When Adele honored and symbolically gave to Beyoncé what she richly deserved, the album of the year at the Grammy awards, she broke ranks with the music industry, which can’t get past its racial programming, its racial preference and its racial provincialism.
Similarly, if we stop whining and complaining about Trump and Trumpism for a minute, we can see that lots of people are breaking from xenophobia, bigotry and the narrowness of White Supremacy, capitalism and Trump’s plain meanness. And they are breaking the rules and reaching across the divide to embrace one another as human beings, despite our differences and despite our indoctrination, brainwashing and programming.
Trump and his attempt to “further” divide and rule us is failing. If you pay attention, you can hear in the protest chants the sound of progress. You can smell the sweet aroma of brotherhood and sisterhood. And if you look closely enough you will gaze upon the gratifying sight of Americans all over looking out for and standing with one another.
Recently in Minneapolis and St. Paul, local NAACP branches stood with a Hmong family whose 84-year-old grandmother was attacked by a police dog because her neighbors heard her rummaging in her own garage. When the neighbors called the police they sicced the police dog on the old lady because she didn’t fit the profile of the predominantly White neighborhood.
The Minneapolis NAACP is predominantly Black, but they recognized their common humanity and common struggle and realized that as people of color they have some things in common. So they added their voices to those protesting this blatant injustice.
In Chicago, members of Black Lives Matter (BLM) Chicago have sacrificed their time and resources to make the Robertson family from Minneapolis comfortable while they sit at the bedside of their relative who was shot in the back and paralyzed by an Amtrak police officer. Chicago BLM has provided housing for the Robertson family and has been at their side daily, even helping the family organize a press conference demanding the cop be prosecuted.
In Los Angeles, a few hundred (some would call them crazy young people) tried to shut down a freeway and block the driveways of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) offices so that Homeland Security could not deport their brothers and sisters. There may have been a relative or two in the crowd, but the reports indicate that the folks protesting were not kin to those being held. All they had in common was that they were human beings.
Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos, a Phoenix woman who immigrated to the U.S. at age 14, is being deported for being here illegally. Supporters and others protesting this injustice gathered at the ICE office and tried to block federal vehicles from leaving the grounds. People literally put their bodies on the line to try to prevent her deportation.
Ironically, it is the U.S. that is the original criminal, having stolen Mexican land. Texas, California, Arizona and “New” Mexico were stolen from Mexico as part of “Manifest Destiny,” which led to a U.S. war of aggression against Mexico in 1846. After defeating Mexico, the U.S. also claimed parts of Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and Nevada.
In Tennessee, Sister Jesse (last name unknown), a small but stalwart White woman, stood up at her Congressman’s town hall and explained that the point of the Obama Care program was that “the healthy folks pull up the sick people.” But then she said something exceptional: “As a Christian my whole philosophy in life is to pull up the unfortunate.” And then she dropped this bomb: “Why don’t we expand Medicaid and let everybody have insurance?”
When the “Muslim ban” was announced by the Trump administration, demonstrations took place all over the country. More recently dozens of protests have taken place to show solidarity with our brothers and sisters who are refugees.
All over the country people are standing up for and standing with those that have been victimized and deemed second class. Truth is, that phrase encompasses a lot more of us than folks are willing to admit.
The DAPL pipeline fight in Standing Rock has been Indian led, but people of all colors, backgrounds and religions have stood with them during this fight, which is at bottom a fight for civilization. Will the powers, the corporations, the big banks, sacrifice this tribe and possibly the earth for oil?
North Americans are living out the creed that, “An injury to one is an injury to all.” They are starting to act as if they believe that “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice anywhere.”
Neighbors are showing compassion toward one another and ignoring their programming. People are throwing the finger at capitalist propaganda, which demands we only look out for ourselves and frown upon the exploited, the so-called illegal, the “other” religion and the Black and the Brown.
Don’t tell me Trump and ’em are winning. If they were winning, they wouldn’t be trying so hard to divide us every-day working folks. Trump and the capitalists are not winning. Individualism is not winning. Bigotry is not winning. Hatred is not winning.
Look around you. Human solidarity is winning!
Justice then peace.
Mel Reeves was the community editor at the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder until he passed away on January 6, 2022. He had a long and storied history working at the MSR.
Find more about Reeve’s life and legacy here: spokesman-recorder.com/category/remembering-mel-reeves.