downtown Providence and trashed most of the businesses on Westminster street. Businesses like Civil Skateboard shop, who are so in the side of Black Lives Matter that they painted a black power fist over the boarded up windows. Places like AS220’s Mathewson Street gallery. AS220! The safe haven for weirdos of any color, nationality, gender, or sexuality. Bored white teenagers — or worse, right-wing instigators — are invading protests. The media pounces on the looters, who too often are not the protestors. The gray areas of rage, injustice, fighting power with violence… all these things are mixing together which makes having conversations more difficult.
Meanwhile, President Assclown picks a fight with Twitter as they censor his Tweets for violating their terms of service. He abuses the National Guard to clear a path through peaceful protests to capture a photo opportunity in front of a church. And we wonder why some folks want to burn everything down.
While I don’t feel like I have anything to add to the conversation online, I do want to do something of substance. What that is I am unclear about. My buddy invited me to take part in a CPR training course this weekend, which feels like something. Something I can do to support those that need to fight. Something that I can use during this pandemic. Something that gives me another tool towards empathy.
And COVID marches forward during all this. Some places are reopening slowly. Churches are open, which sounds like a terrible idea. Barbershops and hairdressers who take the proper precautions can open. Some restaurants with large indoors spaces are opening to try it, while most of the rest are opening into the outdoors. Still, a few more are publicly saying “No, we do not think it is safe enough to open.” And the debate ensues.
My statistic round up:
- Over 40 million Americans have filed for unemployment (up about 4 million from 2 weeks ago). That translates to a jobless rate of 23.9%, only a few tenths of a percent away from the rate during the great depression
- 6.25M cases globally with 374k deaths and 2.69M recoveries (mortality rate of 5.98%, down from 6.63% 2 weeks ago)
- 1.85M cases in the U.S. with 106,000 deaths and 412k recoveries (mortality rate of 5.73%, down from 5.89%)
- 14,991 confirmed cases in RI with 720 deaths (mortality rate of 4.8%, up from 3.94%)