State-sanctioned killings

Dear President Trump,

Last night I took a walk to “The Rock,” the ginormous glacial anomaly about a mile East of us. It was my destination because it allowed me to head somewhere familiar while walking pretty much exactly 2.23 miles for Ahmaud in honor of his birthday, this one that he didn’t get to have. This birthday that his family didn’t get to surprise him with a Zoom party for, but instead had to endure their new normal without him and experience the refreshed grief that the first big marker after someone’s death always brings.

I wore my new Postal Service T-shirt that Laura got me a few weeks ago (she got our daughter one too) and I so wanted the people I was carefully staying 6+’ away from to ask where I got it because I want more of us to send USPS money. I know these dots will probably seem impossibly far apart to you, but I think that Ahmaud’s murder and the fact that the white perpetrators were not detained until the video of his killing was made public is connected with your efforts to destroy the USPS.

You and your GOP props are so desperate to keep black people from being fully enfranchised that you’re willing to tank a major part of the federal system that would facilitate this. In this country, murders of black people by white people (police and ex-police, in particular) are frequently still state-sanctioned and as long as black people are saddled with inadequate numbers of polling places in their communities, voting machines that don’t work, and not being able to afford to take time off to vote, they will remain disempowered. So, forcing the USPS to go under means there can’t be voting by mail, which means the whole rigged, f*cked system will continue. Dots connected.

Dana Milbank (WP) called you out bluntly in his editorial yesterday, saying that your decision to abandon the country to covid-19 is truly state-sanctioned killing:

“It is a conscious decision to accept 2,000 preventable deaths every day…… It is deliberately sacrificing the old, factory workers, and black and Hispanic Americans, who are dying at higher rates.”

Milbank’s piece was largely focused on the latest evils you all are perpetrating, but this reality goes back even before the beginning of the covid-19 situation, back to when you made decisions to dismantle, defund, derail, and fail to staff our national preparedness infrastructure. You knew full well that wealthy people would largely be able to throw money at whatever might hit and buy the equivalent of full-body PPE to protect themselves and their families, so no real danger to your peeps if the worst should happen. But lord knows the poor people, the people who’ve been historically, systematically disenfranchised, aced out of wealth, and never allowed solid health footing, would be hit hard, knocked out even.

I really do try hard not get read too much into things and to not hop on conspiracy-theory bandwagons. I really do need to stay grounded and not let myself wing out into the ethers, but you know what – I don’t think you bungled any of this at all. There are too many egregiously obvious fails to simply be a series of mistakes. I think this is exactly what you were hired to do.

No, I don’t think you or your handlers created or unleashed this novel coronavirus or that you knew it would be this sort of scenario that would afford you the opportunity to stand back, to hold back, and allow tens of thousands of us to die needlessly. But you all knew the odds were good that something big would happen – it could have been (and still could be) climate-related, it could have been (and still could be) North Korea getting a nuclear warhead to the West Coast, it could have been (and still could be) any number of horrific things and you would have been just as ready to fail us just as badly as you are now because the failure is by design.

Seriously, how could it not be?

May we be safe from our POTUS and his handlers.
May we be willing to make the societal transformations necessary to keep our Ahmauds safe.
May we all be strongly engaged on behalf of everyone’s health and happiness.
May we never accept state-sanctioned killings. Ever.

Tracy Simpson

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