On June 4th, Common Dreams’ lead story is titled, “‘This Isn’t Going Away’: Defying Curfews and Police Brutality in Relentless Push for Justice, Uprising Over Killing of George Floyd Keeps Growing.”
The same day, I received a mass email from Jee Leong Koh, a Singaporean poet living in Harlem. In an 800-word statement about the ongoing protest, riot and looting, there’s this passage:
The destruction of property during this American uprising is not at all senseless. Born out of unheeded rage, it is actually very purposeful. If you are systematically excluded, exploited, or discriminated against in the economy, it is logical that you would smash shop windows in order to be heard and set police cars on fire in order to be seen.
If Koh or his family owned a store that had been looted, I doubt he would find such destruction so logical and purposeful.
On May 28th, ESPN’s Chris Martin Palmer quote tweeted a photo of a six-story building in flames, “Burn that shit down. Burn it all down.”
On May 31st, Palmer tweeted, “They just attacked our sister community down the street. It’s a gated community and they tried to climb the gates. They had to beat them back. Then destroyed a Starbucks and are now in front of my building. Get these animals TF out of my neighborhood. Go back to where you live.”
Checking the news from Philadelphia, my old city, I found out a Rite Aid was looted for 15 hours straight. The local ABC newscast aired a FaceBook rant by Rashan Howard, “I need somebody to please explain to me how this represents getting justice for George Floyd. And you want to know why they don’t put supermarkets in black neighborhoods! This is why.”
That sort of bluntness almost never makes it on air, and unsurprisingly, the online version of the story omits the bit about supermarkets in ghettos.
In Kensington, a tiny drug store was also targeted by looters. On ABC, owner Catherine Tiang said, “I haven’t cried yet, it’s been really stressful.”
Her employee, Donna Knowles, added, “I thought about our patients. Oh my God, what are they going to do to get their medication? They depend on us.”
Block captain Hank Meleski Jr. summed up, “We try to stay together. We want to keep it as nice as we can here ’cause we live here.”
I’ve written about Kensington repeatedly, and know it reasonably well. (When a Philadelphia Inquirer reporter wanted to profile a Kensington bar, she asked me to guide her.) With its factories in ruins, many houses boarded up and junkies nodding on sidewalks, Kensington is a neighborhood that scares even those from Camden, NJ.
People only live or do business in Kensington because they can’t afford anywhere else. They’re the downtrodden you’ve heard so much about, and yet, their takes on race, blacks and cops don’t conform to what you’ve learnt from your Marxist professors.
Most non-black urban poor love cops! And not from some weird sentimentality, ideology or perversion, but because these donut chompers protect them, daily, from criminals, of which way, way too many are black.
These poor live near or work with blacks, ride with them on buses, and, compared to the middle and upper classes, are much more likely to date, marry or have black relatives. They know blacks from direct experiences, so treat them like individuals.
By contrast, too many of the more affluent and refined see blacks as just helpless victims of white racism, so even their worst acts, murdering, raping or, just recently, pummeling old white men and women at a nursing home, can be explained away as natural consequences of this injustice, which isn’t just systemic, but likely eternal, for whites are naturally racist, you see. They’re born guilty.
Three of the last five Philly mayors were black, and over a third of Philly cops are black, including the one who broke up a mugging against me, near the corner of 11th and South in 1992. Dude had a hammer, but I stalled him long enough to not get brained. After the conviction, the cop thanked me, “We’ve had him in here seven or eight times, but this is his first conviction.”
The street violence across America has hardened attitudes on all sides, so there are no winners except for America’s rulers, and I mean the real ones, not their political puppets. No matter how many bricks are thrown, windows broken, stores looted and people injured or killed among protestors and cops, they and their stock portfolios are safe, or so they think.
The current mayhem is not just spontaneous, but elaborately planned out, with bricks delivered, hidden weapons placed at intervals, communication across conflict theater via walkies talkies, scouts and even supply lines.
While some of this sophistication may be grassroots, it’s sensible to suspect there are also deep pockets and professional organization behind it, and unless the state investigates this angle, I will speculate that it is the culprit.
Generating chaos and hatred, America’s rulers reinforce all the worst charges against their divided subjects, such as blacks are lawless, cops are racist psychopaths and disgruntled young people are Antifa terrorists. As for the destruction of the country, this too is consistent with their long-term plan.
I’ve said that Mexico needs the wall more than the US, to prevent panicking Americans from fleeing into it, so short of escaping, Americans should organize and prepare themselves to stake out liberated zones. Those who don’t think they’re in a war are dead meat.
The following coronavirus missives come from Vung Tau, where I’m still hoping to return, and Philly, which I might just see again.
Jim B., a 63-year-old American expat since 1982, working in oil and gas. Originally from Little Rock, Ark, he has lived and worked in the UK, Norway, Australia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.
I flew into Tan Son Nhat from Kuala Lumpur on the 16th March, not realizing the shit storm that was enveloping the world. I got through the medical check by the skin of teeth without being forced into quarantine in an Army barracks. Apparently that happened later in the day. I spent a nervous few days waiting to be hauled out of my apartment where I was self-quarantining, but they never came for me although I was on the CV19 database.
After that Vung Tau was pretty much like everywhere else with social distancing and the like. Still going out with masks and stocking up on booze which got me through the boring times. There were also a couple of times I was cursed as a Tây [Westerner] as at one point it was perceived that most of the new cases were from tourists coming in from other countries. That has all quieted down as it has been demonstrated that even repatriated Vietnamese are bringing it in as well.
Now, the situation is almost 100% normal since there are no new cases. I hear Malaysia is mulling the idea of relaxing somewhat starting on the 9th June. I would like to go back and see my family as I’ve been in VN for 11 weeks now, but the rub here is having to deal with a mandatory 2-week quarantine on both ends. A little depressing at times, but somehow we train our brains for a new normal.
My friends all exhorted me to get a Netflix account to while away the hours. But I rejected this notion and dusted off a very dusty copy of Umberto Eco’s Foucault’s Pendulum. Reading this seriously with a notebook at my side and looking up every reference I was unfamiliar with on Wikipedia & Google translator—this took over a month and was a real educational experience. Strongly recommended. There is lots of other good free e-stuff on Project Gutenberg, maybe I’ll have a go at some James Joyce in the future.
Regarding what worries me the most, I’m certain there will be a world-wide economic collapse. The current events in the USA seem to make sure of this happening sooner than later. The disease—seems to me you have to be really unlucky to be seriously ill with this unless you are unfit, fat, diabetic, etc. But let us face it—shit happens and hiding from it won’t work in the long run.
As for how long this will last, it is like the common cold isn’t it? No vaccine and everyone will get it eventually. But the PTB are coming for you, Bill Gates’ vaccine and the rest.
A year from now, I hope Malaysia is back to normal just for personal reasons. But I do wonder how long Vietnam can carry on without tourism. Surely this must be a fatal blow to the economy sooner than later.
Felix Giordano, a 73-year-old retired American who used to own a grocery store and worked in a psychiatric hospital. He lives, paints and exhibits in South Philly.
The pandemic is a giant hoax, and the hidden agenda comes from Gates, Fauci, Chicoms, greed and world ownership by a few of the ruling classes with many names and many different idiotic reasons…
Since this started, I’ve become a prisoner of a Third World commie dictatorship run by idiots six blocks from Independence Hall. Hope they don’t dig up Ben Franklin’s grave?
Now that the rioting and looting have started, the locals in South Philly stopped the thugs by standing in front of the businesses big and especially small, and the Antifa thugs backed off, so Passyunk and 9th St and below stayed safe for now. Mayor Mac Barstool has called them vigilantes… for trying to save us from those fires, and lootings.
Cops are told to stand down… Pallets of bricks showed up in certain areas. Center City, Frankford, Kensington and West Philly got hit by the thugs. Fires were set, to distract. Since Trump sent in the national guard, it stopped, so now they’re blowing up ATM’s with dynamite to get cash, mostly in the burbs…
The ringleaders are almost all white out-of-towners (big surprise). The media blames the KKK. Anybody with brains can see it’s the lefties owned by the elite rich. Do I have to name them? They’re using our local corrupt-as-hell pols and media to blame everybody but themselves.
The cops won’t come, like they ever did. In Philly it’s always been cops and whores. They’re never around when you need them. So we’re on our own, and the idiots are still wearing facemasks when they jog or bike, but out-of-town and in public parks most folks don’t wear them. All the looters and Antifa inciters wear them.
Most of the looters are from areas where junk is always the cheapest, but sugar in soda costs extra. Price gouging is what you’d expect.
If I hear one more white liberal cry out systemic white racism again, I may go postal on his ass. Before this shit started, I was sitting in the Friendly. A white hipster started to tell me how Rizzo burnt down Osage Ave. I had to tell him that his scapegoat was out of office for six years, and the mayor in 85 was the well-loved by the liberal elite, Wilson Goode, who was black and came from that area in West Philly that couldn’t stand those MOVE crackpots.
MOVE was financed by the same rich white elites that helped the girlfriend killer [Ira Einhorn] get away to France for years, he recently died in jail. I went to his 1st Earth Day bullshit in 1970. Ira Einhorn was the local Epstein of his day in Philly.
Anyway, I blew up on that hipster on his real racism. Dom [owner of Friendly Lounge] put him at the other end of the bar. I’ve been social distancing for decades because of assholes like that. As I was leaving, the jerkoff wanted to buy me a drink and shake my hand. I impolitely told him to go fuck his mother in the ass.
Well, at least the pandemic is coming to an end. Now that they can shame a bunch of white liberals into crying and begging for forgiveness for something their ancestors might have done to some other guy’s ancestors. I don’t have that guilt trip. My grandparents were all Southern Italian serfs when they escaped to get here. That bugs some people who use that race card. I drank in a black bar the night they killed Martin Luther King. Sorry to tell you I was a homey, but I’m from a time when people laughed at all those race stereotypes.
This crap is really the ultra-rich using idiots, from the left and right, doesn’t make a diff to me, they’re just tools, to bring back feudalism. It always was Marx’s real aim. Will we go thru another 1,500 years of minor kings and serfs with their knights keeping us barefoot and stupid? I don’t think that will happen. What Gates, Soros, Rothschild, Rockefeller and all the other jackasses with too much money try to do, I don’t think they’ll succeed.
Will we come out of this a better world? No, we’re still humans, we always fuck up, but as pissed as I am, I still want to sing that stupid song from a stupid Broadway show in the 70s, “Tomorrow”!