TOP OF THE TOWN ‑ First of all let me repeat what I have been saying for years that social media will kill us. Too much information overwhelms and stirs up the population. Now if somebody spits on the sidewalk it instantly goes viral. So we are constantly getting “news.” That means when somebody is killed in the back 40 or in some small village somewhere in one of our 50 states we know it instantly. Since we are overflowing with guns in our society it seems logical that somebody is going to get killed even if it is unintentional or by mistake. I once mistakenly fired a shotgun and just missed my friend’s foot. He said in fear, “What are you doing?” Once while hunting ducks (I never hit one) I hit another friend hiding in a bush with some shotgun pellets. Didn’t hurt him, thank God, but he probably is still mad at me decades later (one of the reasons I don’t own a gun). If these two incidents would have happened today, I would be all over the news and social media. Social media has pushed us to have conversations and arguments over racism in our country. And because of social media we get instant news when somebody shoots and kills, and not just miss shooting off a foot. And we get immediate controversy when the shooting involves a white policeman shooting a black person, which seems to happen almost weekly now. I have never wanted to be a policeman. It’s a tough job, made tougher when you have a license to shoot. Carrying a gun, I’m sure, empowers the person (policeman) carrying such a weapon. A policeman carrying a gun has power you don’t have so there is a feeling that you can’t mess with one. I have had a policeman tell me that when he drove his police car down a certain alley where drugs were popular he most often scrunched down in his car seat for fear being shot at, as he was more than once. So there is fear on both sides and when that fear raises the temperature something is bound to happen. I believe, and most people if they are honest will admit it, that there is a fear among whites when confronting a black in certain situations. That is the result of inherent racism built into white culture. It is taught at home and carried into adulthood even if it rarely surfaces. Black families know this and parents teach their black children at an early age to act a certain way so as not to alarm authority – don’t move, keep your hands on the steering wheel if you are in your car and stopped by police, for example. Our country was built by whites to serve whites and exclude blacks and browns (you can look that up to satisfy yourself that it’s true). That feeling of white superiority still exists today. Look around at what is happening in many of our states right now. Laws are being proposed and passed that are aimed at limiting voting for blacks and browns. There is a general fear among the white majority in our country that by a certain year (what I have read is the year 2040 whites in this country will be in the minority) and so people with power (mainly in the Republican Party) are at work to limit immigration of non-whites and to solidify laws that will ensure whites remain in control. This is all leading to combustion of forces meeting at crossroads. I’m tired of blacks being shot and killed for little or no reason, except for fear on both sides placed there by racism. When is it necessary to shoot multiple times at a fleeing person?  What worries me is that this situation is not going to get better in a hurry. It has been over 400 years in the making and we are not going to eliminate racism over night. We have millions of gun owners and millions who hold racist views even if they don’t think they do. It’s inherent in us. So put the guns and racism together and you have that combustion of forces, and because of social media we get to see it all develop in almost real time. Something has to give, and I’m afraid that we are in for tough times. It just can’t continue this way. Ok, enough of this for now. I’m getting depressed. Stay safe.

Be well pal.

Be careful out there.

Have a great day.

You are loved.