Blessed are the Peacemakers

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rdonnay
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Blessed are the Peacemakers

#1 Post by rdonnay »

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Re: Blessed are the Peacemakers

#2 Post by rdonnay »

In 1963, while I was in the U.S. Navy, stationed in Norfolk, VA, I took a trip to Washington D.C. to participate in the “March on Washington” where Martin Luther King gave his famous “I have a dream” speech. At the time, there was a slogan that eventually was turned into a song named “We Shall Overcome”. Many white Americans were not moved by this slogan. It must have a hidden message. It sounds a lot like “We Shall Overthrow”.

Over the years, the minority black community continued to be treated as less worthy of equality to the white majority, and so the injustice continued and they were often beaten and killed by those who wore the uniform of “peace officer”. Eventually, the world would witness this injustice, due to the fact that most Americans carried a video camera in their pocket, and they would document the actions by the police. It started becoming apparent that this must have been going on for years, but white America was less aware of such injustice than was black America.

And so, one day, a black American, named Eric Garner, died at the hands of police. He was heard saying “I Can’t Breathe”, 11 times, while lying face down on the sidewalk. There was no way that Mr. Garner could say it loud enough that the world could hear him. The black community decided that they needed a new slogan to try to get the attention of the American people, and so the slogan “Black Lives Matter” was born. Again, many white Americans were not moved by this new slogan. It too must have a hidden message. It sounds a lot like “Only Black Lives Matter”. The injustice continued across America even though police were told to wear cameras to capture the reality that confronted the black community. They often turned them off, or prosecutors would find insufficient evidence to prosecute due police department malfeasance.

And so, one day, another black American, named George Floyd, died at the hand of police. He was heard saying “I Can’t Breathe” and “They’re going to kill me” as the police snuffed out his life by asphyxiation. Again, there was no way that Mr. Floyd could say it loud enough that the world could hear him. It appeared that the “Black Lives Matter” slogan was not working and was not catching the attention of white America. And so, the black community realized that it was time to stop with the slogans and put out a cry for help that would be heard by the entire world. Maybe white Americans will finally understand what they are saying when white and black Americans, together, say loudly and clearly
“I CAN’T BREATHE”
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Re: Blessed are the Peacemakers

#3 Post by rdonnay »

In September, 1969 I went aboard a C-5 plane at Clark, AFB in the Philippines. They needed a plane that large to handle the number of casualties that were going back to the U.S. I was finishing my 3rd tour in Vietnam and was going home. A few months earlier, 74 men in our destroyer squadron died when the USS Frank E. Evans was cut in half and sank. It was the only Navy ship to never come back from the Vietnam war. I was there that night to witness that event.

I was sitting in the ambulatory section of a “casualty staging flight” watching as stretchers with badly wounded men were being loaded on board. These were white men and black men, most of who had been conscripted to fight in a foreign war because they could not get a draft deferment for a foot malady or because they were not a senator’s son.

We service men, on that flight, were simply doing our duty, but Americans back home knew that there was something wrong with what they were being told about the war. When we arrived home, there was no greeting from Americans thanking us for our service, except for an old man from the VFW who gave each of us a medal. I still have that medal in a display case with my other service medals.
After 2 months in a Naval hospital, I took off my uniform for the last time and I joined the protests back home. Everything was being protested in 1969 – the draft, black persecution, women’s rights, the Vietnam war. We had been through one of the most tumultuous times in American history, while at the same time, 2 months earlier, we landed on the moon.

This time now, feels like it did in 1969. We have a terrible divide in our political system and our institutions and a complete lack of leadership, just as we did then. Only this time it could be much worse and could last much longer, because now we have a pandemic and record unemployment. And so, 50 years later, again, I am finding myself joining in protest against a broken government and police brutality.

“WE CAN’T BREATHE”

There's something happening here
What it is ain't exactly clear
There's a man with a gun over there
Telling me I got to beware
I think it's time we stop, children, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
There's battle lines being drawn
Nobody's right if everybody's wrong
Young people speaking their minds
Getting so much resistance from behind
It's time we stop, hey, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
What a field-day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly say, hooray for our side
It's s time we stop, hey, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you're always afraid
You step out of line, the man come and take you away
We better stop, hey, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
Stop, hey, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
Stop, now, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
Stop, children, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down

“For what it’s worth” – Buffalo Springfield, 1966
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Re: Blessed are the Peacemakers

#4 Post by bwolfsohn »

:romance-heart:
Brian Wolfsohn
Retired and traveling around the country to music festivals in my RV.
OOPS.. Corona Virus, so NOT travelling around the country right now...
http://www.breadmanrises.com
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