It has been what, almost six months now since we’ve had a self-serving liar in the White House? And yet, almost every time I hear mention of the term ‘the president’ being used in the news, it takes me a while to climb out of my bunker and unfurl from my emotional safe place and remember that we indeed do have a new, current president who is not insane, and if they show a clip of him speaking I won’t have to spend the rest of the day repairing fried circuits in my brain and psyche. It was a grand relief for a while there after the inauguration, when there was a welcome respite from nonsense and vitriol coming from the office of the President of the United States. It seemed safe to don a mask and come out from hiding and enjoy the light of day- that was then, this is now.
These are curious times, if you hadn’t noticed. We just went through two days of remembrance of an event 100 years ago that we were meant to have never heard of, and every reason to forget. That was the burning and destruction of buildings and homes in the Greenwood section of Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1921. It was also the Black section of town and a thriving area both economically, culturally and as a community. During the eighteen hours of the assault on that place by white residents of Tulsa, a thousand homes and hundreds of businesses were burned to the ground, in some cases by incendiary bombs dropped from private airplanes. This was erased from the local and national press at the time- nothing to see here.
When I was doing my cross country trips a few years ago I first learned of the Rock Springs Chinese massacre when I was visiting the history museum in nearby Green River Wyoming. That was in 1885 and involved a bunch of white people killing at least 28 Chinese miners who were “taking their jobs”. That same year in Tacoma, as many as two hundred Chinese were marched eight miles and loaded into boxcars and sent to Portland. Of course there was the Sand Creek massacre in 1864 where the U.S. Army and Colonel Chivington slaughtered 200 or so Cheyenne in the then Colorado Territory, mostly women and children. Both events I’d never heard of before. There was also the Elaine, Arkansas massacre of 1919 where somewhere around 100 Blacks were murdered. There was also Rosewood, Florida, where blacks were killed, along with enough whites that the town of Rosewood ceased to exist because no one wanted to live there anymore.
All of these events have been obscured by time, and in most cases erased from memory until very recently. They were inconvenient truths- hard and brutal evidence that the proposition that we are all created equal was bogus, in spite of all the hype. Fast forward to a year ago and the killing of George Floyd by Derek Chauvin, and we witnessed once again the grinding wheels of the propaganda machine, trying to pulverize the truth into something more palatable than the reality that a seasoned, white police officer ground the life out of a Black man while he gasped for breath and called for his mother. That didn’t work- Chauvin didn’t get off free. The thing was, everyone knew that Chauvin did it because, thanks to multiple camera-phone videos of the event, we could see what had gone down that day, and yet the defense tried to cast doubt on what we had seen with our eyes, and had thrown that bit of uncertainty into what we thought was true.
It seems it is the trend of the times- the declaring of what we have seen with our eyes as being not what we have seen. Don’t just ignore that man behind the curtain- he either isn’t there at all or else he is actually a person of color out to ruin your life and destroy America as well. With the insurrection of January 6th, we watched as people with Q’s and MAGA’s attack and kill capitol policeman outside the halls of the U.S. Congress. We are now being told by their Republican representatives, most of whom were inside that building at the time, that what we saw was evidence of an average day of capitol tours and orderly tourists, except for those bad Black Lives Matters people who had obviously dressed up in white face and spoiled the party for everyone.
This version of the day is not true. I know it is not true because I saw it, the same way I saw George Floyd plead for his life and get nothing in return. I suppose that because we just went through four years of a president who told somewhere upwards of 30,000 lies whilst discussing the affairs of this so-called Union, that we should perhaps by now be used to the untruths. Sinking to those depths would be allowing the abnormal to become the norm, and we can’t do that. It has been suggested that we have a 9/11 style commission convened to investigate the events of 1/6. That day should and must be investigated, but I balk at a 9/11 style commission because I’m still concerned about what that wrought.
I know what you’re thinking now- here’s comes that truther crap. I always hated the term truther in the same way I dislike the label of conspiracy theory because they both shut down any reasonable discourse that could happen, so just indulge me here for a few minutes. I had to look it up, but it was back in 2010 at a Greentech meeting at Minglement when the entire building was shaken by multiple booms. These turned out to be the sonic booms from fighter jets that had been scrambled in Portland to come and intercept a float plane coming from Lake Chelan to Lake Washington and had violated the ten mile restricted zone around Boeing field, imposed because President Obama had flown into Seattle that day. The relevance to 9/11 here is twofold- one is that something as small as a float plane had triggered a defensive response, while on 9/11, four commercial airliners had gone off course at once, with no corresponding military reactions. It was claimed that all available planes were out at sea on maneuvers that day, but this single float plane had brought in jets from 200 miles away at warp speed.
On the morning of 9/11 I awoke to the voice of Carl Kassell on NPR saying that a twin engine plane had just hit the World Trade Center. When no further reports came on, I turned on the teevee to see a tower smoking and then collapse in cataclysmic cascade of dust and rubble, just like, as the news commentator mentioned at the time, what one would see in a controlled demolition. Then the second tower came down in the same way, and it still looked as though it had been imploded. What we did not see that day was the third building that came down in a similar fashion at 5:21pm. The thing was that Building 7 was a block or so away from the twin towers and it had not been hit by either a plane or any of the debris from the crashes or the collapses. In spite of that lack of causation, the National Institute of Standards and Technology determined that it was buckling columns inside the 47 story building- caused by a fire of unknown origin- that ultimately brought the building down in its own footprint. NIST did not look for evidence of explosives, nor did they acknowledge eyewitness testimony from first responders accounts of explosions before the collapse. The 9/11 Commission accepted that report as gospel.
Two of the hijacked planes disappeared that day. The airliner that hit the Pentagon completely combusted in the hole that it blasted in the side of the building. There were no wing nor tail marks on the exterior like the eerie slashes on the sides of the twin towers- the story was that upon impact at the Pentagon, the wings folded back on the fuselage and all of it melted inside the building. As for flight 93 out in Shanksville, all that was seen there after the crash was a slash in the ground and a few bits of random debris scattered about the site. The official explanation there was that by some chance of fate the plane had crashed head on into the ground at the precise location of a landfill, and with the velocity of the impact and the relative softness of the buried garbage, the plane just vanished into the ground, never to return.
I stopped talking about 9/11 years ago because I got tired of the look, the blank stare of incredulity and either disgust or disbelief that I saw coming back at me from many people that I told these and other stories to. But I know what I saw on that morning, and it was a controlled demolition. The spin story about melted beams and pancaking floors seemed plausible and perversely brilliant at the time. But looking back with a lot more information, it just doesn’t make any sense. It was reported the other day on MSNBC that many people who were watching coverage of the 1/6 insurrection on Fox and Newsmax, did not see the violence of that day, so it is understandable how they could be convinced that it all came down as they were told it did with the Antifa and the Black Lives being the rioters of choice who obviously would be much more likely to wreak havoc at the capitol in order to make the former president look bad. After all, it does seem to be that a good part of what the MAGA right does is done to “own the libs”, so it would only seem logical that they would expect the same from the left. Once again we are back to a rudderless state without a baseline of truth to moderate the mess. If we can’t at least agree on what we see, especially with something as straight forward as the basic events of 1/6, then any commission is doomed to failure before it begins.