From the Lefthand Corner: Calming the waters; our government leaders are doing their best
Usually, particularly for us more politically involved, the early months of even numbered years are taken up mediawise with cumbersome caucus and convention procedures as we move toward filing deadlines in June.
Usually, our media builds up through all months of a presidential campaign year to culmination with November election.
Usually, door-knocking begins before school is out. Leaf-letting and mailings begin soon after.
Usually, campaign pronouncements and appearances at all levels dominate our election year media.
This year was and is dramatically and scarily different. The coronavirus and COVID-19 came, and stayed, and threaten to get much worse before better.
Campaigns, from presidential on down, have been pushed onto a back shelf.
Then, last week our corner of the world was upended again. This time was far beyond unusual.
A white police officer committed a barbaric act, taking the life of an unarmed, non-threatening black man on a street in Minneapolis. Ignoring pleas of bystanders and the man pleading for his own life, the aberrant white officer suffocated the handcuffed, unarmed black man, being held down by him and two other officers, while another officer “guarded” the crime.
It was all in public view.
The horrific taking of the life of George Floyd was immediately broadcast to a shocked city, state, nation and world.
Expectable outbursts and reactions took over all other agendas, even COVID-19. It put leadership of all governmental agencies and personnel to ultimate strain and test - dealing with emergency situation after emergency situation - to an extent that none had dealt with before.
Just as with COVID-19, I believe Minnesota’s leaders have taken the challenges upon themselves and accepted responsibility. They have acted cautiously and carefully, but quite swiftly.
There have been injuries and huge losses of property, and livelihoods have ruptured in many places, but no more lives have been lost.
Authorities have kept the public well informed from day one. Our governor is coordinating with the city mayors. Law enforcement agencies and prosecutors are working together. There is constant communication. No one is seeking the limelight.
Overall, the agencies and officials are diligently working together in unified effort.
For George Floyd and all that he was in his quiet and caring life, we can only strive to do better. We can pray, and grieve, and empathize, vowing not just now but permanently to work toward ending racism in America. We can remind ourselves on a daily basis that we are all God’s children.
For COVID-19, we can all do our own little bit in positive manner. We’ve been told enough times to stay home, to travel sparingly, to stay in small groups, to wash our hands and to wear masks.
It’s not much trouble or effort to put on a mask before we go into a store or station, or other public building, wherever anyone there has to breathe our breath.
Let’s do it.