“The world has gone mad today and good’s bad today…” —Cole Porter, “Anything Goes.”
As I write this, America is on fire.
Not everywhere, but L.A., New York and Minneapolis are the scenes of riots complete with burnings and clashes with police following the murder (we can call it that now) of George Floyd in Minneapolis during a police stop. Lootings have occurred and opportunistic politicians are screaming. A convenience store a few blocks down from where I used to live had its windows shattered. But all may not be as it seems.
A far-right group called the Boogaloos has been observed egging on protests, violence and attacks on and arrests of journalists. Armed members of this group are positioning themselves as defending property against what they term “Black Lives Matter thugs.” This all may be pushed by foreign agitators who have every interest in fomenting a race war and destabilizing the United States. Inflamed hatred has pushed COVID-19 of the metaphorical front pages of cable news. There is a hint of science fictional tales of dystopian destruction, and an attitude of gloom and resignation. But we have been through this before.
There was nothing quite like the 1960s, especially for those who lived through it. Riots over race, police violence, the Vietnam War seemed to be nightly events on the TV news (remember, this was before cable news channels.) It was caricatured on our TV shows and commemorated in some of the music. And now, people like me who were grade-schoolers when Martin Luther King was killed are seeing what I can only term as an attempt to undo the Civil Rights gains of the last fifty years. Statues are being torn down and the Confederate flag is being banned from NASCAR. But life could swing either way.
The current administration has placed a record number of judges in office. None of them are going to be LGBT friendly. These are pivotal times.
History happens every day, sometimes we don’t notice. Sometimes we do.
Violent protests (as I write this) are slowing down in favor of protests, period. Let’s hope so. But things are going to change in some way. This country will not be the same.
Unless, and this is the big “unless,” unless this mood of protest blows over and we fail to protest, to feel, to vote when it matters.
Stay safe, everyone.
Jeff Baker blogs about reading and writing sci-fi, horror and fantasy on or around the thirteenth of every month. His story “Solar Pons and the Testament In Ice” appears in the Belanger Books anthology “The Necronomicon of Solar Pons.” He is sheltering in place (he is a writer, it’s what he does) with his happily retired husband Darryl in Wichita, Kansas. He posts fiction on his own bloghttps://authorjeffbaker.com/ and can be reached on Facebook athttps://www.facebook.com/Jeff-Baker-Author-176267409096907/