Chapter 151 – Petition To Hope

                           

       We may be less than a year away from the end of the United States of America. The stage is set. Its possible the end may have already begun with the acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse who gunned down two unarmed white men protesting the murder of Jacob Blake, a black man. In essence the Kenosha Wisconsin jury has endorsed vigilantism and gun violence and sanctioned armed retaliation by any private citizen who feels threatened by someone else’s political views. This, along with the possible acquittal of two other defendants accused of murdering in cold blood an unarmed black man harmlessly jogging through a mostly white neighborhood in Georgia, by a jury stacked almost exclusively with Trump supporters through the misuse of preemptory challenges by the defense, (a tactic held over from the Jim Crowe era), that effectively eliminates all prospective jurors of color who are not obviously Trump supporters from the panel. Together, those two events will serve to more or less declare the return to the old ways when white men had absolute power to kill or maim any person of color at will, as well as any white person who dared attempt to deny them that power. The final nail in democracy’s coffin will be struck if Republicans sweep the Gerrymandered 2022 elections by state legislatures successfully disenfranchising substantial numbers of minority voters (black people in particular) and by having the results overturned when their Trump supporting candidates lose. At that point the United States of America will cease to be “one nation, with liberty and justice for all”.

       For sure there will be massive protests, some of which will turn violent giving the new neo fascist state governments license to violently put down the dissent. This will precipitate massive general worker strikes, tax revolts and eventually crippling acts of sabotage by the opposition and other countries will begin unloading American currency at fire sale prices, rendering the dollar hardly worth the paper it’s written on. The government will then declare martial law, and that’s when the horror will begin in earnest, complete with death squads and summary imprisonments and executions. The civil war will be in full flower.

       Should all that occur (and I pray it doesn’t), we could witness one third to one half the population of the U.S. perishing in the violence, because unlike in Bosnia and Rwanda, there will be no one to stop us. What’s really interesting about all of that is that the main catalyst for this impending mayhem, is the belief held by I would surmise barely over 50% of white Americans that to share power with people other than themselves is to risk the loss of everything the own, when in fact the opposite is probably true. A truly united and diverse America would probably usher in a prosperity that would possibly dwarf the economy of post WWII America in the 1950s. Even if the fascists in state governments succeed, in the ultimate twist of irony, white Americans will learn first hand exactly what it means to be a slave. Ten to fifteen years after 2022, all surviving Americans will live an Orwellian existence where life’s only reward is to survive one more day in abject poverty.

       Apparently a lot more people besides me are beginning to realize this. Lately I’ve heard many more people imploring us to tone down the rhetoric and begin to communicate with each other again. Many of these people were the biggest instigators of the dissention a few years ago. I’ve seen them on television and have heard it from several of my white friends. This kind of shift in thinking is the essence of hope. There is so much momentum towards my dire prediction that it seems unlikely it can be avoided except through the spontaneous enlightenment of all Americans. I think on some level, all us knows that to continue on our current path is national suicide. I personally hope and pray every night that this never happens. My prayers have gotten longer each day since my wife died. As I’ve said in the past, the death of the person you truly love is life’s greatest teacher of the preciousness and value of life.

       I’ve asked myself many times, why do I pray to God every night even though I’ve come to see organized religion as it exists today as the catalyst for the enmity and division of humankind, leading us to our eventual destruction. “Why pray”, I ask myself, “and to whom am I praying?” I believe I pray for the same reason a baby cries. A baby has no understanding of hunger as a concept. She cries out of a sense of being out of equilibrium, or just a feeling that something is wrong. When he cries, this Supreme Being we call mother magically appears to restore equilibrium with a breast or bottle of milk. I think prayer is the ultimate expression of hope. We humans cannot survive without hope, since life is so precarious and we have so little control over what life brings us. All of us, black people and white people, Republicans and Democrats and everything in between, know on some level that something is not right. The anxiety around this feeling has rendered us almost completely driven by fear. Somehow, we must replace fear with hope.

       I’ve come to the conclusion over the years that I am not so much a believer in Christ as I am a follower of Christ. I’ve tried to be more and more Christ like as apposed to going to church every Sunday acknowledging my belief in Christ. I’ve come to be more accepting and tolerant of those who don’t think the way I do or believe in the things I believe in. If Christ does exist, I’m sure he’s less concerned about us paying homage to Him as he is about following his one and only commandment – that we love each other the way he loved us. I think Christ came to us to teach us how to live, and not to concern ourselves with what happens after we die. He came to Earth to tell us that if we live well, death will take care of itself and if we follow His one commandment, we need not worry about death while we live.

       I said I pray a lot every night. I actually say several prayers every night. It used to take me less than 30 seconds to pray. Now I’m up to five to ten minutes. I won’t impose on you by telling you all the prayers I pray every night, but I will share with you the one that is most germane to this post. It goes like this:

        “Oh Lord, thank you for saving us from ourselves. Forgive me and mine enemies our transgressions against one another, and lead us all into the light of brotherly love. Amen”.

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