Each One Lost

The murder of George Floyd by a police officer in Minnesota, has sparked huge protests across the USA, inflamed by a president who knows only how to divide and destroy, and who then stands in front of a church holding a bible, without the remotest understanding of what they represent. Just another photo opportunity to enforce an impression that he is the president of law, order and decency. Whether one believes that, or not, depends on both your point of view, and the state of your heart.

What has happened, and Trump’s rhetoric and actions, has clearly disturbed many police chiefs, and I was struck this morning by the words of Houston police chief Art Acevedo in a CNN interview with Christine Amanpour. A kind hearted man, Avecedo stated practical advice to Trump “Please, keep your mouth shut if you can’t be constructive”. He also spoke of winning hearts and minds, not confusing kindness with weakness, the importance of voting, about the extreme inequities that exacerbate societal tensions, and overcoming hate with love and engagement. His words reminded me of a song by Bruce Cockburn “Each One Lost” from his album Small Source of Comfort.

It is a song of lament to Canadian soldiers killed in action in Afghanistan, but has lyrics relevant to Avecedo’s sentiments and the protests that have flared up. A link to the song follows the relevant lyrics pasted below.

Some would have us bow
In bondage to their dreams
Of little gods who lay down laws to live by.
But all these inventions
Arise from fear of love
And openhearted tolerance and trust.

Well screw the rule of law
We want the rule of love
Enough to fight and die to keep it coming.
If that sounds like confusion
Brother think again
We know exactly what we chose.

Each One Lost

The USA stands at a crossroad, an election coming up that Avecedo alludes to in his interview. Trump and the GOP will try every trick and tactic to cling on to power, and use anyone, group, organisation, media towards that aim. The GOP is the most dangerous organisation in human history. A different future is possible. The choice for the USA is stark. Four more years of chaos and delay, except even worse than now, or a reset to a trajectory towards something better.

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