Ask Yourself

In the last few years, usually towards the end, I have made a promise to myself that I would not say, “It can’t get any worse.”  I would simply do my best to remain optimistic.  2020 came and I honestly felt like this was the year it was all going to fall into place.  And for the first month or two it seemed like it was.  The jury is still out.

We have had an impeachment that while successful in the beginning failed in the Senate.  Harvey Weinstein, a renowned movie mogul convicted of third-degree rape and first-degree criminal sexual act (which was according to testimony just the tip of his iceberg).  We have had Democratic candidates fall by the wayside like lemmings going over a cliff clearing the path for former VP Joe Biden who, at times, appears to not have a firm grasp on the topic he is discussing.  We have had a COVID-19 epidemic which, to this day, no one has a concrete explanation of how this came about.  We have seen the bottom earners in our communities keep things rolling along while those higher paid have been afforded the luxury of working from home and sheltering in place.  We have seen just how valuable toilet paper is in our society and how little the elderly are. 

We have seen do as I say, not as I do, leadership where on an almost daily basis the public is instructed to wear masks, don’t wear masks, which has only led to a discussion among people completely untrained in medical protocols.  We have seen yet one more black man being arrested and that arrest botched on a level that children understand was mishandled resulting in the man’s death and the arrest of the officers present.  We have seen that same man’s lifeless body picked up, not by an ambulance and EMT’s but rather panel truck and police wearing flak jackets.  We are seeing protestors amidst rioters with onlookers surprised that the police response is to the riot behavior – not the protesting.  We have people in cities concerned for their own safety during the night but mustering up the courage to go to the streets to help clean up a mess they had no part in making.  And through it all, we have finger pointing of party politics stirring a pot that can only be compared to the witch’s brew in Hamlett.

You can blame former Officer Chauvin for this outbreak of anarchy that is unfolding before your eyes if you so choose.  The truth is the society we call America was a powder keg waiting to blow.  You might say Officer Chauvin lit a match.  You can teeter back and forth arguing who saved the day during the COVID-19 outbreak, doctors? Nurses? Essential workers?  You can do a little back-seat driving and say that the monuments from history should have been taken down a long time ago and their presence continued to fuel a fire that could have/should have been put out decades ago.  You can debate whether graduation ceremonies that actually took place should have.  You can point fingers at your local governments because they clearly are not doing enough.  You can criticize President Trump (although none of these occurrences were needed to spark that discussion) or you can look in the mirror and ask, “How did I contribute to what is going on in my community today?”

No matter who you are or where you fit into these scenarios, we are all guilty of armchair quarterbacking this decade.  We watch from the comfort of our homes and judge based upon the information that we are given (which is NEVER the entire story at best) and cultivate an opinion of mistrust or hate or both directed at whomever we have deemed responsible for our lot in life. 

Guess what?  That would be us!  We are responsible!  We are the reason things are this out of hand.  We have paid too much homage to people who have not earned it and non to those who have.  We are so diluted into believing we are entitled to the protection of a superhero that we fail to recognize those who are saving our asses every day.  We gloss over the efforts of people who have given their entire lives to build something and exalt a 17-year-old self-appointed spokesperson for environmental activism who has NO TRAINING in greenhouse gases. 

We are in this mess because celebrity is everything to us.  We decide in three seconds or less that we “love” someone we have never met and spend the rest of our time in a fictional relationship that we defend to the ground.  With that same swiftness, we overlook those we can literally reach out and touch because they are nothing to us.  They are nobody(s) that serve no purpose.  And the category we hate even more is the “wannabees”; those people who try and try to be someone, to make a difference, to contribute.  We criticize them for not being good enough.

We are the reason that all of this is happening.  I would be willing to bet that these people (and they are not protestors) that are out there throwing bricks at store fronts, looting, causing destruction and commotion, have no defined reason for their behavior.  Paid or not, they are riding some sort of frenzied adrenaline rush that has caused them to expel this wasted energy on destroying that which someone else has spent a lifetime building.

The reason police are using tear gas, pepper spray or anything else is because they see the potential for what is building.  They are instructing people to go home, and they are NOT.  It is not about taking way the rights of protestors – the rioters are doing that.  The police are doing what they can to make people cease and desist.  They are trying to keep people safe and protect the businesses that, as they have every reason to believe, are about to be destroyed.

I saw a live feed from a town close to my home (Huntsville, Alabama) last night.  The woman repeatedly said, “I told my momma I wouldn’t be out here.  If she sees me on this, she’s gonna kill me.”  I watched this feed for about 15 minutes and that statement was made by her more than once.  So, if you know you should not be out there – WHY ARE YOU THERE????  She was not there to protest with the others.  She was there to glean her 15 minutes in the spotlight reporting what was going on.    

The problems that are coming to the surface before our eyes have been building for decades.  Those who believe that Donald Trump has been the puppet master of this while simultaneously declaring with every breath what an incompetent oaf he is should look again.  This has been a collective effort perpetrated by a select handful of people who care no more for any one of us then all of us.  Donald Trump, for all their intent and purpose, has gone rogue.  THAT is why all of this is going on.  The question you need to ask yourselves is – What was the actual agenda that was so critical to being accomplished that it was worth destroying absolutely everything to get?  Then remind yourself that just three weeks ago, the biggest newsfeed was about Bill Gates and how microchips were going to be mandatory.

Joseph Heller once said, “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you.” (Goodreads, 2020)



Goodreads, retrieved from the world wide web on June 3, 2020 from

Poetry Foundation, retrieved on June 4, 2020 from

Posted in

1 Comment

  1. Dave Grossbard on June 4, 2020 at 2:36 pm