I swear things are getting so crazy I’m not even sure what country I live in anymore. You would have to live under a rock not to see that the whole world is going crazy.

Yesterday morning, the president had a conversation with all of the nation’s governors. Segments of the conversation were released to the media and the president was heard saying that if the governors did not gain control of their citizens, he would use the power of the federal government to get the protesters under control. Later in the evening, Trump held a conference in the Rosegarden of the White House and he basically stated that he will be calling on the US military to control the demonstrators. He started with the demonstrators in DC. Trump implemented a 7 PM curfew and began military-style enforcement of the curfew approximately 15 minutes before the curfew was to have gone into effect.

Meanwhile, in Albany, a group of protesters blocked the I-90 ramp near Livingston Avenue and Henry Johnson Boulevard; right near the Albany police station. The demonstrators continued to march on until Monday evening chanting phrases like “black lives matter“ and “hands up, don’t shoot.“ This is not the first time in US history that demonstrators shouted out the same phrases. This time the chants were as a result of the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Not too long ago, in 2014, Americans used the same phrases to protest the homicide of Eric Garner, a black man who also died as a result of being choked by a white police officer. Mr. Garner was killed in New York City and his death was also captured on video.

When the protesters arrived at the police station, Albany police chief Eric Hawkins did something very amazing and extremely unusual. Chief Hawkins walked through the crowd, spoke with the organizers, took some questions, and at one point he even took a knee in solidarity with the protesters. He did not take on the role of a dictator or a martyr, he just did what he is paid to do. Chief Hawkins talked to the people, he listened to the people, and he showed solidarity with the people he serves. Some of the protesters appreciated Chief Hawkins’ gestures, but they say it’s still not enough, but it’s a good start. They are calling for real measurable changes. Chief Hawkins states that he wants to have a real working relationship with the people. The lines of communications have been opened, and he realizes that they must continue. This is one step in the right direction to gain the trust and confidence of the people in the community.

So, yesterday was a day that could have taken place in two different worlds. One world with no compromise, a military world of just do as I say. The other world with promise, where there could be a new beginning of communication and harmony. In reality, our world will probably be somewhere in between or hopefully close to it. I’m going to continue to look for optimism in this world. Let’s all do as Michael Jackson said...Start with the man in the mirror. Be safe!

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