LaBoyteaux 2020–The George Floyd Protests

I put up this web site in the summer of 2017, during the wheat harvest.  I’ve talked about the cruelty of President Trump’s immigration policies and the repeated tragedies of mass shootings.  I’ve talked about racism a few times and called out some of President Trump’s apparently racist statements.  But I never talked about Trevon Martin, Michael Brown, Philando Castile and others.  I never talked about systematic racism or the failures of our justice system regarding people of color.  I failed to do that.

As president, if I could, now, I would go to the site of George Floyd’s death and pray with his family and community.  I would talk about training police to de-escalate situations where there is no imminent harm to others.  I would try to remind a divided nation about the promise of our country, that all men are created equal and endowed with unalienable rights.  I would not be silent, I would do all I could to bring peace and healing.

I will have more to say about the rioting and looting.  For now, the above is enough.

Tuesday morning now after first posting this two days ago.  Living in a rural area, my community has not been caught up in the rioting and looting associated with the protests.  Terrance Floyd quoted this morning saying his brother, “would not want ya’ll to be doing this”, referring to violent protesters.  A simple statement so far beyond the “bitterness, combativeness and self-interest”  of President Trump.

As president I don’t have any problem with non-violent protestors on Pennsylvania Avenue near the White House or Lafayette Park.  To all accounts the protestors swept from these areas yesterday by Federal Police were non-violent.  I don’t need to be talking about vicious dogs, weapons and “dominance”.  Although I am not a formally religious person, stopping to pray in these times is needed and I would ask the protestors to pray with me.  Prayers for George Floyd, prayers for our country, prayers for equality and justice.

(quote–Diana Butler Bass)

I  support the use of local National Guard troops, when requested by local government  to help stabilize these situations while police try to arrest arsonists and looters.  I am opposed to use of the Insurrection Act or the use of active duty military to contain or control protestors and I thank Secretary Esper, General Mattis and others for calling this out..  I commend statements by all past presidents acknowledging systemic racism and calling for change.

“As an Episcopalian, I was mortified by the use of one of my denomination’s churches as a backdrop for President Trump’s call for a military crackdown,” wrote author Diana Butler Bass. “As a Christian, I was shocked when he brandished a book of love to sanction violence against American citizens. As a person of faith, I was offended as he made God as a prop, seeking to further divide the nation into tribes of righteous followers versus heathen protesters. And, as a human being I was appalled to watch Trump — with his history of bigotry and racism — cloak himself in a mantle of faith.”

(quote–Colin Powell

“We have a Constitution. We have to follow that Constitution. And the president’s drifted away from it. I’m so proud of what these generals and admirals have done and others have done.”

“I think he has been not an effective president. He lies all the time. He began lying the day of the inauguration when we got into an argument about the size of the crowd that was there. People are writing books about his favorite thing of lying. And I don’t think that’s in our interest,” Powell said.

(quote–James Mattis

“I have watched this week’s unfolding events, angry and appalled,” Mattis writes. “The words ‘Equal Justice Under Law’ are carved in the pediment of the United States Supreme Court. This is precisely what protesters are rightly demanding. It is a wholesome and unifying demand—one that all of us should be able to get behind. We must not be distracted by a small number of lawbreakers. The protests are defined by tens of thousands of people of conscience who are insisting that we live up to our values—our values as people and our values as a nation.” He goes on, “We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution.
“Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try. Instead, he tries to divide us,” Mattis writes. “We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. We can unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society. This will not be easy, as the past few days have shown, but we owe it to our fellow citizens; to past generations that bled to defend our promise; and to our children.”










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