Friedemarie F., a retired teacher, born in Germany, wrote in September

Friedemarie F., a retired teacher, born in Germany, wrote in September

You wanted to know my opinion about the Kenosha shooting of Jacob Blake and how we think about our situation here and publish something about it. I am having not the time to give you a printable report and Tom says, he would maybe use to many unprintable words in describing Trumps action. I am having a lot to do.

So here is therefore only a short notice from me.

Demonstrations started here in Madison after George Floyd’s death, during the day peacefully and with big participation, including our pastor. Tom and I stayed away because of the contagious corona virus and our age 87 and 82.

At night hoodlums and looters appeared, often from out of town, and damaged and looted many stores on State Street, mostly owned by minorities and small business owners. They also pulled down at the Capital the statues of Hans-Christian Heg, a Norwegian immigrant who gave his live in the Civil War for the emancipation of the slaves. They beheaded him and threw him into Lake Mendota. The woman statue of „Forward“ for women’s right and the symbol for the state of Wisconsin forward policy, was also pulled down and damaged. So, these people had nothing in their mind with justice for Black Lives Matter, just vandalism, which the police was not able to control. They also destroyed twice a new market hall for small vendors, who gave up opening their businesses finally there after the second looting. The city did not pay for the damage or finally very little. State street businesses were boarded up and murals where painted on the boards Many people from Madison helped clean up the destruction. The population in Madison is very liberal and supportive of the cause for Black lives matter. Churches in general here, and mine in particular, the Covenant Presbyterian church, are helpful and preach sermons about it and we collected in shortest time a lot of money for them. One finds here on many lawns signs with Black Lives Matter and support for partial de-funding the police. Personally, I am very, very upset with the police. How do they dare to shoot a man 7 times in his back with his 3 children, 3, 5 and 8 years in the back seat of his car? He could not escape as they were right behind him. It is not to be comprehended why the policeman shot him. Only when one assumes that there is a systemic racist culture in the police departments, as these cases seem to be happening everywhere. I feel Trump supports this behavior with his law and order policy and calls the right wingers and militias patriotic. So, when a 17 old militia in Kenosha shoots 3 people, two killed, he thinks that this is self-defense. I fear with his preaching of fear he makes many older people fearful and they might support him to have order again or they will not vote at all. Our neighborhood is very integrated, my neighbor to the left is a black family, to the right once over lives a Chinese family, up our street another family from China, then another one more from Asia. At the end of the street lives my daughters best friend, whose parents are from India. I know only one who is probably a Republican, but do not know if she likes Trump. So, we are not typical here but typical for a University town in the Middle West.

These are but not our only worries. It seems to roll over us in waves of difficulties, The Corona Virus cases are not going down here in WI. In August at first yes, but now after the students came back, it jumped from our daily 41 cases a day or even lower cases to over 141. in Dane County. 9 fraternities gave us over 400 cases since they came back. They do not take it seriously and party in big groups without masks. But there is too little consistent guidance from the government and Trump reversed often what he says. He clearly does not like masks. The students think they are soon going to be send home anyway, because the infection will be too big. Some say, they did not even unpack all their stuff. They expect to be returning home in 14 days. Well today the chancellor announced closing of all classes in person and canceled all meetings in any places at the University of WI. for 14 days. The semester has only started 2 days before Labor Day weekend!

To this comes the real hunger in many families. They do not have jobs because of the pandemic. So private organization and some from the state and especially from churches, trying to help with food., but it is never enough

Schooling from home is a great burden on parents who need to work also. My son in Minneapolis has 4 children. His work as a professor keeps him very busy and his wife is a pediatrician and had to cut back to half to supervise the studying of the children in the spring. They are the lucky ones as they all have their own bedroom and a computer, with one borrowed from the school. Marion is well educated so she can help her children to learn, but still it is not the same as in person learning in school. But the Corona Virus cases are too high here in Madison

Also, the forest fires are horrific in California with intense heat hardly ever seen In LA, over 111 degree Fahrenheit, having burned more than 2 million acres already and trapping some people in the Sierra Mt in the fires.

Hurricane Laura brought great destruction to people in Texas and Louisiana. It is an anxious time for all and an election looming.

The election makes me very worried. I could not take another 4 years of Trump. He has already placed so many conservative judges in position which can change all our freedoms, regulations and environmental laws, everything for profit only! If the Supreme Court looses another judge, he could nominate another conservative judge. So everybody prays that Ruth B. Ginsberg stays alive until hopefully Biden is elected. She has but cancer and fights it bravely.

There are more problems, but I have to close with a line from a poem from May Oliver.

„I go down to the shore in the morning
and depending on the hour the waves
are rolling in or moving out,
and I say, oh, I am so miserable,
what shall –
what should I do? And the sea says
in its lovely voice:
Excuse me, I have work to do

Friedemarie on October 23, 2020

Zu Ruth Bader Ginsbergs Tod, ist nur zu sagen, dass es alle Demokraten sehr getroffen hat, denn wir wussten natürlich, dass die Republikaner eine erzkonservative Richterin durchsetzen können. Wie man sieht! Aber die Reaktion bei den Demokraten ist wahrscheinlich, dass sie nun noch mehr Wähler mobilisieren, so meinen einige Reporter. Biden hat bessere Aussichten, die Wahl zu gewinnen, wenigstens nach den bisher bekannten Umfragen. Aber alle Demokraten haben weiterhin Angst, dass Trump in den key states das Rennen gewinnt. So sitzen wir auf glühenden Kohlen, besonders da Trump gestern gut in der Debatte war. Wer die Wahlen am 3. November beobachten will, sollte sich allerdings auf eine längere Wartezeit einrichten, da in einigen Staaten bis zu 7 Tagen danach die Stimmen ausgezählt werden, wenn sie am 3. Nov abgestempelt sind. Also stellt euch auf eine längere Wartezeit ein.