NO, “Thank You”, is NOT Appropriate
Most people grow up understanding that, if someone gives you something, you say…? Right, “Thank You.” At some point, though, we need to say, “NO thank you,” when what is offered isn’t desired and the person who extends the offer is unacceptable.
Take this courteous tweet from Maryland Governor Larry Hogan:
How can he thank the president who failed to provide covid19 support months ago. Did he forget that he had to get the First Lady of Maryland to leverage her South Korean connections to get testing supplies to his state? He was accepting the “generosity” of enhanced militarization when tactics committed by an officer led to the protests in the first place. This military support is to stop Americans from rising up in defiance of a racist administration and its friends. How can you say “thank you” to a president, who’s racists antics we know all too well. As the nation — and world — protest racial injustice (again), Hogan accepts, with gratitude, more weaponry to use agains fellow Americans. Officer Derek Chauvin’s knee was used as a weapon, and didn’t trouble you enough, Governor? Competent military leaders know the characteristics of authoritarian regimes — they never thought they would happen in America. They’re not saying “Thank you Mr President.”
Our elected officials have a fatal disconnect with humanity. The world knows that in Minneapolis, George Floyd was murdered by a police officer in broad daylight. In Baltimore, Freddie Gray was killed while in police custody — and, its still unsolved. Breonna Taylor was assassinated in her Louisville home. This list continues, and Hogan can just say, “thank you big Republican brother, can we please have another weapon to build our police state?
Governor Larry Hogan, who also leads the nation as the current chair of the National Governors Association “thanks” a racist & incompetent president. There was no advice to 45, like, “Thanks, but if you stopped tweeting with such racist vitriol, maybe we wouldn’t need the National Guard.”
Why hasn’t Hogan & co-chair NY Andrew Cuomo led the NGA in support to re-examine the parallels of America’s history with anti-Black racism. Tell YOUR governor to reject the empty & divisive rhetoric from the White House, and commit to PERMANENT change in our nation.
America has Been Here Before
President Johnson, faced with a nation in flames, formed the Kerner Commission. It affirmed what Black people have been complaining about — and no one has listened. Until now. We know anti-racism & pro-justice uprisings in the late 60’s, had generated sound recommendations for social change. Unfortunately, very little social change was implemented. You can hear from Commissioner Fred Harris here.
President Obama created a commission to address similar violence against Black bodies. They had sound recommendations, packaged as guidance for 21st Century Policing. too. Implementations were suspended when 45 took office — including recommendations for Baltimore
When Larry Hogan, and others, thank a racist, pathologically lying president for sending military police resources, they validate his lies & affirm his racism. That is NOT how you combat systemic racism. Hogan, Cuomo and other governors, who had to take the lead from an AWOL president, to confront the Covid19 pandemic. You don’t thank a man who tweets the vitriolic violent words, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” by the Miami police chief, during Miami’s 1967 racial strife & riots. Worse, is 45 claims that he didn’t know the origins of the words, as if he can now randomly spit rhymes.
What elected official commends a person who threatens Americans with “vicious dogs” & “ominous weapons”? 45 knows the history of dogs used to incite fear and injury against Black bodies for centuries. “Thanking” 45 validates his worst acts against #Marylanders & the rest of us. “Thank you” should be the last thing you would want to do, if you cared about your residents and this nation. Admit that 45's actions are not worthy of “thanks”.
DC said NO Thanks
Mayor Muriel Bowser clearly said, “NO THANKS” to 45 and other states, like Maryland or a Texas federal prison — where some officers have tested positive for covid19. want to get in on taking over DC, by sending their national guards to the nations’ capital. We don’t need no militarization.
Mayor Bowser even added her opinion, visually, by having a huge mural painted and a block on the famed 16th re-named “Black Lives Matters Plaza”. The huge words flow to the newly erected fence, which now shuts off Lafayette Park from the citizens who pay for it. Imagine where we might be if the world had listened and rose up with Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi, when they wanted us all to acknowledge that Black Lives Matter, back in 2013. We’d be seven years ahead in action — if we stayed persistent in voting for it. We would have taken action that would have never allowed George Wallace clones into the House, Senate, city halls, state houses or the White House. But, George Floyd & Breonna Taylor, and many others, are gone. It’s estimated that Blacks are 2.5x more likely to be killed by. Many more spirits have killed by the injuries from the harm.
Closing Concepcion Picciotto’s Park
Some of those who were protesting at Lafayette Park, across from the White House, (before 45 decided to take over the public space) probably don’t recall when you could drive in front of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., stop the car & jump out for a quick photo op (pre-selfies, too). They probably don’t recall Ms. Picciotto’s protest, where she stood guard for decades, demanding an end to nuclear proliferation.
Too many folks lack the protesting stamina of Ms. Picciotto, but, surely you can begin to hold up those fists and signs and stay mobilized for justice until Election Day. You can tell your city, state & Congress electeds that you aren’t going to be distracted, but determined to see change in your lifetime. YOU can do that.
Americans MUST demand better of our elected officials — remember, they work for us. Americans should be asking Gov. Hogan & local mayors if they are implementing anti-racist policy & policing practices recommended by President Obama — and stopped by 45. And, with victories, November 3, we must make civic engagement the rule, not the exception.
Pray March Act Vote
Maybe George Floyd’s heinous murder was the last straw for the world. Too many others came before him, which produced momentary uprisings, at best. We can take action, to make up for not being outraged when Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams were shot 137 times by police in Cleveland. We can atone for neglecting so many Black lives that didn’t matter to America and the world before, by not stopping in the fight for a more racially equitable society.
Being Black should not be a crime in the eyes of police or legislators or neighbors.
Fighting for racial justice and social change can’t be seasonal battles. It’s on-going. No one victory can allow room for rest.
Anti-Black racism, racial injustice & criminal policing crimes shouldn’t get “thank yous”. WE, the people must take deliberate steps to fix our systems and employ — with our vote — people who will administer what WE want. The 8 can’t wait strategies are solid steps towards repairing deadly policing policies. We can hire, through our votes, people who really believe that all lives matter when Black lives matter, too. The systems aren’t fixed overnight. There are centuries of brokenness to dismantle and rebuild. Let’s get to work. We can’t wait any longer!