2020 The Year the Death Angel Came to Stay
By Ronald Yates
I think few people would disagree that 2020 has been a year like none other. We have experienced more deaths in this nation in ten-months than we have seen in the ten-year-long war in Vietnam or the decades-long battle in Afghanistan. And although not all the deaths are related to Covid collectively, the numbers are astonishingly bleak. During the darkest days of the pandemic, when Americans should be coming together to save lives, the country is splintering into warring factions. Age-old hatreds that were once thought to have been significantly minimized or at least suppressed have risen to the surface and is continuously escalating with a vengeance.
Since the hotly disputed presidential election, the outgoing President has yet to concede and it is unlikely that he ever will. Despite a complete lack of evidence of widespread voter fraud President Trump and his acolytes refuse to admit the obvious… the nation is suffering and is in dire need of a reprieve from the discord. Thus far more than 280,000 Americans have died, and; the numbers are expected to increase as the winter months and the flu season takes hold. With the election of Joe Biden, many Black Americans had hopes that the wave of police violence against men and women of color would cease, but the bloodshed continues unabated. Just days-ago another unarmed Black man was shot down by someone who takes had taken an oath to protect and serve. Twenty-three-year old Casey Goodson was shot and killed as he attempted to do nothing more than enter his home. According to the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office sheriff’s, deputy Jason Meade, fired the fatal shot and details remain sketchy as to why Mr. Goodson was approached by the deputy let alone shot dead. We are still grieving the losses of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and a host of others. And, under normal circumstances, the nations’ top executive would offer words of wisdom to lower the temperature and end the growing animosity. But there is absolutely nothing normal about the Trump administration. This President has consistently fanned the flames of hatred and harsh rhetoric that has been a staple of his administration. And his outlandish behavior has gone into overdrive, thus, escalating the level of danger, in this nation, that has grown to an all-time high.
Some might associate this time with the years that lead up to the Civil War, but this time is different. In 1861 the nation was divided over one issue and one issue only… the elimination of the forced servitude of other human beings. Today the divisions are numerous and the weapons much more powerful and plentiful. More than a month after the presidential election, there is an ever-increasing number of Americans who prefer to believe that President Trump won the election and that it was stolen from him. For some of his more radical followers, resorting to violence to preserve the Trump presidency is not beyond the realm of possibility. In fact, some have vowed to die rather than accept a Biden presidency. A number of politicians and other officials have already received death threats. It would be extremely unwise to discount the level of anger and frustration of the Trumpers and their resolve to see Trump serve another 4 years. It seems as if the President is like the extremely jealous and abusive boyfriend who, to put it simply, feels and warns “If I can’t have you no one can,”… if I can’t control this nation he would rather see it in disarray and, if necessary, destroyed.
For those who have grown weary of 2020 and have hopes for a better year in 2021, the prognosis may not be what we hoped for or deserve. The virus won’t suddenly disappear with the new year, nor will the hatred and violence. Nor will the fears of Black men and women that their sons and daughters will be safe leaving their homes. Like the Biblical story of the Death Angel visiting Egypt, in this case, the Death Angel has come to America and has decided to stay for a while. And each dark day gives way to an even darker night. The misery in America will only increase to levels not seen since the market crash of 1929. This country has yet to learn its’ lesson, a lesson that other parts of the world have grasped. Other nations have been able to flatten the Covid curve, while many Americans still battle to even acknowledge the existence of a pandemic, though the virus continues to spread to American cities and towns large and small. Some are suggesting the U.S. may be on the path to a new Civil War, one that would more than likely be bloodier than the first and not be able to heal itself from. What a sad state-of-affairs, as we ominously move into 2021, with unsettled minds and uncertain hearts that are both filled with little more than gloomy prospects!