Tear Gassed For a Photo Op, Urban Destruction, and What’s Next

I’ve taken down the Plague Counter on this blog. COVID has taken the back bench to protests, riots, and reactions. I don’t see any changes in our lives, due to the virus or its cure, for a super long time. The boys and Steve are here maybe permanently. Jonah has an online internship with the local member House of Representatives. Ian still doesn’t have any school. I cook and write a lot. No change.

So, let’s talk about the world. Yesterday, a group of peaceful protestors were tear gassed and shot with rubber bullets, so the president could give an outdoor press conference in the Rose Garden. Then, he marched across the street to a local church with a bible for a photo op.

Meanwhile, New York City, my heart, was trashed last night. Everything from 43rd Street down looks like crap. A friend who bartends on Spring Street texted us a picture of her bar with smashed out windows.

From the gossip on TV, twitter, and texts with friends, it seems that New York City was hurt much worse than other cities. It sounds like things were cool in Newark, Baltimore, and Portland. DC looks bad, too.

There is no way to spin the horror of looting and vandalism. No way to make those images palatable to the rest of America. It turns off sympathetic people. It radicalizes nasty people. I still can’t believe some of the comments on twitter coming from the nasty people.

I’m a worrier. That’s how I’m wired. I have the deep fear that the President, the king of the nasty people, is going to use this night of violence as an excuse to impose martial law and to cancel November’s election.

Meanwhile, the whole topic of policing has been dropped by the media this morning. So sad. The most interesting conversations yesterday were around the roll of the police unions in protecting bad cops. I wanted more of that.

6 thoughts on “Tear Gassed For a Photo Op, Urban Destruction, and What’s Next

  1. Last night, there was vandalism/looting on my college’s campus, which is in a city, as well as along a few blocks near the campus where I spend a lot of time (I hope my Dunkin Donuts is ok!!!).

    In a country with a normal president, this would be a sign that change in policies need to happen. With Trump, this is the American version of the Reichstag fire. And there is literally no one to save the people. The police won’t do it, the military won’t do it, and thanks to McConnell, the Senate won’t do it (and so Congress won’t do it). I’ve never felt so helpless.


    1. Ugh. I made a typo/grammar error. I hate that and must acknowledge it.
      I’ll add that I have a friend in the East 60s in Manhattan, and he was reporting looting near him, too.
      The mouth-breathers on my town’s FB groups are making all the usual “they better not come here but we’ll be ready for them heh heh” noises.


  2. Arlington figured out that our Mutual Aid cops were being used to safeguard the Orange One’s photo op and pulled them out at 830 last night. I don’t know what reverberations that will have the next time we have need for lent cops from other jurisdictions, but that’s what we did. General feeling that this was one of the worse and more irresponsible actions of last few days.


  3. You should go back and do some research on police unions. I know it’s not your thing, but this seems to me the next huge sticking point. Democrats tend to like unions, and have tried in recent years to support those that include lower/middle class workers (not sure where incoming cops usually fall, but it’s not the 1%), especially those in jobs that can be hazardous and dangerous. Do we say police cannot engage in collective bargaining? or just drive harder bargains? how does that work with the unions currently in existence? How do we balance “unions are important” with “some people don’t deserve unions”?

    My impression of unions growing up in the midwest – including the trade unions – were that by mid-century (if not before) they had become corrupt and racist. I was surprised when I got to grad school and unions were perceived as lovely and idyllic institutions.


  4. The teachers’ unions, which is my thing, have a mixed track recored. Many urban activists (not all) don’t like them, because they protect bad teachers and stop charter schools.


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