“Chickens coming home to roost always made me glad”
When JFK was assassinated, Malcolm X said, “Being an old farm boy myself, chickens coming home to roost never did make me sad; they always made me glad.”
This statement blew up, but people in the audience that day clapped and cheered.
Because he was right.
America assassinated leaders all over the world. Why shouldn’t it come home?
America murdered black people on its own soil. Why not white?
Violence is a plague. You cannot contain it. As Dr. Martin Luther King said:
The unforgivable default of our society has been its failure to apprehend the assassins (of murdered Civil Rights leaders).
It is a harsh judgment, but undeniably true, that the cause of the indifference was the identity of the victims. Nearly all were Negroes.
And so the plague spread until it claimed the most eminent American, a warmly loved and respected president. (MLK)
And so that brings us today. With a literal plague spreading through America. Swathes of the American public have been indifferent to the people dying, many of them people of color. And though the stock market may rise, a plague cannot be contained.
Chickens come home to roost.
Never has there been a clearer case of chickens coming home to roost than Donald Trump catching COVID-19. No one in the world had more control over COVID-19, and exercised it less. Other people can be victims, but not the President of the United States.
Why shouldn’t he get sick? Why shouldn’t he die? This isn’t even an assassination we’re talking about. It’s murder-suicide. We’re supposed to feel bad for the killer here, cause he might get himself killed? I don’t. Why should I?
We’re not supposed to feel this way. At least, we’re not supposed to talk about it. We obviously do feel this way; the climax of every action movie is the bad guy being killed. We laugh and cheer. Our children dress up as murderous Avengers for birthday parties.
We have always felt this way. The Ramayana, Beowulf, the Iliad — they all end with a good slaying. Nations still get together to celebrate the display of some corpse, like Hector dragged three times around Troy. Osama Bin Laden being executed and tipped into the sea. Velupillai Prabhakaran being shot and passed like a beach ball among soldiers.
Wanting people to die is central to our society. Just the right people. We’re supposed to cheer at the circus, clap at the parade, but never question the show.
Killing Iranians, killing Muslims, killing migrants, killing black people — these are all accepted in America. Through sanctions, or withholding health-care, or prison, or putting up a wall. If you kill someone through neglect, it’s not even killing at all. Every society is like this in some direction. We all have blood on our hands. We all have murder on our lips.
America, of course, is exceptional. They have killed over 1 million people in their Terror War and over 210,000 of their own in whatever history will call their surrender to COVID-19.
Those deaths are all supposed to be up for debate. Both sides, both sides. Question the health of the king, however? Unquestionable. Thus we get to the real violation. It’s not the taboo on death, death is everywhere. The violation is lèse majesté.
GOD SAVE THE KING.
The taboo being broken here is not that against wishing death. It is against the monopoly of death by the state. You must cheer for the deaths the state inflicts, and you must wish the head of state good health. We’re all supposed to be happy that Bin Laden died, and wish Trump health as he kills over 3,000 Americans every five days. The concern is obviously not about life. It’s about power.
Thus every Op-Ed and talking head dutifully toasts Trump’s health before politely explaining how he’s getting everyone else killed. This avoids the obvious. If his power disappeared those lives would be saved. This is the immorality their virtue signaling elides. Power cannot be questioned. Life is expendable.
Seriously, what’s moral here? This is like the trolley problem except the trolley driver is trying to kill everyone and you’re just watching. I’m supposed to feel bad for him? Is this even a moral question? Fuck that guy.
You’re allowed to feel happy if literally the worst person on Earth gets the disease he spread over an entire population. God never said ‘thou shall not schadenfreude’. No one’s saying assassinate the man, but if he asinines himself to death, good riddance.
When I found out Trump caught the thing I was thrilled. I spontaneously threw my hands in the air like a single lady. We told someone else (who didn’t know) and they had the same reaction. Many of you probably felt the same. You’re not bad people. You’re fine.
God obviously hates us, so the bastard will probably survive, but is it wrong to wish him ill? Nope. So I second Brother Malcolm, nearly 60 years later.
I have chickens next door and them coming home to roost never made me sad, it always made me glad. They’ve got to come home someday.