TOP OF THE TOWN – We are in a crisis in this country the likes never seen since World War II. Except, we are not fighting an external enemy like Germany or Japan. We are fighting ourselves. We are fighting against an invisible enemy in COVID-19 that is still around despite our best efforts to knock it out. It will hang around and kill people as long as we want to risk getting it by congregating in large numbers and ignoring social distancing and not wearing masks. Some of us are willing to risk it and some of us are not. So we are essentially fighting each other. The risk will show up in all likelihood as statistics on some chart somewhere. You will either get sick (or not) and die (or not). We all understand the need to work to provide for our families and businesses need to be open to survive. It appears there are more risk takers out there than risk adverse people. People who have a lot of money such as professional sports owners want to play their sport now. Their risk is not just losing millions of dollars but also the risk of opening and having a large percentage of their fans get sick and possibly die. That would not be a good picture for their businesses. The problem is that from the beginning we were not prepared for a Pandemic. You can blame whoever you want for that. But for me it’s essential to quit the blame game and get to work to solve the problem. I would have doubled down – no, tripled down – on getting all the experts together in a room and lock the door until they came up with solutions that would have guided us through this. Then I would have poured all the necessary federal funding along with federal leadership to help the country fight the virus. I would have thrown the federal kitchen sink at the issue. One thing we don’t need is a thousand different people going a thousand different ways to solve one problem. We need sports in our lives but I’m also cognizant that we need to protect lives. So I would work with all sports organizations to determine the best way forward. Remember this is a Pandemic and not something you can kick down the road and it goes away. It may come back so we have to be prepared as if it will return but pray it doesn’t. The killing of George Floyd I hope is the final straw that broke the camel’s back of discrimination in our country. We have come a long way since the beginning of slavery in 1619. It’s not far enough. White privilege, white domination of our governing institutions has left our blacks and browns behind in almost every way. Laws and regulations over the years have excluded the colors intentionally. Blacks have been discriminated against at just about every turn from buying a house, to securing a loan, from really joining in on the economy dominated by white privilege. Trump and his dad Fred, for example, would put a “C” on applications for rent in their buildings and that would guarantee no person of color be rented to. The government, by the way, fined them for this blatant act of discrimination, although it never really stopped them from doing it. Police brutality against blacks is just appalling, to say the least. It is horrible. However, discrimination based on color is horrible. I know it is. You know it is. But it’s engrained in our society DNA and it’s going to take a strong effort from the ground up – white parents teaching their young children just how horrible it is – to finally stop it. And that may take another generation or so. Until then, our laws and regulations ought to be rewritten to be inclusive so there are stiff penalties for treating people of color differently. That will be tough to do because so many of our lawmakers are closet racists. I’m thinking of Rand Paul here. He’s not even in the closet. So we have to change attitudes and like I said that change will be difficult, but it has to change starting now. We can’t wait another 100 years. My suggestion is to thin the herd of old white and stuffy gizzers in Congress by voting them out just based on principle of discrimination. Just assume they are at least part racist and vote their butts out and vote in young people who are progressive in their thinking and are not tinged by racial bias. That will be difficult too because most of these white men have built up goodwill and a stockpile of money from racists donors that allow them to be voted in office terms after terms. But remember this: Power belongs to us people. We have it if we stay united and use that united front to take charge. It’s doubly tough in 2020 because Trump and his wealthy buddies will throw a (bleep) full of money in his campaign and in the campaigns of cowardly Republicans. It’s going to be tripling tough because Trump has used his hate and lies to divide us into camps. Don’t let him divide us further. Fight him and his stooges, including the Russians, off. Don’t listen to their propaganda, do some critical thinking, toss aside the falsehoods and attack back. Vote Blue, blue, blue.

Be well pal.

Be careful out there.

Have a great day.

You are loved.