As the Riots Continue

Last night I watched national news coverage of the Protests/Riots across the country, while today I watched more of the local news.

Some immediate thoughts:

  • Everyone I’ve spoken with is unified in their abhorrence of the horrible policeman who killed Mr. George Floyd. That’s the positive. Decades ago this view would not have been widespread.
  • I’m glad that my nephew who lives near the first Target to get torched in Minneapolis is now staying at his roommate’s parents’ house in the suburbs.
  • Last night I was disappointed with how often CNN sympathized with the rioters who clearly weren’t “peaceful protestors.” You could see them lighting things on fire and throwing things and CNN would continue to paint them in a favorable light.
  • I saw on Twitter that three different gangs in Pilsen, Little Village and Back of the Yards told the police that they’d protect their neighborhood businesses. That sure sounds like vigilante justice may be in the offing. I’m not sure whether the police backed down.
  • It’s troubling that so little is known about these people who come from other towns or states to “protest.” I believe some are with Antifa, but who pays them and what other groups are similar? Will designating Antifa, etc. a terrorist group mean that if a person donates to them, they could be arrested? I hope so. 
  • It’s sad to see the videos of Black people imploring white vandals who’re spray painting BLM and such on businesses, imploring them to stop as the graffiti is marring the Black people’s community. These vandals aren’t protesting and they disrespect the woman. They’ll tire of their protest and move back to their hometowns and enjoy their favorite café will look fine.

Pentecost by Kid Catholic

Pentecost is one of the most important holidays for Christians, though it isn’t as well celebrated because it isn’t commercialized the way Christmas and Easter are. I’m actually glad it’s simply spiritual though it would be great if more people understood Pentecost and celebrated it.

Grant

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The History Channel offered a capitvating documentary mini-series on the life of Ulysses S. Grantthis week. It’s still available online. We saw it advertised when watching The Last Dance and thought it would be worth checking out. I didn’t know much about Grant other than he was an important General during the Civil War and not much of a president. I’ve learned that that was an inaccurate view of a brave, intelligent man.

Grant grew up poor. His father was a tanner and both parents were staunch abolitionists. He went to West Point where he wasn’t a shining star, but he met men like Robert E. Lee and other future Civil War leaders. When he fought in the Mexican-American War, his distaste for war was solidified, but he also proved to be unique in his ability to think clearly in the heat of battle.

This documentary features several notable historians and shows the complexity of a great military strategist and a popular President who’s become forgotten through the decades. The commentary is interspersed with excellent reenactments.

Part of the reason for Grant’s tarnished reputation is that in the 1960s, Southern historians published profusely and changed the narrative reshaping Grant’s life so that he came across as a drinker who became a corrupt President.

From this documentary you learn the complexity of Ulysses S. Grant. He was an abolitionist whose father-in-law bought him a slave, a slave that he soon freed. At the time Grant was poor and couldn’t support his family, but believed in equality and though he could have made a lot of money by selling rather than freeing this man, chose to free him. Yes, Grant drank, but he also knew that was a weakness and dealt with it. He’s a man who knew failure and poverty, but overcame them. He was an honest man, a military genius, and popular President who sought to bring a divided country together.

Grant is a gripping documentary from start to finish.