Louisville, Kentucky went up in flames over the last few days. The initial protest mirrored every other protest around the country, over the knee-to-the-neck murder of Minneapolis African American citizen George Floyd.
But on Sunday night, the protest turned inward. The popular owner of YaYa’s barbeque joint, David McAtee, who had fed countless meals to members of the Louisville police department, was shot dead by a group of Louisville police and the National Guard who had been shot at by rowdy protestors earlier, but they saved their wrath for the friends of David McAtee.
A crowd of neighbors, not of protestors, had gathered at the intersection where YaYa’s is located. Mr. McAtee was guarding his store, and other family members, including his niece, were there. It was a neighborhood gathering place, well known to the citizens of the city.
Suddenly, two police officers and two National Guard members moved forward and began firing indiscriminately. But instead of rubber bullets, real bullets were fired, first hitting the niece then killing McAtee as he reached for her. The police officers had left their body cameras turned off—a common occurrence in this country full of rogue lawmen and lawwomen.
One of the Guard who fired, a woman, had earlier faced a protestor who offered her flowers. The Guard member posted on her social media page: “I hope the pepper balls that she got lit up with a little later on hurt. She was saying and doing a lot more than ‘offering flowers’ to me. Just so for it to be known. For anyone that knows me and knows that facial expression tells everything. Come back and get ya some more ole girl, I’ll be on the line again tonight.”
The people in the crowd ran for their lives. The niece survived her wound. David McAtee’s body, unable to flee, lay in the street for twelve hours. Twelve hours. One thinks of Michael Brown, whose own body lay in a St. Louis street for hours.
The police chief was fired. The shooters were all placed on administrative leave. Sound familiar?
Saints and sinners, writes me, the atheist. Mr. McAtee, who fed people, as the Good Book told him it was right to do, is a saint. Mr. Floyd and Michael Brown are saints, as is Kentuckian African American Breeana Taylor, shot to death, her crime sleeping in her own bed while police broke into her home, which was the wrong address.
Only one sinner am I interested in, the bloviating blasphemer Donald Trump, who set up reporters with a phony news conference then had them follow him as he walked to a church and posed with a bible. I personally have no stake in the bible game except to say I intended to be a Methodist minister when I was a kid, and I read that book multiple times. I’m not a fan of creation myths or nutty young men going around with messianic tendencies. But I understand and I respect my many friends who are believers. I understand that the bloviating blasphemer is the spawn of Satan aka Fred Trump, racist who taught his son well.
Then, this morning, the bloviating blasphemer walks to the monument to Saint John Paul II and poses, first frontally, then with his giant ass to the cameras, to the disgust of major theological thinkers such as Archbishop Wilton Gregory, who denounced the appearance.
Trump holds hands with a woman who has refused to hold his hand for three years, but now may be high on force-fed drugs. He is a child rapist, a mob-connected corrupt businessman, a liar, a looter far worse than any current protestor, a fascist who now wants “his” army to surround our cities, and, doctors speculate, an Alzheimer president. His henchmen—gay Mike P., Mike Pompous-asshole, Lindsay Girl, Old Turtle Face, Naked Girl Melania the Illegal Immigrant, and Fat Bill, if there is a hell, will boil in it.
Philip Roth wrote a marvelous parody of the Nixon crookery: “Our Gang,” in which Tricky Dick, having gone to Hades and tired of the Devil’s ineptitude, wins an election from the forked-tail one on a platform of more-evil. He wins with the aborted fetus vote.
Nixon, compared to this gang of monsters, is a pussycat.
Black people were murdered for these sins. Black people were murdered for these self-indulgent “people who need to be white.” Black people were murdered for the economy. Black people were murdered because they came from slaves, so of course deserve to die so we won’t have to deal with that.
We all go as saints, or we die as a species.
Where do we stand? Where do we kneel? Where do we die?