A Grievous Thing: Our Government Offers No Succor When Its People Are Afflicted
THE LIGHTS WENT OUT IN THE WHITE HOUSE LAST NIGHT because there were protestors outside. It is an inconceivable fact, yet real. It is a fact we must deal with in the same moment as our most fundamental values of being human, living in a humane way, and offering a better world for humanity are under fire. In seeing the White House hidden, its lights darkened to protect its frightened incumbent, we witness the greatest failure of leadership our country has ever experienced.
When I wrote this piece last week, it was the pandemic that was on my mind. Now, of course, it is also the racial unrest caused and incited into a conflagration of deep emotional conflict by the inhuman and brutal act of a police officer murdering an innocent man, George Floyd. The fact of the killing is intolerable. The response from people in all its variations here and around the world is ongoing as millions upon millions of us seek some way we can come to terms with this reprehensible act, and the chaos of reality and spirit it has engendered.
The premise of this piece when I wrote it last week is the same for the racism in this country as it is for the pandemic— the lack of a voice for the people, the sacrifice of the needs of all the people by a government that does not care, and which has chosen not to recognize, admit, or acknowledge its own culpability.
There is a powerful episode in Star Trek: The Next Generation where Riker says if we could feel the loss of every human being, not just those we know, our history would be much less bloody. So right, yes. We do not sufficiently grieve for humanity. And our government grieves for no one.
At no time during these last frightening months and now have any elected and appointed leaders in our government put the people first. The result of this has been to create a great chasm between them and what constitutes moral behavior and right action.
We have become bereft of a voice that speaks for us.
These alleged leaders have betrayed not only their sworn commitment to us when they took office, they have betrayed the power of these words — “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”