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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 7/24/16

The Un-United State of America

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Message Scott Galindez

Reprinted from Reader Supported News

The Republican National Convention

If you had been on the streets of Cleveland this week, you would have witnessed a country being torn apart at the seams by ... Americans. Members of the KKK and right-wing hate groups clashing across police lines with progressives and liberals of all races. Then there were the folks from Westboro Baptist Church and other religious fanatics telling everyone that they were going to Hell.

Divisions on the right and the left were on display. People with the same long-term goals were arguing about how to achieve them. Yes, I did say the left too. There was no one unifying event that sent a strong message to the Republicans convening in the city, and they too did not have an event that showed any unity.

Donald trump and Hillary Clinton ... Really? Two extremely divisive figures are vying to lead our country. I know Jill Stein is running, but the system is rigged against anyone who isn't a Democrat or a Republican. That goes for Gary Johnson too.

I am sitting at an outdoor cafe on 4th Street in Cleveland. The mood is tense. Hare Krishna drums can be heard as people mill about. It is a narrow street that leads to the arena where Donald Trump is about to accept the Republican nomination. There are hundreds if not thousands of people passing by. Some supporters of "The Donald" and many protesters. There are also some here to just witness the spectacle.

Twenty-four hours ago, the festive atmosphere was shattered when police and protesters clashed during a flag-burning by the Revolutionary Communist Party. It was timed to take place amidst hundreds of Trump supporters on their way to the convention. Eighteen arrests were made, and for a brief time there was a melee with police tackling protesters and holding back delegates who wanted to implement their own justice.

Overall it has been an uneventful week. The big excitement was Ted Cruz being booed and Melania Trump getting caught plagiarizing. I heard that the Texas delegates came to blows. Members of the KKK had urine thrown on them by protesters, and that's about it. I think there were under 50 convention-related arrests in Cleveland.

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On Day 2, we went to a rally of black nationalists and Cornel West. Former New Black Panther Party leader Malik Shabazz was a lead organizer of the event. "Mr. Trump is an uncouth racist. But it's not just Mr. Trump," Shabazz told about 200 protesters on hand. "It's an indictment on America. That a racist can be a hair away from being in the White House is an embarrassment for America."

Shabazz wasn't enthused by presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton either. "Hillary Clinton and her slick, sly politicized speech ... she isn't that much better," Shabazz said. "She'll just kill you nicely."

Day 3 was Sunday, and the mood was shattered by news of the shooting in Baton Rouge. I was reflecting on Day 2 and realizing that Dallas and Baton Rouge will not be isolated incidents. I was in a downtown that had had police from all over the country patrolling. That night there was a concert with Mary Mary and the Roots. Cornel West spoke, and to my surprise so did Jim Brown. Their words on the killings were perfectly timed.

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Scott Galindez is a graduate of Syracuse University, a US Army veteran, and currently the Political Director of Scott's activism began at an anti-nuclear vigil in Lafayette "Peace Park" across from the White House. Scott (more...)
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