[A Mexican perspective on what’s happening in the US]
A La Jornada Editorial
Nothing could be more provocative in the uncontrolled US social scene than President Donald Trump’s announcement of launching the armed forces against what he called “domestic terrorism” and that is, for the most part, a group of peaceful mobilizations repudiating the murder of the black citizen George Floyd, perpetrated last Monday in Minneapolis, Minnesota, by local police, of whom only one has been formally charged for “involuntary homicide.”
While it’s true that in some of the neighbor country’s most important cities attacks on buildings have proliferated –the most significant, the Minneapolis police station and Saint John’s Episcopal Church, located in front of the White House–, businesses and police vehicles, a substantial part of the violence has been provoked by law enforcement agencies themselves, by repressing peaceful protestors and assaulting bystanders and reporters.
An illustrative example of the above is what occurred yesterday in Washington, where members of the National Guard attacked demonstrators with tear gas and cavalry charges to evict them from immediate vicinity of the presidential residence, moments before Trump would express his threat. Moreover, to formulate it the president appeared at the damaged temple and proclaimed himself, with Bible in hand, “the president of law and order.” Moments before, he addressed the country’s governors on a collective telephonic link, accused them of being weak and demanded that they mobilize the military in their respective states.
The Bishop of Washington, Mariann Budde, condemned the president’s address, she repudiated his “abuse of sacred symbols” and stuck her finger in the wound by pointing out that: “everything he has said and done has been to inflame violence.” What’s certain is that Trump faces what seems to be the biggest crisis experienced by the world’s most powerful country in many years, and the symbol of it is that he had to spend Sunday night in an underground bunker in the White House that had not been used since September 19, 2001.
To the health crisis due to the Covid-19 pandemic –aggravated presidential nonsense– has been added the major social and economic collapse that has left tens of millions of Americans unemployed; and if that were not enough, the Floyd murder obliged large sectors of society to repair the hateful structural racism that pervades police forces and many other institutions.
The massive outrage at that crime was exacerbated by the incipient cove-up actions of those los responsible –who were initially suspended with pay– and the imitation of an autopsy that sought to hide the homicide.
In sum, the United States seems to be on the edge of an abyss of incalculable consequences for its own population, but also for the rest of the world, and it seems unlikely that the madness reigning in the White House contributes to avoiding a catastrophe.
Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada
Tuesday, June 2, 2020
Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee