The Cockroaches Are Now Out Where We Can See Them!

The Cockroaches Are Now Out Where We Can See Them!
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In the ’culture shock’ election aftermath, the unexpected ‘voice of America’ shattered my naïve misconception that the country had progressed in recent years. Lulled into a false sense of security by a façade of complacency, hiding the infestation festering beneath the surface, I had no idea how many Ku Klux cockroaches were clustering in closets until Trump opened the doors for them to come out. And out they came…

I remember when Dr. Martin Luther King was killed

In, “Sex, No Drugs & Rock’N’Roll (Memoirs Of A Music Junkie)” on the violence following the King assassination I wrote:

The real damage was deep within the nation’s soul as we lost another limb to a cancerous genetic human defect; A reminder that beneath the bandages and restraints of civilization, we’re just animals that tend to kill our own. Within a week, the Civil Rights Act of 1968 was signed into law in an attempt to cauterize the wound. But as a practical matter, hate and distrust continued to ooze in black and white and would fester for years to come.”

Apparently that disease has now resurfaced.

What happened to activism?

For years I’ve been wondering when Americans would once again take to the streets. Where were the protests when draft dodger, ‘C’ student, George W. Bush stole the presidential election in 2000? How could this same blundering underachiever then get elected to a second term!? How did this happen? Why no demonstrations when he and Vice President Cheney lied to the world about ‘weapons of mass destruction’ to start a disastrous war nobody wanted? Where were the marchers when he completely mishandled Hurricane Katrina or, along with his Republican cohorts, allowed ‘too big to fail’ banks to Ponzi scheme our economy into recession? Then when the country finally responded with the election of Obama, where was the outrage when those same Republicans vowed to block the president’s every move and blame him for getting nothing done (and for the recession they caused)? Obviously everyone was too busy twittering and making Facebook friends to pay any attention.

Distorted Perception

As Gen X played computer games and Gen Y to Millennials became digitally mobile, successive generations living in self-centered bubbles, the outside world’s only relevance in relation to their relationships… so mostly irrelevant. Meanwhile, as news became entertainment and visa-versa, we all lost touch with reality. Add to that globalization, the residual effects of a major recession, the digital revolution, global warming, retrenchment from fossil fuels, a political quagmire, a monumental population displacement in the Middle East and Europe, ISIS, and fractionalized, often distorted propaganda and bullshit on the internet, it’s easy to see why no one heard the silent scream of the alienated until the election gave it voice. And it was louder and more widespread than any of us could have guessed. And suddenly there were Ku Klux cockroaches pouring out of almost every state.

Now What?

Superficial signs of the 60’s have already crept back into our consciousness with retro fashion, a vinyl revival, acoustic singer-songwriters, phony interracial TV commercials and PBS baby-boomer specials. And so has the racial conflict of the Civil Rights Movement… The ‘Black Lives Matter’ street demonstrations and violence that followed, a throwback to that time. And that was before the election.

Unfortunately, President-Elect Trump’s first cabinet appointments don’t bode well for the future. With White supremacist and anti-Semite, Steve Bannon as his Chief Strategist, and Southern racist Senator, Jeff Sessions as Attorney General, I’m buying stock in companies that sell riot gear and tear gas and relearning the chords to “We Shall Overcome.”

L.E. Kalikow's "Sex, No Drugs and Rock n’ Roll (Memoirs of a Music Junkie)" is available in paperback, iBook, Kindle, & AudioBook online.

You can follow L.E. Kalikow on Twitter at @LEKalikow or Facebook at LEKalikowAuthor

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