John Lewis: Rest in Peace, “Bloody Sunday”

By: Bill Whaley
18 July, 2020

The Embodiment of “resenttiment,” a French term, characterizes the resentful and envidia-ridden, who see themselves left behind by the bourgeois or elite and educated classes.  The term peculiarly suits the character of Donald J. Trump, who currently leads the populist uprising of white power, armed and focused on the cult of death in America.

Trump, like his GOP colleagues, aims to reverse seventy-five years of liberalism, prompted by FDR’s “New Deal.” Trump policies mix a stew of deceptive and cruel practices that capitalize on racism, as a method of “dividing and conquering” the working classes.


Were the working classes, black, brown and white to combine forces, they would quickly topple the Corporate Capitalists and their overseers, who have, during the last forty years, accelerated the income gap between the lower classes and the upper One Tenth of One Percent.

Regardless of armed Trump thugs in Michigan and Wisconsin or Cowboys for Trump in New Mexico, confused pistoleros in Nevada, or secret police let loose in Portland, there are more “decent” people in America, who believe in the “right to life.”

The “unmasked” and ignorant are following their leader down the road through a maze of ventilators to mass graves in Florida and Texas and Arizona as they once did during the period of Massacre, which characterized Manifest Destiny aqui en Taos.

Apparently, the expression “Give me liberty or give me death” has freed the Trumpians to ignore the symbolism of the cross and choose Satan’s coffin rather than respond to the social contract, which dictates that we exchange a modicum of liberty for the security of collective welfare.

Fortunately, for Taosenos and New Mexicans, who resist in peace, the Governor, Town Officials, and now, on Tuesday, the Taos County Commissioners will choose to live and thrive and strive for the good life of their citizens per regulations for the masked. Choosing the good means recognizing not only the need to nourish the individual but also honors the social instinct, which, also nourishes the individual life.

As the great Hebrew scholar, Hilllel said, “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? And being for myself, what am ‘I’? And if not now, when?” and “That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn.”

For too long, corporate America has engaged in the propaganda of “consumerism,” trivializing the moral imagination of the Citizen and reducing adults to children in search of satisfying base appetites. The “consumer” seeks freedom by choosing the right soap, burger, or drugs, while corporate America presents false choices based on materialism: trading “jobs” for polluted profits, selling “opioid addiction” to those starved for moral and spiritual salvation; inventing wars abroad against false foes.

So now we see the bared teeth of Trumpian fascism today in Portland, Oregon, complete with secret police and anonymous arrests, kidnappings, all aimed at killing the First Amendment by means of the misapplied Second Amendment.

The cult of death on the right, promoting guns and serial killers, denial of masks and propagation of Covid-19, ironically takes aim at Trumps own suicidal supporters in this circular firing squad, as red states enter the death spiral.


Who can forget the school children at Sandy Hook, the eloquent students of Parkland, and the kids in cages on the border, where the blackguards reveal the evil at the heart of Trumpism. While evil may not exist in metaphysical terms, in reality we are watching what the Christian mystics might call the anti-Christ, who works his will on the people of America.

Myth can be understood as symbolic truth.

Just as Socrates sacrificed his life for the sake of an idea, nourishing the soul with virtue, or Jesus died on the cross for you and the notion of “love,” so today Black Lives Matter and Health Care Workers remind us that to “suffer” is to live in awareness of history that evokes the contributions of people like John Lewis, whose contributions to “human decency” were paid for with blood on the bridge from Selma to Montgomery.


As Honest Abe said, “Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.” And during the Second Inaugural, he said, “With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan–to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.”

Will we pass Lincoln’s Test like John Lewis?