If you’re keeping even the mildest interest in disruptions these days, weeks and months since the COVID-19 pandemic struck, then you probably know that the Get Your Knee Off Our Necks Rally is scheduled for Aug. 28, the 57th anniversary of the peacefully successful March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
It’s at once likely and unlikely that the throngs that attended the 1963 rally, which was diverse with 250,000 people, will be as peaceful and successful as those showing up on Aug. 28. Back then, audiences on the National Mall marched, not in anger and spite, but toward life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
What’s in store this time around is still a guessing game, as the National Park Service, which controls the National Mall, follows federal marching orders and the District follows a strong mayor-weak legislature system.
Nonetheless, Mayor Muriel Bowser faces considerable challenges besides, say, a duel with the Trump White House.
First is the coronavirus. How does mayor plan to enforce her own rules and regulation for public health and public safety? She could shrug off her own crackdowns on masks/face coverings, social distancing and the like put all responsibilities on the feds.
But she drew the red line when she mandated that travelers coming from more than a dozen states must self-quarantine for two weeks once they arrive on nonessential business.
Does she really expect Al Sharpton, unions, other march leaders and march-goers to follow her lead and do as they are told? What if hundreds and hundreds of cars roll into the city and scores and scores of buses park curbside, and Metro is overwhelmed with riders?
The mayor needs a plan in hand, pronto.
That takes care of the messengers, now comes the message. Who’s going to say what and when will they say it? The unrest since the slayings of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd has been relentless, and like the Bowser administration hasn’t exactly articulated to the men and women in blue that she has their back.
Meanwhile, crime-minded young adults are being released from jail, and adolescents and teens are being killed as if they know they or don’t care about shoved behind bars.
The summer-job age crews, 14- to 24-year-olds, aren’t slated to be working the day of the march. So unless the rain bears down from the skies, they’ll make a day of it at the march.
Will the Metropolitan Police Department be on the lookout — or in stand down mode?
Now the most challenging of all challenges. Will the tough cookies of Washington finally grab the golden ring and help “minorities” get off the merry-go-round of government dependency?
Forget Donald Trump; he’s gone in January. But the jackasses prefer handouts to hand-ups, which involves each one reaching at least one, and self-sufficiency isn’t in their vocabulary.
Americans and alike immigrants should keep in mind that Friday, Aug. 28, could be a day that lives in infamy or a day that leads the way to a brighter, more graceful and more benevolent future.
Miss Bowser’s is a key voice in delivering that message.
• Deborah Simmons can be contacted at email@example.com.
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