People who have been dealing with police brutality for decades need to be remembered as protests against police violence continue. I could get brutalized for showing up at a protest, but someone with different DNA could get brutalized for walking downtown. But the evolution of BLM protests into protests against police brutality used against protesters and protests against federal policing of American cities are perfectly valid movements too. I see people who had no personal experience with police brutality who joined a protest based on their reaction to the Floyd video got to experience profiling (you’re here with a sign, so must be a violent anarchist out to smash glass), police brutality, and violent over-reactions. Brings to mind the hypothesis that military action in Iraq was a huge recruitment driver for radical groups — people who disliked abstract America policy in a non-violent way experienced that policy as friends and family became collateral damage. And wanted to “do something” to push back.
Although, that may be the point of the BLACK Lives Matter movement — that given two equally valid movements, the one impacting white people hold the nation’s attention while the equally valid concerns from a minority group fall by the wayside.
If we’re not renaming military bases because Confederate generals are a part of our history (although it will be interesting to see if Trump gets countermanded again) … can we start applying the same “it’s part of history, so we need to remember it” logic when naming new bases (or ships)? The generally abysmal lack of historic knowledge probably requires very specific locations for the names to be meaningful if we go with Revolutionary War figures — Fort Burgoyne in the Satatoga area, maybe rename a naval base with Arbuthnot. And of course we’d need a Fort Arnold. But why ignore the last 150 years? Have a Fort Wilhelm II. Fort Minh. Fort Sandino. Or combine base renaming with current-day diplomacy. I’m sure Kim Jong-un will be honored when we unveil Fort Kim Il-sung. It’s all part of our history, right?
On a tangentially related note … how many people have actually stopped to look at a statue? Read the name on the statue? Read the blurb about the person? Gone home and spent an hour researching the individual? Does the fact a statue exists at Gettysburg mean the general population remembers Francis Channing Barlow? Are we really in danger of forgetting who Robert E Lee was if statues aren’t standing in our parks?
I’ve often pondered the eventual collapse of civilization — the zombie apocalypse, climate catastrophe, coordinated EMP strikes. Whatever the cause, most people depend on external sources for that which is most critical for life. City water, grocery stores, fuel, climate control systems, clothing stores. How can someone who isn’t a doomsday prepper successfully navigate the change?
I’ve always envisioned a distinct inflection point — one minute there’s a power company, food distribution system, repair services, communication services … then there’s not. But watching the creation of the Chapel Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ) … I think this is a glimpse of the future. Short coordinated EMP strikes on a global scale, anything that precipitates the collapse of the government will be slow. And … I’ve always thought a community banding together to pool resources (and build a really big zombie-proof wall) would be the most effective approach. It makes sense that these communities would take over some set of resources they need. Now, I wouldn’t pick the police station. I’d go for lots of land with ample water — preferably a working farm with equipment and animals. Acquire solar, wind mills, battery arrays, and electric motors (need to convert the farm equipment and vehicles to electricity). Shortwave radio. And, if I was particularly lucky, a decent rack of servers.