Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, May 30, 2020

MVNews this week:  Page 10



 Mountain Views News Saturday, May 30, 2020 




Susan Henderson


Dean Lee 



Patricia Colonello




John Aveny 



Stuart Tolchin 

Audrey Swanson

Mary Lou Caldwell

Kevin McGuire

Chris Leclerc

Bob Eklund

Howard Hays

Paul Carpenter

Kim Clymer-Kelley

Christopher Nyerges

Peter Dills 

Rich Johnson

Lori Ann Harris

Rev. James Snyder

Katie Hopkins

Deanne Davis

Despina Arouzman

Jeff Brown

Marc Garlett

Keely Toten

Dan Golden

Rebecca Wright

Hail Hamilton

Joan Schmidt

LaQuetta Shamblee

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Before I go any further, there are some things that you may or may not know about me but I want you to consider. 

1. I am a PROUD African American woman with two sons, ages 53 and 49.75 years old; one 31 year old grandson and a 2 . month old Great Grandson.

2. I have the utmost respect for law enforcement, and have raised my sons to do the same. I have been almost completely around the world and have experienced 
countries that are devoid of honest law enforcement agencies.

3. I have lived through the 50s, 60s,70s,80s,90,s, 2000s and 2010s, and I am looking forward to living through a few more decades. I still have, “the Audacity of Hope” 
and believe every day that things will get better.

4. I have friends of probably every race and culture there is. I don’t always agree with them, but I respect their opinions and who they are. Their pain is my pain. Where 
I can help, I always do. I have no use for hatred. Hell, I don’t even hate my ex-husbands that I had to pay to get rid of.

5. I have no use for judgmental people and those who think they are better than any other human being. I have no tolerance for injustice, regardless of who is the victim.

6. I have good eyesight, actually perfect with my corrective lenses. I know what I know, what I see and what I hear. 

7. And I am tired of those of us (Americans) who continue to shun our responsibilities as citizens; who embrace the politics of hate, who refuse to see the direction that 
our country is going; and who hide behind meaningless labels. 

Therefore, if anything I said above annoys you, makes you feel uncomfortable or gives you the desire to turn the page, don’t do it. You are the very people I want to reach.

As a country, have been infected with apathy that runs so deep that it is more deadly than COVID-19. It has made us numb to evil and wrongdoing especially when it isn’t 
done to us. 

 This infection reminds me of a figurine that used to be on the mantlepiece when I was growing up. It was three monkeys with their eyes, ears and mouth covered. For a 
long time the translation was, “Hear No Evil, See No Evil and Speak No Evil. They were virtues to be embraced. Now, because of the infection the modern day translation 
has changed. Now it appears to mean, ‘even though I see evil, I won’t see it; Even though I hear evil, I will ignore it and even though I speak with evil intent, I will act like it 
is “perfect” regardless of who it will hurt. That’s what this infection has done to many of us..

People, as a nation we are sick. If we can watch the 3 videos that depict the murder, regardless of degree, of a man who was not guilty of anything dying at the hands of 
people who took an oath to Protect and serve, - if we can find excuses to justify it or justify your indifference, we are sick.

Yes I said it. Yes I mean it. An accusation of an unsubstantiated passing of a phony $20 bill does not warrant death. Even if what the transcript of the 911 call was true, what 
happened next was intolerable. Do you know whether the $20 bill that you just received in change from the grocery store is counterfeit? 

In this quiet village of Sierra Madre in 2011, I covered the story of someone who passed counterfeit bills at a couple of downtown businesses. The Sierra Madre PD were 
called. It was clear that the intent to pass the counterfeit money to several businesses in order to get change was deliberate. Guess what did NOT HAPPEN? The SMPD did 
NOT FACILITATE THE DEATH OF THE SUSPECTS, but did their job in a professional manner (BTW, the ‘perps’ were not African American, but I know for a fact that 
race would not have made a difference to SMPD. 

Why then should Floyd, or any handcuffed, an unarmed person die 
in the hands of the police because of an unproven allegation?

No wonder people are so angry. You should be too.

Let’s face it. What happened to George Floyd is symptomatic of how 
sick our society has become. When police officers decide to hold a 
spontaneous Kangaroo Court (kangaroo court: an unofficial court 
held by a group of people in order to try someone regarded, especially 
without good evidence, as guilty of a crime or misdemeanor), that is 

And it is equally sick to allow the conversation to focus on the actions 
of the frustrated and not on the life that was taken. 

Our society has been infected with the empowerment of cowardice, 
hatred and apathy. We have the virus of ‘all about me’, as long as it 
doesn’t happen to me. It’s somebody else’s problem. We have been 
infected with what I will call,’ The Ostrich Disease’ because too many 
of us will just stick your head in the ground and act like nothing at 
all is wrong.

We have to fix this people. We are all “in this together” because the 
more this infection spreads, the more terminal it becomes to our 

We need a cure. God, Jesus, Buddha, Allah, nor any other Deity cannot 
fix this unless we reach out and seek change in how we view each 
other. The cure is in each of us. Without it, there will be more George 
Floyds, more division among us and more tolerance of the intolerable. 
Just think, what will it be like when that virus, that culture of evil knocks on your door? We need a vaccine and we better find it fast. Susan Henderson/Editor MVNews






I am 
article on 
Wednesday, May 27, 2020 
at about noon PST. I believe 
the much anticipated Space 
X/NASA launch of a manned 
rocket into space will take 
place within a few hours. 
Depending on the results of 
the launch this day will be 
remembered for years to come 
by those of us who are still 
around. Those who are able 
look back on this present day 
we will be remembering the 
past from a future time which 
may have little to do with what 
we are actually experiencing 
in the present. There is a 
warning however, if weather 
conditions change and the 
launch is aborted (such a 
strange usage of the word) 
then this day will probably 
be completely forgotten by 
almost everyone except those 
closest to the event. Beware 
it’s raining right now! 

 Speaking of the 
weather, I remember the last 
time there was a scheduled 
launch from Cape Canaveral 
my wife and I had somehow 
wrangled an invitation. There 
were weather problems and 
the launch was rescheduled 
for some later time in 2011 
and my wife and I never made 
it. That’s all I remember. I 
don’t know who invited us or 
how disappointed we were or 
what our discussions were, 
it’s all forgotten now and 
pretty irrelevant. Things will 
be different today, I believe if 
there is a successful launch. 
I’m pretty sure that this 
day will be remembered in 
vivid detail though what is 
remembered will be different 
from my present thoughts. 
Right now, my major focus is 
still on the coronavirus. This is 
the day the U.S. deaths might 
pass the 100,000 mark which 
today seems very important. 
If this is only the first wave of a 
virus that will continue killing 
for years or decades this date 
recognizing the death of the 
first hundred thousand may 
well be recognized. If the 
virus continues to spike in 
the Southern hemisphere and 
endangers the rest of the world 
then the Chinese virus (as our 
President currently prefers to 
call it) may morph into the 
Brazilian virus as the rest of 
the world finds someone else 
to scapegoat. You never know 
how things change and will be 
later remembered.

 What am I talking 
about? Let me try and 
clarify. A time in the past 
that I clearly remember is 
the night of the Ambassador 
Hotel assassination of Robert 
F. Kennedy. This horror 
occurred immediately after 
he was declared the winner 
of the California Democratic 
Primary. The candidate and 
his entourage had awaited 
the results at the Ambassador 
Hotel and the adjoining 
Coconut Grove. It was 
around midnight on June 6, 
1968 almost exactly 52 years 
ago and I was at my parents’ 
home attempting to study for 
one of my last final Law School 
examinations. Really all I was 
looking for that night was a 
place where I could study in 
relative quiet and then get a 
few hours sleep. That was my 
main concern. At that time 
I didn’t really have a place to 
live and had spent a couple of 
months couch surfing even 
though I didn’t know the 
term. I rotated from the floors 
and couches of one friend 
to another; but this night 
everyone was watching the 
election returns and I needed 
to study for a final. I imagined 
that my parents would go to 
bed pretty early and that I 
would have some quiet time 
to study and then get a few 
hours’ sleep. Better than being 
somewhere with a bunch of 
raucous people riveted to 
the TV waiting for election 

So as I said it was around 
midnight and I had my Law 
Outlines in front of me and 
surprisingly my Dad was 
still up watching (well, not 
exactly watching because he 
had been blind for about ten 
years) the TV as the election 
results were being awaited. I 
remember telling him that I 
had to study because I had 
a final in the next couple of 
days and recall him saying 
something like “you go to 
School all year and you have to 
study” this one night (he kept 
mispronouncing the word 
“study” like it was some vile 
thing that should be avoided). 
The fact is that he had come to 
the United States as a kid and 
had barely one year of Junior 
High School Education. He 
had no idea what going to 
College or Law School was 
like. He thought it meant you 
had to work hard all your life, 
just like he did. I remember 
being irritated at my parents’ 
lack of understanding. Of 
course now, in retrospect, 
I realize that it is hard to 
understand by anyone that 
hasn’t been there that going to 
School, especially Law School, 
just meant hanging around the 
school and talking to friends 
and barely going to class and 
then in a rush borrowing 
notes and kind of memorizing 
stuff for a week or so and then 
taking the tests. If you haven’t 
been there I bet you think 
I’m kidding. Really, the year 
before some professor almost 
stopped me from taking the 
Final because I had barely 
attended class. He and I were 
both surprised when it turned 
out that I had the highest 
grade on the final. 

There was always some 
unspoken conflict between my 
father and I about School. His 
dreams for me were to become 
some kind of merchant who 
were the most important 
people he knew. I know my 
father thought that I had kept 
going to School just to avoid 
going to work when in reality 
I was going to College and 
Law School just to avoid being 
drafted which understandably 
was not a subject I liked to 
discuss with my parents. At 
the start of the Viet Nam War 
there was a big generational 
gap between college kids and 
their fathers. The fathers 
were all WWII vets and, at 
least at the beginning of the 
War, did not understand what 
their newly educated sons 
were thinking. Of course, I 
barely ever understood what 
my father ever thought about 
me. As I was trying to say at 
the beginning of this article, 
what one remembers the past 
later, from some very future 
distance, it is remarkable 
what you realize you never 
thought of and what you never 
knew. Later, as you try to fill 
in the blanks which are there 
because you were concerned 
about something else at the 
time. I think I fretted about 
studying and did none of it 
because, like everyone else, 
I was deeply troubled and 
trying to follow the news 
about Bobby Kennedy who 
I believe was pronounced 
dead the following day. I had 
expected a quiet night to study 
and that couldn’t happen 
and it is that frustration I 
most recall. Strangely my 
subconscious has kept that 
assassination night clear for 
me, while my conscious mind 
worried mostly about School. 
I wonder now if I ever 
considered the possibility of a 
Richard Nixon Presidency. 

Wait a moment. What’s going 
on! There’s a fire engine 
next door and some kind of 
emergency and I just learned 
that the launch was aborted 
or scrubbed or whatever they 
now say. If I remember this 
day at all it is something that 
will be remembered as very 
different from the first few 
paragraphs of this article. 
Things change from minute to 
minute and that’s just the way 
life is even though sometime 
later it all might make some 
sense. Right now in the 
present I am very confused. 
We have reached 100,000 
U.S. deaths and yet it seems 
like everyone is emerging 
unmasked and unguarded 
into the contagion. At least it 
seems like that now, but right 
now I’m worried about having 
to take care of the neighbor’s 
dog. Years from now, if I am 
still around, I wonder how 
my memory will recreate this 
day of the aborted launch or 
if it will be remembered at all. 
The future reconstructs the 
past and invariably obscures 
the present. I can barely 
remember what I was thinking 
about this morning. 

Please be safe. Kia Ora 

gotten the wind knocked out of you? Or been unable to breathe 
for even a few seconds?

There’s pain. There’s panic. There’s the desperation of trying 
to restore the vital equilibrium that keeps your heart beating, 
your brain functioning, and the rhythms of life intact and in 
sync with each other.

Now imagine that you can’t breathe for eight minutes.

Try to wrap your head around what is surely nothing less than 
the blind, uncomprehending terror and agony of being deprived 
of oxygen for 480 seconds, even as your pleas for mercy 
and those of bystanders are being ignored. And then imagine 
that the person inflicting this torture on you isn’t some cartoon villain, but someone sworn 
to protect and serve the community. And then imagine that his colleagues are just standing 
there, watching a tragedy unfold before them.

Pile it on top of the little indignities. Being stopped while they’re walking for no reason at all. 
Getting trailed through department stores simply because they’re wearing a hoodie. Having 
a white woman call the cops on you when you reasonably ask her to leash her dog. These 
aren’t urban myths. They’re stories and experiences of real people, told again and again, in 
identical detail.

As a middle-aged, pretty solidly middle class, white man, it’s something utterly outside my 
experience. I’ll never know what it’s like to go through any of that.

But I’ve come to know someone who does.

Rob Woodfork and his family moved in next door to mine about a decade ago. Like me, he’s 
a journalist. And we bonded immediately over work. Our kids went to school together. We’d 
debate sports, chew over the news, and talk about our shared love for comic books and the 
Marvel movies. And there was a fierce competition to make sure that if one of us was mowing 
our lawn, that the other was out there immediately to keep the pace.

The years went by, and our friendship grew. We’d lose hours standing out in the yard, or sitting 
on one of our back porches, just talking.

He moved to Washington, D.C. a few years back to work in his home market. And while 
we don’t see each other in person as much anymore, we keep in close touch. I don’t have 
a brother, but Rob’s as close as it comes. We’ve both seen each other through tough times. 
And I know he feels the same. In that rare instance of men showing actual emotion, we’ve 
both said it out loud.

And right now, I’m going to get out of the way, cede the floor to my brother, Rob, and let 
him tell you what it’s like to be Black in America in 2020, and what it’ll take to balance the 
scales of justice:

“People of color are exhausted. Before we can finish mourning one tragedy, another comes 
seemingly minutes later. Breonna Taylor’s murder happened before I could wipe the tears 
shed for Ahmaud Arbery, leaving me numb and weak seeing George Floyd killed on video.

“There is legitimate trauma from constantly watching people like us senselessly killed and 
then seeing lesser consequences – if any – for those responsible.

“Whether in deed or word, we’ve been told for over 300 years we don’t matter here, and 
we need people within the establishment to shout down those still reinforcing that unjust 

When I asked him for a way to reconciliation, he continued:

“It starts with listening. White folks who seek to be allies need to put aside personal biases 
and preconceived notions and listen, with an empathetic ear, to what minorities are telling 
them about racism. We’re not imagining it. Racism is not some card we play to excuse a lack 
of achievement.

“Trust me when I say: We’d much rather have equality than hand outs or set-asides. What 
we’re asking for is reasonable – life, love and the pursuit of happiness on the same level as 
white people, and a better understanding from law enforcement that our skin color doesn’t 
make us a threat.

“Frankly, we’re tired of asking – and in George Floyd’s case, begging – to live. We are American 
citizens, same as white people. We shouldn’t have to ask for American privileges like 
freedom and equality but we do – and usually pretty damn politely. Please listen.”

That’s what stays with me: George Floyd begging, “please sir,” to let him up, to let him 
breathe. We all need to listen. Harder than we ever have before.

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