Breonna Taylor’s case is an unsolved murder. Not manslaughter. Not collateral damage. Murder. Here in 2020, police reports were left blank, the guilty were protected. I admit I live a comfortable life, even under lockdown. I marched with my mom to protest the Vietnam War, I remember the tear gas and us running. No regrets. To this day, I believe that war was a waste of blood and treasure. Like Afghanistan, in this 19th year of bloodshed. Some conflicts don’t have a military solution, but I know some do. Peaceful protests do not have a military solution, they are not a problem in need of resolution. The problem is the injustice. We must never underestimate the violent hatreds of our fellow citizens, nor the desperation of despots who will use this to hang onto power with any means available.
If John Brown been better at fund raising and organization and been allowed to continue his work, if the Great Compromise of 1850 had not been enacted, if the Supreme Court had adjudged differently in 1857’s Dred Scott decision, the War Between the States may never have occurred. I know it’s known as the Civil War, but I always thought that was a weird term, because it was the opposite of being civil. And judging from the statuary and flag waving, the South has yet to admit defeat.
Before the U. S. Garrison of Fort Sumter in South Carolina was fired upon in April of 1861, John Brown, the fiery, perennially broke abolitionist, fervently believed it was long past time to set all slaves free. His home state of Kansas was supposed to be a Free State, instead white supremacists came over the border and burned and looted black owned businesses and murdered colored farmers. Thing is, he was right, had always been right. One of his most famous quotes is: “the crimes of this guilty land will never be purged away, but with blood.”.
I think his contribution to American history is underappreciated. John Brown was hanged on December 2, 1859, after his sons Watson and Oliver had perished in the ill-fated Harper’s Ferry raid. The Marines defending the place were led by Robert E. Lee, who proved himself a capable leader of the Confederate Army. He and JEB Stuart stayed to witness the hanging which took place after a speedy trial. John Brown was convicted after 45 minutes of deliberation of conspiracy, inciting servile insurrection and treason against the state. I re-read that “inciting servile insurrection” and think yes, absolutely, let’s do that again.