Clearly you’re trying to project a “He-Man” on steroids version of yourself as Commander in Chief by siccing federal agents in camo on protestors in cities led by Democrats through “Operation Legend.” And yes, I see that you all are ostensibly honoring the little boy who was shot and killed while he was sleeping, LeGend Taliferro, but if he had been a little boy named Daryl or a little girl name Shanika would you have named it “Operation Daryl” or “Operation Shanika”? Somehow I seriously doubt it.
There’s clearly more to this than what you all decided to name it, but words are important and the choice of a name that includes larger than life connotations and seems like it’s aiming for the history books had to be exceedingly deliberate. Plus, it no doubt appeals bigly (damn, the spell check didn’t wince at that one) to your base –The Man is cracking down on lawless protestors in legendary fashion, calling out the troops to righteously knock some heads. Game on!
And there it is – game on. You’re getting us used to video footage of unidentified men in camo with guns and tear gas launchers “protecting property” by firing at protestors and snatching them off the streets in unmarked vans so that when the election returns are in and it’s clear you’ve lost, it won’t be that much of a stretch when your unofficial posse joins the fray, but with live, lethal ammunition. I think you all are banking on Operation Legend being able to flex and stretch to embrace the right wing militia people who you’ve already made clear can get away with pretty much whatever they want.
So yes, the current shows of force and threats of force that you and Barr are perpetrating on the American people are last ditch efforts to prove to your peeps that you’ve got this, that you’re in control and will go to the mat to make America White Again. But it’s also to establish precedent for our cities to look like warzones, to make it ok to fire tear gas and rubber bullets (which I doubt your militia people have stockpiled) at walls of mostly white moms or naked white women (go Naked Athena!). In this America it’s been ok to terrorize Black moms for centuries but now that a lot of white moms are finally stepping up and seeing that no children are truly safe if Black children aren’t safe, you all have to go after all the moms who are putting themselves on the line. And, you’ve got to convince your GOP cutouts and your base that your violent “defense” of federal buildings against these unruly mobs of moms singing lullabies is the stuff of legends.
And here we are – the choices can’t be more stark – which narrative, which reality is going to prevail? Will it be the violent asshole narrative that is hell bent on retaining narrowly held power and wealth or the friendly caregiver/protector narrative that is focused on all children’s well being? Which of these narratives seems more fit and more likely to be sustainable over the long haul? Hmm – what do you really think? What do you think your mother would say if she were still alive? Do you think she’d be saying “Damn Donny, why rubber bullets – just go for it son!” or do you think she’d be saying “Damn Donny, we messed you up bad, son, you need to stop this, you’re dishonoring me and yourself. You need to stop this now and then you need to say you are sorry.”
May we be safe from power run amok.
May we be willing to stand with all the mothers for all the children.
May we see the courage and strength in friendliness.
May we accept that we are currently being groomed for much, much worse.