I sent out a joke, which I would think was obvious to all, but it caused a stir among my grandchildren. Perhaps it was a bit crude. It is almost certainly exaggerated. However, it is based on the truth that George Floyd was an addict and thief and in death he can do no more crimes. However, his family made out very well being given 27 million dollars by the state and getting 13 million from a go fund me campaign.

One of my grandchildren chastised me for not being more generous and understanding of George Floyd because there are members of our own family who have overcome addictions. And there have even been a couple of instances where one spent some time in jail. But the similarity ends there.

George Floyd was a crook as well as an active addict.  He was a human being and he was male. Other than that he was not anything like anyone in our family. I have huge sympathy for addicts, but I also know that tough love works better than empathy and constant “second chances”. The problem is that the addict must be willing to change. There are so many programs and so much help available for those who are receptive, or desperate enough to want to absorb it. And the stories of people who found sobriety after repeated failures are inspiring. There is hope for anyone who will grasp the Program.

It is true that the George Floyd family have ‘made out like bandits’ (that is an old-fashioned cliche) on the death of a relative they did not like very much or spend any time with.

And young people are wearing shirts with the name of this very bad man, as if he was a hero. What a horrible example of a man he was!

Yes, I believe that the policeman who killed him was wrong. 

In fact, I believe he was a “bad cop”. Police departments all over have one or two of these, most of the time. They know that these men are borderline. However they know they are useful, too.

There is a need for really tough cops sometimes. There are people who need to be arrested that won’t go gently. Most cops are NOT bad. They are not mean or evil even to black ( or white or Hispanic) boys who have broken the law.  There are many, many examples of cops helping young “thugs” rather than arresting them if you bother to check the stories out. Here is one about Lil Wayne :
https://hiphopdx.com/news/id.48841/title.lil-wayne-applauds-white-cop-who-saved-his-life-during-2018-bet-hip-hop-awards-speech#

But it is ALWAYS best to avoid breaking the law. If you are pulled over by a policeman it is prudent to do whatever they say. And be polite while you do it.  Surely your parents have told you this because it is what every parent tries to instill in their children so that they won’t be manhandled or otherwise in any danger from the police. Keep your hands on the wheel. Say yes, sir, and “no, sir.” Don’t make sudden moves. Ask before reaching to get something out of the glove compartment.

Remember the police are scared of anyone they attempt to stop or question. There are a lot of dangerous people who seem to enjoy taunting and even attacking the police. Think how unnerving it must be to pull over a car at night. They have to get out of their cruiser and walk over to the stopped car. They may discover it is full of gang members who are armed and not afraid of the officer but instead want to kill him. Or it can be a drunk who is acting crazy but might endanger the policeman or other people on the road. I really admire policemen for their bravery and dedication to duty. (But I know there is corruption in the police force just as in government.)

Part of being ‘out in the world’ is knowing that a lot of people who SHOULD be good are not. A lot of people who are supposed to protect you are not doing so.  A lot of people who should be honest are not. The government is NOT out to help you, not ever. The government has developed so entrenched a bureaucracy that its main job is to protect itself.

Much of the trouble (if not ALL of the trouble) starts in the home. Unwed mothers and absent fathers, living in close quarters with a lot of others like them, make it very difficult for the children to break out of the pattern.

This has nothing to do with racism. This is about moral values and a support system at home.

There are NO restrictions on anyone due to their race or religion or sex except those imposed on them by their peers.  Black people who accuse their brothers and sisters of being “White” if they study hard or dress neatly or speak well are causing harm. They hold their own kind back more than prejudice in the past ever did. And this is true of any race or ethnicity if they belittle education, or a good job, or marriage or religion, or anything that is considered mainstream.

What is the answer?  If only there were a simple one.  But teaching people that they are “victims” when they live in the freest country in the world and have every opportunity is like shooting them in the foot. It stops them cold.

No one should encourage single motherhood. Single mothers used to be shunned.  And I don’t think that is right either.  But trying to raise a baby without a father is really tough.  And it is hard on the child as well as the mother. Most of the troubles in our country stem from that.

It shocks me when I hear what is being taught in school, even in private schools, today. The most skewed ideas about the beginnings of our country, lack of respect for our founding fathers, or the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution, and constant disparaging of dead white males is not only wrong, but it is also ignorant. How did we ever let it become so bad? I do not know. Everyone who thinks this country is wrong, defective, substandard, and unsatisfactory should be made to go live in another country for a while. Talk to those who risked their lives to get here and see how terrible they think it is. NOT.

Talk to people who came here from Cuba or Venezuela or Iran or Ukraine or Viet Nam. They will tell you. I deal with people all the time who are aghast at the attitude of Americans toward their own country. These people KNOW what it is like to live under socialism or worse, communism. They lived it. And they escaped in order to come here to prosper. And they are very worried that it is coming here faster and faster, and may reach a point past which it cannot be turned back without violence.

It is true that things always change and change is good much of the time. The future has great benefits in store. But many of these same things make me want “out”. I wish you all a wonderfully peaceful world, great good health, independence, and lack of fear.

It seems to me that people are consumed by fear these days and that is debilitating. There is “nothing to fear except fear itself” as FDR said in his first inaugural address. According to Roosevelt, there is nothing to fear in this world. One only has to fear the dark thoughts coiling and uncoiling inside the mind. Those thoughts make one fearful. It is not the ‘object’ that one thinks is the cause of the trouble.  As a noun, “fear” refers to the sensation of fear.  Human emotions make one’s mind foggy and blind with emotional turbulence caused by overthinking about the object of the fear. Such as a virus with a 99.8% survival rate.

But I digress.

I hope you have read this whole letter because it comes from my heart. I love you all and I worry about the world you will be living in after my time here is over.

Love and kisses,

Gramma

Copyright©. 2021 Bonnie B. Matheson

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