The strange silver lining in the history of right now
Imagine that the murder of George Floyd did not take place against the background of coronavirus, that the pandemic had not taken place. The horrific video, and those of other deaths at the hands of police, would still exist. And so would the anger. But the President would have a booming economy and virtually zero unemployment at his back. He would feel even more empowered to divide and sow fear.
Instead, he is still doing these things, yet he has no long term power and his support is falling away as older whites and women, who voted for him and against Hilary Clinton, are increasingly unwilling to support a narcissistic would-be dictator. We have an historic election just months away and this is a time when we cannot let down our guards for a minute.
The forces of facism and white supremacy know this and are increasingly desperate, which makes them extremely dangerous right now. Without that economic cushion of prosperity, the conditions for a dictatorship would fit those of history, If we let them. But there are conditions now that did not exist in even recent history of oppression.
Advantage: everything is on the record
We have unrivaled ability to witness and reveal the desperate violence and the actors of division being used to tear us apart. Technology has given all of us the ability to shed light on darkness, in real time, by recording and sharing the actions of despots and their supporters. Yet, they do not appear to understand this.
The death of George Floyd and other racial injustices at the hands of police and thugs are being revealed instantly and at every angle. This is power. In my city, Rochester, NY, peaceful protests were intentionally disrupted last Saturday by activists who started burning cars and smashing police cruisers. These men, mostly white, were captured on video by dozens if not hundreds of witnesses. And later, when looters beat a couple trying to save their business, they were caught on video also.
All around the country, and planet, these witnessing videos are being shared on social media and they cannot be denied. No amount of covering up or Presidential gaslighting can hide them. And when they try, they are failing.
The shared bond of the pandemic is power
With a booming economy, many Americans might look away from this evidence. But when we are all sharing in the dark times, we have bonds which did not exist just months ago. Bonds of death and loss that transcend wealth, race, religion, and national origin. These bonds are a nightmare for the right and a power for justice.
Shake off the gloom, don’t give into their message of violence, and be a witness. We all have the power. It’s literally in your hand.