Sad week in America. COVID-19 deaths are increasing, George Floyd’s senseless death, and violent protests against police brutality exposing a systemic failure of leadership and a nationwide culture of racism. All this is against a backdrop of civil unrest, looting and destruction in many cities across America demonstrating just how thin the line between good and evil is in this country. The politics of outrage will not be a satisfactory response to the wounds of racism ripped open this week and then poked at by the occupant of the White House. Regardless of your political affiliation, you should certainly be able to see the injustice perpetrated against Black America and institutionalized in the militarized police force against all persons of color. Certainly you should be able to recognize that George Floyd’s death was morally wrong. He was murdered by a police officer and three others watched and failed to intervene. Black lives do not matter to the police as currently constiuted in cities across the nation. The data is shocking and disturbing. Police violence is not isolated.
As this week’s George Floyd protests have spotlighted, police violence is endemic and it is multi-generational. NWA’s “Fuck tha Police” (August 9, 1988) was not the only song pointing out the obvious 32 years ago, the Dead Kennedys, eight years earlier than that identified the police as a criminal gang in “Police Truck” (May 1980). “Police Truck” was inspired by an incident in Los Angeles in the late 1970s in which two police officers performed illegal activities such as drinking on the job, beating up drunks, and raping prostitutes. A similar incident was documented recently in 2017. Obviously, I do not have the answers but I have to believe that answers do exist and are out there to be adopted. A recent report issued by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights entitled “Police Use of Force: An Examination of Modern Policing Practices” might be a good place to start.
Tales From The Drop Box Episode 161 seems a rather insignificant offering in light of the protests, but perhaps you can reflect, as I am, about what we can do to stop the violence. Perhaps it is something simple such as giving support to peaceful protestors who were arrested exercising their freedom of expression and rising up against wrongdoing, such as protesting the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and Ahmaud Arbery. You can contribute to the Minnesota Freedom Fund, Louisville Community Bail Fund, Columbus Freedom Fund, Brooklyn Community Bail Fund, and Los Angeles’ People’s City Council Freedom Fund.
Here is what you will find in Episode 161:
- Retirement Party – “Compensation” (Runaway Dog)
- The Detectors – “Opportunities To Grow” (Ideology)
- Duncan Reid and The Big Heads – “Your Future Ex-Wife” (Don’t Blame Yourself)
- Boat – “So Many Reasons Your Hair Turns Grey” (Tread Lightly)
- Ethyl Ether – “Cold Black Soul” (Chrome Neon Jesus)
- One Dollar Short – “Board Game” (Unforgotten Songs)
- 999 – “Statue” (Bish! Bash! Bosh!)
- All Time Low – “Bottle And A Beat” (Future Hearts B-Sides)
- Moses – “Basically” (Almost Everything Is Bullshit)
- Rocket Surgeon – “Lich King” (Flash Fiction)
- Melenas – “No Puedo Pensar” (Dias Raros)
- The Luka State – “[Insert Girls Name Here]” (Feel It)
- Public Practice – “Cities” (Gentle Grip)
- Stiff Little Fingers – “ A River Flowing” (Tinderbox)
- Answering Machine – “Bad Luck” (Bad Luck)
Judgment man on the bench again telling me what I’ve done wrong . . . what can you do if you feel that way so many reasons your hair turns gray…