This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness. The Dalai Lama
The Coronavirus, economic collapse, and the murder of George Floyd by a policeman on the streets of Minneapolis exposed the hollow man Donald Trump.
In real-time, these crises revealed the real Donald Trump: lies, racism, blaming, bullying, ignorance, incompetence, and no caring or compassion for others. He has no substance—everything is appearances created by lies and staged photo ops. He’s a hollow man who hides behind his lies and delusions. Through these crises, we watched him unravel and retrogress. I am so tired of Donald Trump and everything about him.
Not all but many of Trump’s followers are part of the racial problem. Many are alienated from nature, from one another, and from themselves. They cling to delusions taught them by Fox News and conservative talk radio. They want to fight the Civil War again. For them, only white men matter. The insanity we see from the Republican Party is the externalization of a loss of vision, a failure of purpose, and a collapse of values. Their worldview no longer solves our problems, yet they cling to it. The protesters have a different worldview. A worldview in which all people matter.
Those Republicans who are not racists, need to stand up for equality and justice for all. To not do so is to become part of the problem.
The murder of George Floyd was the last straw.
On May 25, 2020, Americans watched as a policeman murdered George Floyd. Three other officers aided and abetted. Floyd’s crime? Allegedly he tried to pass a counterfeit $20 bill—hardly, if true, a significant crime.
The officers were aggressive from the start of the encounter. Too aggressive for the situation. They pulled a gun and handcuffed him. They took him to the ground, and one officer put his knee on Floyd’s neck and pressed down for more than eight minutes. Floyd said, “I cannot breathe.” He pled for his life, he called for his mother, and he died.
The four officers sit in jail cells—one charged with second-degree murder, and three with aiding and abetting second-degree murder.
Noble laureate and Holocaust survivor, Elie Wiesel wrote: We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Whenever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must—at that moment—become the center of the universe.
Demonstrations spread throughout America. Trump wanted the military to occupy many cities (mostly Blue states) and “dominate” the protesters. He hid in a bunker in the White House–already one of the most fortified places in the world. He reeked of racism and showed himself as anti-human.
James Mattis, former Defense Secretary, wrote: I have watched this week’s unfolding events, angry and appalled. 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.
As the next few days passed, something changed in the hearts of the good people of America. We could see and feel it.
The demonstrators were energized, and they formed organically. Leaders emerged and others led as the circumstances changed. Different groups came together as one. Chaos quickly came to order.
A new encompassing feeling grew each day as the protesters self-organized around common values, a shared vision, and diversity: a massive spiritual awakening—an expansion of consciousness—an expression of America’s desire for justice and equality for all.
Peaceful demonstrators bore witness to evil and injustice. People experienced the life of others and were compassionate. Protesters felt alive. Indifference was no more.
The place where Floyd died became a shrine for him and justice. Massive protests continue today (June 7, 2020). We live in a painful, exciting, bewildering, and frightening time. A good time for transformational change in America.
Donald Trump will lie, cheat, and use threats, defiance, and strong-arm tactics to rig the Presidential Election on November 3, 2020.
Robert Greenleaf wrote in Servant Leadership that there will always be people like Trump. They aren’t the problem; the problem is the good people who have gone to sleep. Have enough awakened to join with others already aware to bring about such a value-driven renewal?
I hope all of us do what we can to transform America: guns, racism, immigration, climate change, income inequality, our corrupt political system, and how we treat one another.
On June 3, 2020, Former Secretary of Defense, James Mattis wrote to The Atlantic:
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. 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.”
As Mattis wrote, the transformation of a nation will be hard. Many or most people will understandably be skeptical that real change can happen. But it can be done. There will be losses and disappointments, and we will grow impatient. Activists will be demonized and called names. People will get hurt. Armed White Nationalists, a malignancy in America that needs to be healed, already take to the streets, and some police have used unprovoked violence against non-violent protesters.
Alvin Toffler wrote: Humanity faces a quantum leap forward. It faces the deepest social upheaval and creative restructuring of all time. Without clearly recognizing it, we are engaged in building a remarkable new civilization from the ground up.
If we stay united and remain committed, we can be part of the upheaval. We can make America just and good. George Floyd would like that. The alternative is a further collapse of America with injustice for all.
Please keep the pressure on and demand change and accountability.