When swarms of people mobilize and amass in the streets you automatically think their mistrust of the government bodies in authority resulted in revolution, anarchy, or coup d’états. And, when people feel their loss of safety and well-being is so extremely affected, the tumultuous eternal realities of fear nets action. Rarely do we think of happier occasions like ringing in a new year or the end of a war.
Cuba, Mexico, Russia, as well as countries in Africa, Central America, Europe, South America and the Middle East each are under incredible societal strains. In America . . . unemployment, underemployment, failing infrastructures, illegal immigration, taxes, spiraling cost of energy, food and housing, decline in family structures, shattered and bordered up neighborhoods . . . any, or all, could be legitimate causes for taking it to the streets nationwide.
But, the societal strains which reached a fever pitch in the United States — once again — was the result of the questionable death of Freddie Gray after being arrested. While in a police van, Gray, a 25-year-old Baltimore, MD., resident, suffered three crushed vertebrae and a crushed voice box.
On the heels of Sanford, FL., Ferguson, MO., and Staten Island, NY., police found themselves in the crosshairs of citizens’ fury. Gray’s crushed voice box was unleashed, and found its way into the voices of those rioting in Baltimore’s streets — which prompted solidarity marches in cities across America: Alburquerque, Boston, Minneapolis, New York and Philadelphia.
Blazed across television sets worldwide viewers watched the impending uncertainty, fear and angst in the mob’s action as they took it to the streets.
But, it wasn’t from Baltimore, or Philadelphia, or Minneapolis or New York.
It was from Vietnam forty years ago.
On April 30, 1975, the fall of Saigon ended the saga of war-torn Vietnam. South Vietnam President Duong Van Minh asked his forces to lay down their arms and called on the North Vietnamese Army and Vietcong to halt all hostilities “in order to avoid bloodshed.”
As hostilities and bloodshed continue to run in American streets, I have to wonder when our decades-long saga will end.