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Don’t You Get Me?

One of the biggest things that attracted me to my husband was, he got me.  He didn’t necessarily agree with me on every issue, but he understood me.  Sometimes we simply had to agree to disagree.  We worked together on various projects both personally and professionally and not only accomplished a great deal but also realized a lot of personal satisfaction.

It hit me at 4 am this morning.  This is what bothers me about our country.  We have elected politicians to represent us; to protect our interests, to protect us.  Sadly, they don’t get us.  At least, they don’t get “me”. 

We are watching the desecration of major cities around the country which is permitted under the guise of demonstrating equality.  Mayor Levar Stoney ordered the immediate removal of multiple Confederate statues in Richmond.  New York Mayor Bill de Blasio says he supports the calls by the American Museum of Natural History to remove a “problematic statue” of Theodore Roosevelt that many say is a symbol of oppression and racial discrimination. (NPR, 2020) Several statues of Columbus have been either removed or defaced by protesters across the country. Last week Boston police launched an investigation after the city’s Columbus statue was beheaded overnight, while Camden, N.J. removed its statues altogether. (Fox News, 2020).  These are just a few stories about the radical changes occurring throughout the United States over the last 90 days regarding statues.

And then I read this morning: White House portraits of Bill Clinton and George W Bush moved from prominent space to rarely used room. (CNN, 2020) Moved – not defaced; not destroyed.

What keeps running through my head is “Don’t take your eyes off the ball.” 

Speaking only for myself:  The statues never bothered me one way or the other.  I have never once wanted to erect a statue to anyone, so the absence of statues does not leave a hole in my heart.  I realize that they each represent a part of history (my worst subject in school), but I couldn’t tell you what any of them did without a great deal of prompting.  If they bother people; if they represent something that elicits bad feelings in someone, remove them.  Damaging them; tearing them apart is unnecessary.  I disagree with defacing them. But removal of them – fine.  Remove them – safely.  Likewise, I honestly don’t care about the portraits of the presidents.  We are surrounded by evidence of what they have done for/against our country.  What I find most disturbing, however, is the amount of time being spent on these things. 

Call me slow!  I already admitted I am terrible with history.  But I fail to see the connection between police brutality, a situation that has been well out of hand for more than a decade, and statues of former Americans being removed.  If Theodore Roosevelt no longer appears in front of the American Museum of Natural History will it translate to police brutality being abolished?  Is it even a start?

This entire upheaval began with the unnecessary death of George Floyd; a result of police brutality.  Businesses have been destroyed. Property burned and destroyed.  Statues covered with graffiti; some damaged almost to the point of endangering those watching.  Mayor DeBlasio is not only derelict in his duties protecting what used to be known as one of the greatest cities in the world, his solution is to spend his time and energy painting Black Lives Matter in the street over and over takes him (in my opinion) from a position of leadership to follower in one felt swoop. 

People want to be treated fairly.  They deserve to be treated fairly.  Within this so-called great country, we have so many classifications of people who can rightly claim that they have been treated unfairly it is disgraceful.  But our solution is to tear down statues, worry about the placement of presidential portraits in the White House and paint signs in the street? 

Are you fucking kidding me?

To all those politicians who don’t get me, here’s the cliff notes.  I want to be healthy, happy and safe.  I’ll worry about the wealthy or lack thereof.  Figure out which side of the pandemic you’re on (because on any given day you are all jumping from one side to the other) AND STAY THERE!!!  You wonder why no one is taking it seriously?  You wonder why no one wants to follow the mask order?  BECAUSE YOU DON’T SAY THE SAME THING TWO DAYS IN A ROW!!!!

As a side note, I live in Alabama and have Governor Kay Ivey at the helm.  She has presided over this pandemic and year with grace, poise and a great deal of wisdom.  She advised NOT DEMANDED that people wear masks and keep a safe distance back from each other.  She gave people room to decide for themselves how they needed to react.  And most recently, when the number of COVID cases began to rise in this state, she went to the order that everyone wear a mask in public.  No panic.  No drama.  I have heard one or two push back on this but the majority of what I am seeing and hearing is compliance.  Alabama is chill – and I am ever so grateful for her leadership and everyone else’s cooperation. 

But back to my rant: Have one of your little meeting sessions, issue an order and remove the statues.  Be done with it.  That’s how it should be done – right?  Not all this drama about mobs tearing them down and cheering while bystanders watch at risk of being injured by pieces toppling down on them.  Treat everyone fairly.  Black, white, yellow, gray, green, whatever……your race and nationality should not factor into it.  Pay equally for a job regardless of who works it.  RESPECT people; not because of what they can do for you – but because they deserve your respect.  PRETEND you respect them.  Maybe you can trick yourself into good behavior.  Do whatever it takes.  And, by the way, you don’t have to treat one group of people like shit to demonstrate that you are in favor of treating another well. Just saying.

To all those folks in the media:  STOP racing to the bad news and praying for more.  You guys all focus on the headlines, the attention grabbers and live to stir the pot.  NEWSFLASH!  The pots boiling over!  

And Facebook: Stop pretending that you are the guardians of all that is good in the world by telling subscribers what they can and cannot post.  That is not your role.  You spent years flooding our newsfeed with propaganda manufactured by who knows who and now that people are taking matters into their own hands, you’re against it?  Really?

This is my opinion.  Please do not tell me I’m wrong – or that I have not done enough research.  That would be YOU demonstrating that you don’t get me….which is my point! 

R-O-A-R!!!!!

References:

CNN, July 17, 2020 from https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/17/politics/white-house-portraits-clinton-bush-trump/index.html

Fox News, June 18, 2020 retrieved on July 18, 2020 from https://www.foxnews.com/politics/chicago-mayor-lightfoot-says-christoper-columbus-statues-shouldnt-be-taken-down

NPR, June 22, 2020  retrieved on July 18, 2020 from https://www.npr.org/sections/live-updates-protests-for-racial-justice/2020/06/22/881589341/theodore-roosevelt-statue-to-be-removed-from-central-park-entrance

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