A friend who recently moved to Los Angeles from London last year commiserated with me, “I came here during raging fires, then coronavirus, and now riots and looting! I’ve gone from a three-month quarantine to a nightly curfew!”
What troubles me most about her observation is the lack of focused accountability for the twin viruses of COVID-19 and pillage. Yes, you can find responsibility for a slow response and blame the president and you can also lay blame for the 60% of deaths happening in nursing homes attributable to the irresponsible and pathetic responses of Governors Gavin Newsom and Andrew Cuomo. However, the real culprit remains the communist Chinese government. It acted with unmitigated malice, lied and concealed the severity of the virus, arrested the physicians who spoke up, and then refused access to our researchers.
This pandemic, which could have been contained as a Wuhan epidemic, will be with us for years to come in terms of deaths and economic impact. We have lost faith in the World Health Organization, whose corrupt director Tedros Adhanom propagated the communist Chinese lie that there was no human-to-human spread and then touted the now-discredited Imperial College prediction of a 2.5% death rate in the US (which would have amounted to more 8 million fatalities). Fueled by media hysteria, this led to our shutdown. As for what is now aptly renamed the Centers for Disease Confusion (masks bad/mask good; surfaces bad now surfaces OK), its credibility in the minds of many Americans has been severely shaken.
An unarmed black man is handcuffed and brutally killed by a vicious cop. The resulting legitimate outcry, protests, and demonstrations are usurped by looters and arsonists whom the victim, George Floyd, would have strongly condemned. The destruction of immigrant and African American businesses that were already teetering at the brink from coronavirus lockdowns is almost as painful to watch as the murder. As a just society, we must address the injustice of black men being disproportionately targeted and killed by certain racist police officers who thankfully are a small percentage of policemen, followed by a justice system that punishes the perpetrators with a fine or light sentence. At the same time, we must focus on the violent culprits who exploit the needed protests as a chance to steal and destroy property.
Why not drop blue-dyed water from helicopters to identify and arrest them? Where are the stun guns and rubber bullets to send the strong message that we won’t allow arson and looting?
Many white-collar criminals, including the Wall Street moguls who were complicit in the market crash of 2008, evaded jail and justice. Corrupt FBI executives on the infamous “7th floor” and above violated the law and standards of acceptable conduct and we can legitimately doubt that any of them will be sentenced.
Communist China visits a plague on humanity and denies culpability; will there be a comeuppance? Each of us must have the right to sue this violent and repressive regime for loss of life and livelihood.
Even though sports “heroes“ like LeBron James say that players and owners should refrain from stridently condemning China’s brutal repression of protesters in Hong Kong for fear of a Chinese reprisal against the NBA, we must speak out. Even if these super-wealthy athletes, owners, and leagues lose another multimillion-dollar endorsement or deal, silence is unacceptable.
Sadly, the sports industry is not alone in catering to the whims of the communist Chinese regime. Countless corporate behemoths, including Amazon, Google, Apple, and Facebook, cower at the threats of president for life Xi Jinping. Sadly, as consumers, we, too, have gotten accustomed to $10 slave-labor sweaters and gadgets made in China. Villainy, in our nation and in the actions of repressive regimes, demands a response. We, who have failed to demand accountability, can no longer remain silent.
The Prophet Ezekiel proclaimed, “The righteousness of the righteous will be credited to them and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against them.” People of conscience must stand together to castigate and ostracize all evil actors.