ALPERN AT LARGE--Somewhere, far above America, there are two astronauts in the International Space Station who are the first to have achieved orbit after launching in a private vehicle (SpaceX), and the first to have launched from Cape Canaveral in roughly a decade.
Somewhere, all over America, Americans of all colors and backgrounds wish they could be up there with them, far away from the Coronavirus and the riots.
Somewhere, in households all over America, family members are arguing whether the riots were overdue, appropriate, or entirely counterproductive, despite being united in their shared horror over the cruel and illegal death of George Floyd.
Somewhere, in conservative households throughout America, individuals and families who despise Colin Kaepernick and his kneeling during NFL games, are admitting that--at least for this nightmarish killing of George Floyd, and maybe for quite a few other killings--Kaepernick has a pretty damned good point.
Somewhere, in liberal cities and regions throughout America, Americans are witnessing the looting and destruction, and are horrified that this will get President Donald Trump re-elected.
Somewhere, in Republican households and conventions near and far throughout the nation, states and cities with full Democratic political control are being blamed for the failure in our urban cities and counties, and in the blue states within which they reside.
Somewhere, in Democratic households and conventions near and far throughout the nation, Democratic and other leaders who oppose President Trump blame both him and his tweets and a conservative/right-wing state of mind, for the horrific killing of George Floyd, and a host of other black Americans (at least those we actually know about)!
Somewhere, all over the United States, black Americans are screaming at both political parties, and are more than frustrated (sickened, really) at how this keeps happening again and again and again... and yet again! And after watching this happen during the Obama-Biden Administration, many black Americans are proclaiming that an opposition to Trump isn't enough,
Somewhere, amidst the rioters who've lost their patience altogether, peaceful or otherwise, there appears to be a fury that is far more than George Floyd, the police, Donald Trump, and the media.
Somewhere, among all the white and other non-black Americans in this nation, there is a collective urge and desire to tear Derek Chauvin, the police officer who cruelly subdued George Floyd into unconsciousness and--more likely than not--death, apart as much as do black Americans.
Somewhere, among all the black and other non-black Americans in this nation, there is profound and white-hot fury that in, of all places, a liberal city such as Minneapolis could allow a police department to operate with primitive monsters like Chauvin (despite his criminal/brutish behavior) and his fellow officers (accomplices, really) in this modern day, and after all the riots and protests.
Somewhere, the Floyd family), who is in shock, pain, mourning, and anger beyond words, is protesting the riots because they want their lost father and brother and cousin to be remembered for the gentle giant that he was.
George Floyd was killed while looking for work to feed his family, and for a charge that bears little to no suggestion that he ever, ever, EVER was a threat to anyone...let him not be remembered as an instigator of the looting, destruction, violence, and even death that is now occurring, lest he be killed again, in name as much as his own life!
Don't let George Floyd die yet again...he deserved better. Let the police in every city and county FINALLY throw out their bad apples, and put them on notice, while supporting the ones who would never, ever, EVER do what Chauvin and his three fellow criminal cops did! And let the most ardent police advocates be aggressive in that weeding out...they're on notice, dammit!
Because somewhere in Los Angeles, in Mar Vista Park, as I was racing against time to put up a Mar Vista Community Council Transportation/Infrastructure Committee agenda in a legal and timely fashion, I came across a peaceful array of families of all colors enjoying a carefree life in as serene and riot-free a setting as one could ever pray.
And because in that Mar Vista Park, I came across a fellow American, black and calm and smiling in his workout clothes, and we both mourned that the rest of the city, state, and nation wasn't sharing this happy, stress-free, and secure setting.
And we both gladly and spontaneously shook hands (we both would wash our hands afterwards, what with the Coronavirus to be considered...so sue us!), not knowing each other's name but yet recognizing a kindred spirit in each other's eyes and faces.
I pray for him, and for everyone in that park, and throughout the city and nation...and I am pretty sure he felt the same way about me.
Somewhere, far above America, there are two new astronauts in the International Space Station, and probably many of you reading this wish you were with them.
But we're not with them, and we can't be with them...so we'll just have to make do with the people on planet Earth, the much larger spacecraft that will be our home for the unforeseeable future.
Let's not kill George Floyd again...he deserved better.
Because somewhere in Heaven George Floyd is wondering--now that he can't be hurt physically anymore--what new harm will befall his name, simply because enough Americans weren't willing to behave any better than his horrible, pitiless, and worthless killers.
(CityWatch Columnist, Kenneth S. Alpern, M.D, is a dermatologist who has served in clinics in Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside Counties, and is a proud husband and father to two cherished children and a wonderful wife. He was (termed out) also a Westside Village Zone Director and Board member of the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC), previously co-chaired its Outreach Committee, and currently is Co-Chair of its MVCC Transportation/Infrastructure Committee and Vice-Chair of its Planning Committee. He was co-chair of the CD11 Transportation Advisory Committee and chaired the nonprofit Transit Coalition and can be reached at Ken.Alpern@MarVista.org. He also co-chairs the grassroots Friends of the Green Line at www.fogl.us. The views expressed in this article are solely those of Dr. Alpern.)