The Thinker: Rich Galen


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Which Side Are You On?

Rich Galen

Monday June 8, 2020

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  • Once again, we are being given a binary choice: Are you for the protesters? Or are you for the cops (including the federal agents and National Guard)?

  • I've been thinking very hard about this for the past two weeks. I finally decided it is not a binary choice. I don't have to be on the side of one group or the other.

  • I know this is fraught with danger, but here we go.

  • Donald Trump showed his true colors in the lobby of Trump Tower when he tried to straddle the fence between the demonstrators at Charlottesville, Virginia and those who denounced them.

  • Via the Business Insider:
    "I think there's blame on both sides," Trump said. "You had some very bad people in that group, but you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides."

  • Yeah, well, nah.

  • The odor of those remarks have followed Trump around the White House for the entirety of his Presidency.

  • And that was an easy one. A bunch of Neo-Nazis marching across the campus of the University of Virginia chanting anti-Semitic and White-supremacy slogans, after one of them ran his car into a crowd and killed a young woman it was hard to find a "very fine person."

  • In the current situation, my normal tilt would be toward the demonstrators. The astonishing indifference shown by Derek Chauvin as he squeezed the life out of George Floyd is more than enough.

  • But, every cop in Minneapolis didn't stand and watch George Floyd die. Three did. They are under arrest as well.

  • On the other side, not everyone who went to New York to demonstrate crashed bricks into the windows of high-end stores in the Soho district of Manhattan. I don't know where they were from, but it certainly appears they took advantage of the situation.

  • On the other hand, people with, around, aligned with, whatever the demonstrators took to defacing national monuments here in Washington. It's one thing to try to stop a professional thief with a brick. It's something else to try and stop a jerk with a can of spray paint.

  • This has turned out to be a boon to the "Black Lives Matter" movement.


    I think it was a Tweet, but someone posted a clip by a Black comic who said something like:

    "I say 'Black Lives Matter' and you say 'ALL lives matter.'"

    OK," he went on. "Next time your wife asks you if you love her say, 'I love ALL people, honey.'"


  • Point taken.

  • The Mayor of The District of Columbia, Muriel Bowser, had "BLACK LIVES MATTER" painted on a two-block length of 16 Street.

  • I thought that was great.

  • But, then someone decided to press the bet and painted "DEFUND THE POLICE," because painting the DC Streets was about to become a thing.

  • I am not in favor of the "Defund the Police" brigades, nor am I fond of Antifa joining in. Antifa stands for "Anti-Fascist which I certainly am, but don't try to sell me on a positive comparison to the troops who hit the beaches at Normandy on D-Day.

  • If you want to defund the police you'd better have a replacement in mind to take over.

  • And quick.

  • I am in favor of churches, synagogues, and mosques being used to aid people who are in need. Sometimes they are in need because of weather. Sometimes because of an earthquake. Sometimes because of a personal tragedy.

  • I am not in favor of the very people who are providing that comfort being chased away from their church so a politician can have a photo op.

  • That is what happened at St. John's Episcopal Church. Men and women of the cloth who were working to provide care to those at Lafayette park were smoke bombed and pepper sprayed to leave their church so Donald Trump could pose with a Bible.

  • As the NY Times' columnist Maureen Dowd wrote in her weekend column: "It's a wonder his hand did not burst into flames."

  • A Rector at St. John's wrote about the event. There is a link on the Secret Decoder Ring page.

  • As so often happens someone does something so unexpected that it takes your breath away. Mullfave Ernie Hartong sent a link to a story about a young man - 18 years old - who took it upon himself to clean up the mess after the riots in Buffalo. Starting at 2 am with a broom and garbage bags he set about the job.

  • CNN has the story and I hope it's not a hoax, because its wonderful.

  • So, good people. Bad people. Bystanders and participants.

  • Hard to pick a side.

  • On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: Links to a review of Charlottesville, to the report of the Rector at St. Johns, and to the CNN piece on the young man in Buffalo.

    The Mullfoto is of what's left of a statue in Old Town Alexandria after Tuesday Morning.

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