To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

New Observercast

Tulsa Can’t Breathe

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Holding the largest indoor gathering in the whole world since the beginning of the worst global pandemic in a century, in a city that is experiencing its highest rates of community spread of COVID-19 since the pandemic began, in a state that is experiencing its highest rates of community spread of COVID-19 since the pandemic began, in a region of the country that is experiencing its highest rates of community spread of COVID-19 since the pandemic began, in a country that has the highest number of COVID-19 cases and deaths than any other country in the world is really orders of magnitude worse than shooting someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue.

It is in effect one of the most Jim Jones-like actions the world has seen since Jim Jones himself forced his followers en masse to drink cyanide Kool-Aid in his last desperate act of expressing his power over them. Trump’s insatiable ego is fed by the willingness of his devoted followers to drink in the COVID-19 air of Tulsa’s Bank of Oklahoma Center.

To satisfy his sociopathic narcissism, Trump is bringing tens of thousands of people into the most high risk setting imaginable for contracting and spreading a deadly virus that has already killed 120,000 of our siblings in the United States and over 450,000 persons around the world.

While we know from experience that this deadly virus has an inordinately negative and deadly impact on black, Latinx, and indigenous persons, this gathering is being held in a city in which a race massacre 99 years ago killed more black people en masse than at any other time in the United States in what was the largest act of domestic terrorism in the history of our country.

It is being held in a state with a large and vulnerable indigenous community whose ancestors were removed from their homes and their land and forced to come to Oklahoma, with many of them dying of disease, hunger, and hardship on the journey, by a president whose portrait our current president hangs proudly in the Oval Office.

It is being held in a region of the country in which there is a large and vulnerable Latinx community, many of whom have restricted access to quality healthcare.

And it is being held at a time in which tensions related to the injustice of systemic racism are higher than they have been for over 50 years.

The act of holding this rally in Tulsa at this time is potentially one of the most violent and deadly acts ever perpetrated by a president of the United States on the people of the United States. The suffering and death it will cause will not happen in the arena or in the overflow venues of the rally itself, but it will happen slowly over the next few weeks and months as the most vulnerable among us will be more likely to become ill, suffer, and die alone unable to breathe in ICUs separated from family and other loved ones, their wisdom and experience lost to us forever – all so Trump can have his narcissistic rally fix; and Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum, the Bank of Oklahoma Center, and any other person or group who had the power to stop this death rally will be complicit and will forever go down in history for being so.

Mark Y. A. Davies
Mark Y. A. Davies
Mark Y.A. Davies is the Wimberly Professor of Social and Ecological Ethics and director of the World House Institute for Social and Ecological Responsibility at Oklahoma City University. Click for more of his essays. OneWorldHouse.net