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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 11/12/20

Nope. I'm NOT "Turning The Other Cheek"

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I'm all for "forgiving but NOT forgetting." Especially when it comes to politics today. Too often people forget way too easily until the same kind of pain is revisited on them by unscrupulous politicians. I'm not one of these people. Now, that does not mean I hold grudges. Nope, far from it. But I do feel that retribution is a necessary pre-condition on the way to forgiveness. That's why I'm appalled, and alarmed, by some folks in the Democratic Party, sundry pundits, and political talking heads all now pushing the "move on/along" narrative and floating the idea that in order to heal a divided American nation we all must forgive and forget and "reach out" to Republicans and "understand them" since "we're all Americans." So, let me get this straight: Less than 30 days ago America and the world bore witness to the hurtful, insensitive and divisive rhetoric of "loser president" Donald John Trump and his enablers in the media, who tried to undermine what's left of American democracy, and people like me must simply smile and move on?

People like me are just supposed to pretend that the past 4 years were a series of unfortunate and nobody's fault unavoidable events, and so as the Republican Party gets kicked in the behind by a grassroots Democratic campaign, things will suddenly get back to normal? Trump's litany of hateful acts divided America; they put family members against each other, separated children from their parents, coddled white supremacists and sycophants who used the office of the President of the United States as a fetid pig trough, and the domain of family grifters, losers and con artists. As the dust settles in the aftermath of the 2020 United States presidential elections, we are seeing the depth of Trump and his enablers lack of compassion, their political depravity and all of the millions who voted for him in the bright light of his unparalleled cruelty.

So, I'm not going to "reach out" to people who saw absolutely nothing wrong with a POTUS holding defenseless little children who fled violence and death in their homeland with their parents locked up in cages like discarded animals no longer having any use value. What are we to speak about? You did not know he was that cruel? You thought that this was "fake news?" Then you are more stupid that I thought you were. I am supposed to have polite conversation with people who in the middle of a pandemic that has killed near to 250,000 people and which President Trump's own medical professionals project will kill close to half a million by February 2021, showed up in massive numbers to hear "their champion" peddle lies, insult and denigrate Americans trying to keep us safe and brag and boast about all kinds of silly, infantile issues? Am I to infer by these actions that to "reach out" I have to tolerate mindless zombies and embrace unadulterated ignorance?

Yeah, I still remember a president who could not bring himself to condemn a white cop who, in full public view, knelt on the neck of a Black man who committed no crime but had high praise for police unions and organizations that have "all endorsed me," and gave a big shout-out "we love our police" in campaign rally after rally. I suppose I need to "move on." Mike, this is the past, forget it. No! No! Black people still feel the hurt, especially Black women who see the George Floyd murder as something that can happen to their sons. They live with that dread every day. So, please people, don't insult me by telling me to "reach out and forget." Those who have caused us harm are the ones who must reach out, beg forgiveness and work to atone for their evil and wrongdoing. I do not have to do that.

You see, it's like racism. I don't have to "reach out," "bridge the gap" for a system that my Black slave ancestors and I did not create. They, white people, the majority in the Republican Party, kept silent when Trump used tear gas on peaceful protesters after calling them "rioters and looters." What, you did not know that he's always been a racist? Look at his cabinet for Pete's sake! Besides Ben Carson's "token appointment" it's a white, old boys club that send the clear and unmistakable message where he stands on racial equality. Trump does not see Black people as equals. I'm a Black man. I'm not welcomed in a Republican Party whose ideology today is Right-wing Trumpian populism that is "fascism lite" and a creeping movement towards authoritarianism. People like me cannot look away, "reach out," "move on" and forget what this odious ideology and politics visited on Black and brown peoples for the past 4 years.

You want me to see "one America." You want me to buy in to the "no blue or red states - only the United States." All very lovely platitudes. All divorced from the reality of America today. A failure to remember the havoc that Trump and the Republican Party wrought this past 4 years is to insult my intelligence. I have had to keep a list of all my friends who died lonely deaths from the ravages of the COVID-19 Pandemic. I've had to see the effects on poor Black, Brown, Asian, white and others in Brooklyn, New York where I live. Record high unemployment, especially among women and young people, crime and violence, hopelessness and community pain. Few Brooklynites are/were spared; everybody knows someone who COVID-19 killed.

And I'm so very, very angry that this did not have to happen. I'm a COVID-19 survivor and I'm one of the lucky ones. While we suffered and died President Donald Trump failed to act, did not care about the hundreds dying like flies every day, preferring to "Tweet" it away and indulge in wishful thinking when all the time he knew better but made the decision to do nothing. That's on the collective consciences of the over 70 million people who voted for him and believed that COVID-19 was a hoax and that "we've rounded the corner" on the disease. You ask me to have a conversation with these folks? What am I going to tell them? Or better still how are they going to convince me that they did not comprehend the deadly impact of this pandemic? Man, on the campaign trail Donald Trump repeated about 40 times that COVID-19 was going to disappear.

There are many of you who are telling me that I need to "turn the other cheek" and embrace Christ's Christian teachings. Sorry. No can do. I'm an atheist for starters. And, turning the other cheek is not exactly a proactive, smart action or something that will deter bullies like Donald Trump and his white supremacist minions or force them to mend their evil ways. If anything, "turning the other cheek" in this day and age will just provoke very violent people, predisposed to violence, to enact more of the same on those who believe that this activity will somehow change them. Standing up to bullies is the one thing that will cause them to think twice. Then and only then we can have a conversation. Until then don't ask me to "reach out." BTW look at the "profiles in courage" - Congressional Republicans all cowering and sniveling at the prospect of Donald Trump, who is certainly not "reaching out" or "moving on," exacting retributive punishment on them even after he leaves office. Me? The American people are possessed of notoriously short memories; Donald Trump could very well become simply a political blip and afterthought - if Red State Republicans grow a pair.

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MICHAEL DERK ROBERTS Small Business Consultant, Editor, and Social Media & Communications Expert, New York Over the past 20 years I've been a top SMALL BUSINESS CONSULTANT and POLITICAL CAMPAIGN STRATEGIST in Brooklyn, New York, running (more...)

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