FEATURE ARTICLE

Wednesday, June 2, 2021
banantex2020@gmail.com
Atlanta, GA, USA
AMERICA AS A ZOO

“Disagreements in America could be a matter of life and death” - Ice T

ometime last year, in the heat of the COVID-19 lock-down, I was in a grocery store pharmacy to pick up a medication prescription when I ran into this gentleman; an elderly white man, estimated to be in his late sixties or early seventies. I walked up to him, and asked him if he was ahead of me in line (just to be sure I did not jump the queue). In response, he leaned his head into my ear ( I was comfortable in his company because we were both masked up) and said “ Thanks for asking, you know, this country is becoming a zoo. You can easily get shot for little or no provocation. I think they should bring out those animals in the zoo and move the people walking in the street back into the zoo”.

Back home in Nigeria, we “yap” all the time; we let out a lot of steam. And sometimes it gets heated to the point that we throw fist punches at each other. Sometimes one can end up with a broken nose, but each one goes home to yap another day. However, in America there is little time for “yap”, a little argument easily ends up with gunshots.

In the United States of America (America), there are guns, guns, guns everywhere! According to the New York Times, the United States accounts for just 4% of the world’s population, but has 44% of the world’s stockpile of guns. Some Americans have up to seven guns! The San Jose, California Valley Transportation Authority shooter who killed nine people, reportedly had three guns on him. And he reportedly used all three. So, the question is why should an individual be allowed to legally purchase three guns in the United States (of guns)? Was he going to raise an army?. This would not be allowed in civilized nations like the United Kingdom , France or Germany .

Sadly, aside from the NRA, National Rifle Association, America has a primitive culture of gun worship; and so like the late reggae idol Bob Marley sang, like a natural mystic, many more will suffer, many more will have to die from the epidemic of gun violence in the United States of America.

This remark sums up the Republican mentality when it comes to gun violence in America. A Republican primary challenger to Governor Doug Ducey of Arizona sums up his grievance against the governor this way: ” Ducey fails to repeal Obamacare and takes away guns from Arizonans “. By the way, Obamacare ( healthcare) saves lives, and guns take away lives. No, Republicans do not care about saving lives. They know that their white supremacist base loves guns and hates anything that bears Obama’s name; even if it is what would save their lives, such as healthcare.

Republicans do not live on a different planet; they know that gun violence is decimating American population. But like Ken Saro Wiwa said of Shell oil, the Republican party is: “a satanic octopus which demands men’s souls in exchange for cash and (political power) profit”. Because the powerful gun lobby, the NRA bankrolls their political campaigns, they are beholden to those vampires, and of course, their gun worshipping white supremacist base. No matter how much you try to talk sense into them or appeal to their conscience, they simply would not bulge. Neither are they capable of being shamed. Of course, to be capable of being shamed you need to have a conscience. But Republicans have no conscience; they do not even have a soul! .They are Soulless monsters.

Since I arrived in this country many years ago, and observed the cavalier attitude Republicans have towards human lives I have been aghast at how Democrats have allowed those hypocrites to run away with their so-called “pro-life” label, just because they oppose abortions. Yet, they allow Americans to die needlessly through other means. Yet, the Republican party, the white supremacist terrorist party, is utterly a pro-death cult. This is a political party which believes in fighting wars without end, across the globe, (which claims lives of innocent people). The Republican party callously entrench and foster the epidemic of gun violence in America as they continue to persistently oppose at every turn, any efforts by Democrats to enact sensible gun safety legislations; no matter how benign such measures may be. This is the same political party whose callous ideology teaches them to prioritize corporate profits over human lives when it comes to healthcare. Republicans believe that American lives should be subjected to market forces. In the world of private insurance which the Republican party insists should control American healthcare system, if it is profitable for private health insurance corporations , actually a Ponzi scheme, they insure you otherwise you could be denied coverage if those private insurers determine it is unprofitable to insure you. As a result of this heartless healthcare policy, Americans are dying avoidable deaths in droves. Some Americans, more likely Blacks , scared of exorbitant medical bills from private insurers are avoiding seeking medical treatments in hospitals. The Affordable Care Act, ACA ,otherwise known as Obamacare was meant to provide subsidized healthcare to low income Americans who are incapable of affording cut throat private health insurance premiums. Yet, Republicans have made sixty attempts to repeal the ACA, a move that could have denied millions of Americans much needed healthcare. A last ditch attempt by Republicans to repeal the ACA is now before the US Supreme Court. Just the other day, Senator Rand Paul, the sickly looking ophthalmologist from Kentucky was still bitching about Republicans' failure to repeal Obamacare in a forum where he read out an enemy list of Republicans who denied them the opportunity to kill the law.

Senator Linsey Graham recently rehearsed the Republicans' time- honored scare tactic, claiming that the proposed withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan would lead to another 911 type terrorist attack on US soil.

However, Linsey Graham would pretend not to know that America is currently having an equivalent of a “911” terrorist attack every day, on its soil; from white domestic terrorists, white supremacists in police uniforms daily unleashing terror on Black people in America, and an epidemic of gun violence ,etc. Didn’t the FBI just told us that the greatest security threat the United States faces today is the explosion of white domestic terrorism?. Yet, for political reasons Senator Linsey Graham and his Republican party persistently continue to oppose any efforts at attempting solutions to those grave internal security threats of gun violence and white supremacist terrorism.

As gun violence skyrockets in America, Republicans continue to double down on loosening gun laws; making it easier for citizens, including criminals, to gain access to deadly weapons. As of last count, 21 states controlled by the party of guns have passed laws enhancing gun access to all, while at the same time enacting legislation making it harder for citizens to vote. In fact, just last week the state of Texas enacted a legislation that allows Texans to carry guns without requiring a license. At the same time Texas Republicans enacted a voter suppression law, making it harder to vote.It does not seem to bother the so-called pro-life party that more guns on American streets means more American lives lost, daily. And in a move that looks like trivialising the otherwise deadly serious situation of gun violence in the United States, the Republican governor of West Virginia recently announced a lottery to win free guns as an "incentive" to get the COVID-19 vaccine in his state. Replacing one agent of death with another. This is the Republicans' way of solving the COVID-19 problem.

In fact, gun violence is enshrined in the American constitution through a primitive provision called the 2nd Amendment to the constitution, which guarantees United States citizens the right to bear arms; essentially making America one huge jungle. So gun violence and white domestic terrorism are twin evils that have bedeviled America from the beginning of time. White domestic terrorism in the form of enslaving the Black race in America; followed by lynching and hanging of African Americans in the street, just for being black; the genocide unleashed on the Black race as exemplified by the Tulsa, Oklahoma massacre of 1921, the January 6, 2021 insurrection executed by Donald Trump’s white domestic terrorists army.

Yet, a phony dimension has been added to a string of white domestic terrorism in America -a desperate attempt by the Republican party to bury or erase these shameful chapters in American history. African American history is not allowed to be taught in schools –so the present generation do not know what was done to the slavery generation of the Black race. Republicans do not want the 1619 project studied because they argue , it will divide Americans. Really ? The strategy ? Bury the history of African Americans and pretend that slavery never happened. Just like white rulers in Tulsa Oklahoma tried for decades to bury the story of the 1921 massacre of Black people there and the burning down of the “Black Wall Street”. The January 6th white domestic terrorist attack on the US Capitol is not yet six months old, but Republicans have already started rewriting that ugly history-the mob were otherwise on a “peaceful” protest-they were tourists to the Capitol: they are patriots out to preserve American democracy. Yes, Republicans are masters of revisionist history. Their Senate (Minority) Leader Mitch McConnell, does not want a January 6th Commission, which would unearth the details of what happened on that day of infamy in American democracy. However, Senator McConnell has already given his verdict , as to what transpired that day and who was responsible for the attacks. He held the evil one, Donald Trump squarely responsible. Nothing to hide, after all.

Last year, I predicted, quite correctly, that after enabling Donald Trump to kill Americans with COVID-19, Republicans are going to blackmail and sabotage President Joe Biden with the pandemic. Already the Republican party has crafted its 2022 mid- term election campaign slogan against President Biden and Democrats: It is OPEN BORDER, CLOSED SCHOOLS. They are going to portray Democrats as being in favor of opening US borders for undocumented immigrants to flock into the country while keeping schools closed ( for fear of COVID-19 infection). However, you would think that if Republicans want schools to reopen and remain open, they would encourage safety protocols recommended by health officials for both schools and businesses to safely re-open. No, Republican governors are callously ripping off masks mandates and opposing vaccination requirements for schools and businesses. Republicans are up in arms against “vaccine passport” in America but do not see anything wrong with their idol Benjamin ( the butcher)Netanyahu imposing “ vaccine passport” in Israel. They know that the deadly politics they are playing with the pandemic would lead to more American deaths, but they do not care. They do not mind how many American lives they are willing to sacrifice to the COVID-19 pandemic and gun violence epidemic if only to appease their white supremacist mask hating and gun worshipping base, in order to take back political power.

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