So, it has been another interesting week inside and outside of Happy Meadows. On the home front, the most newsworthy item was Michelle coming for a visit and coming inside the house, with permission of Dr. K. The two-leggeds wore masks, and sat out in the screened porch about 6-8 feet apart. We four-leggeds all came out to explore, and Jackson ate an entire spider’s web. I can’t believe he ate the whole thing! And he didn’t even get sick. What a guy!
So, Mike might have been wrong about Spoiled Donald successfully using the “Law and Order” mantra to increase his popularity. He remains adored by people who are committed to his White Privilege and Nativist political point of view, but he doesn’t seem to be attracting many middle-of-the-roaders. Things have changed rapidly since he took office. When Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reed knelt for the national anthem to protest police brutality to African-Americans before the start of a football game in 2017 many people couldn’t see past the action to understand the symbolism behind it. Trump made a big deal out of it, saying that the owners should fire players who don’t stand and salute the flag during the playing of the national anthem. If Kaepernick and Reed didn’t love their country they wouldn’t have risked their careers and financial well-being to make a statement. The mostly white, mostly billionaire team owners knuckled under to Spoiled Donald’s threats to take away their tax breaks if they didn’t blackball the players and prevent further protests of this kind. Partly it was protecting their businesses, and partly they just didn’t know that blacks are routinely subjected to brutality by some police officers. Now, less than 4 years later Drew Brees says something understandable like he can’t support disrespecting the flag and thousands of people jump all over him. Someone explained to him that kneeling for the national anthem was a way of calling attention to a problem in our society that runs counter to what our country stands for: namely freedom and equality under the law. So he apologized and said he now understands it isn’t about the flag at all. From my standpoint as a black cat, he seems to be representative of millions of decent, freedom loving American white people who just haven’t known what black people (or black cats) live with on a daily basis, but thought that they have understood. Our country is reacting to the killing of black people by police officers like they never have before. Part of this is the exposure that the acts have had through video footage. It’s hard to watch a white police officer with a bored look on his face, kneeling so long on a handcuffed black man’s neck, a man who repeatedly says he can’t breathe, with 3 other officers standing there watching, until the black man stops breathing. Really hard to watch.
I have never seen anything like that happen in Happy Meadows, and neither has anyone else who lives here. We have the privilege of living in a peaceful community where nobody bothers us. We never have to wonder if we go out to run errands if a policeman is going to pull us over because we look suspicious, a crime known as driving a nice car while black. I say this, but there are black people who live in Happy Meadows, and they do put themselves at risk simply by leaving the neighborhood. But I haven’t heard of it happening here. Mike, being a white person, hasn’t had much of this discriminatory experience to deal with. I say not much, because there have been incidents. He has been called a dirty Jew by young male cowards as they drove by in their car while he was in his yard back in the late 1960’s in Wisconsin. He married an African-American woman in 1977, still in Wisconsin, and it didn’t seem to bother anyone as far as he could tell, excepting, of course, his family. The funny thing about this was that his brother didn’t care that she was black, but was outraged that she wasn’t Jewish. Mike and his brother were estranged for several years because of this. I will share a story Mike tells about a time when he, Penny, and Michelle were in Kansas City for a family Bar Mitzvah. Michelle was four years old at the time. They were staying at a Doubletree hotel, and the morning of the Bar Mitzvah they went to eat breakfast at the cafe in the hotel. They were seated, and their order taken, but the food never arrived. Everyone else around them was served, but they were not. When Mike asked about their order the server assured them it was on its way. After an hour it was time to go to the synagogue for the service, so they got up to leave. Mike and Penny discussed whether they were going to lodge a complaint with the management, but decided not to give them the satisfaction. However, as they were leaving the table but still inside the cafe, Michelle said in a loud voice, “You should get a microwave.”
There is a discussion going on in the White House about whether Spoiled Donald should address the nation about the issue of police brutality and protests that are going on in our country. It is being reported that some of his advisors are for an address, and some are against it. Both sides argue that adopting their position would result in increased popularity for the president. Nothing is being discussed, I suspect, about what the right thing to do would be. By the way, did you see that picture of our president holding up a bible? There was no writing on the front, so you couldn’t tell if he was holding it right-side up or upside-down. I doubt if he could tell the difference, at least based on his demonstrated total lack of empathy which is a requirement for living by the Golden Rule. What got me was the look on his face. He looked like a four-year-old whose mother was making him sit still in church. A lot of people are upset about the way he had people pepper-bombed out of the way for his photo-op. His popularity is slipping, but he demonstrates great resiliency, and a lot of things could happen between now and November to get him re-elected. Besides, if he loses you can count on him challenging the vote in court, and when it gets to the Supreme Court he could prevail, just like George W. Bush did in 2000. It should be interesting. By the way, I wrote a piece 3 years ago discussing where we are as a country after being challenged by someone on Facebook to respond to a post about our country needing to live by Christian values. I just reread it, and it is germane to what is happening right now. If you are interested you can find my post from June 25, 2017 entitled “A Serious Look at Pseudo-Patriotism.”
So once again I defied Mike’s request that I stay away from political topics. I’m sure he will get over it. After all, he gets it that I am a black cat, and I like to remind him that speaking out is important. He had a great sense of dread when Trump won the election, and says he never knew until that happened how much he loves his country, and the people who live in it. So, I will say whatever I need to, and I’m sure he will understand. And the truth is, I do have a lot more to say. Stay tuned, or if you prefer, try another station. Maybe you prefer Rush Limbaugh, who in 2006 when Michael J. Fox did a TV ad for candidate for Senator Claire McCaskill, said he was faking his Parkinson’s tremor. Nice. Decency goes a long way, I’m thinking. I hope you are all decent in every way today. Be safe, be well, pray for world peace, and be nice to your neighbor. I love you all. So long from Happy Meadows.