The Ugly Truth

Trump, Bundy acquittal reveal America's 'toxic sludge'

The Bundy Boys have been acquitted, and the militias are inflamed,

It’s a green light for the white right, the system can be gamed.

They’re above the law, it’s a huge flaw, no jury will convict them.

They say, ‘Like Dr. King, it was a peaceful thing, we’re not the criminal, we’re the victim.’

The government was overreachin’, we’re wrapped in the flag, and we’re just preachin’

The guns were only for self-defense; if the feds cracked down, that’s just common sense.

The Constitution guarantees that right; it’s them or us in a firefight.

I love my country when things go my way; if not, I guess there’ll be hell to pay.

I was shocked by the acquittal of the Bundys and their supporters. The Bundys see themselves as above the law. This verdict affirmed that. But imagine if they were black or Native American. If they weren’t killed at the refuge, they surely would have gotten life in prison. The Dakota Access Pipeline protesters, mostly Native Americans, are being treated with a much heavier hand during a peaceful protest. If they were armed, as the Bundys were, would they be treated differently? I’m afraid of the answer. In this regard, the history of the Black Panthers may be a cautionary tale as is the killing of people of color by police who are not held accountable.

Unfortunately, these right-wing extremists found their perfect spokesman in Donald Trump. I used to wonder how the Germans could have elected Hitler. Now I understand. Tens of millions of Americans voted for Trump. That’s a lot of people who can’t recognize someone who is delusional and dangerous.

There is an underlying toxic sludge that permeates this country. It is grounded in racism, a sense of entitlement, ignorance and a stunning level of denial. We have looked into distant galaxies and the tiny spaces inside of a cell, but we still cannot see past skin color to the humanity we all share and the destiny that awaits us all.

Moss Henry lives in Santa Rosa.

Open Mic is a weekly feature in the ‘Bohemian.’ We welcome your contribution. To have your topical essay of 350 words considered for publication, write [email protected].

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