History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes

Members of the UAW Local 588 of the Ford Motor Company wield sledgehammers and bars on a 1975 Toyota Corolla, March 3, 1981 (Credit: AP Photo)

It was February 26th. The CDC had just confirmed 60 total cases of COVID-19 in the United States. As government officials worked to contain the virus, then Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told the House Appropriations Committee that the U.S. needed 25 times more masks than it currently had available in the government’s Strategic National Stockpile. After the first reported U.S. coronavirus death just three days later, the stockpile’s acting director, Steven Adams, told NPR that the government realized it needed more mask factories in the U.S.

“Coronavirus,” Adams said, “has made the theoretical risks seem far more…

Credit: Andrew Navarro

The dates become blurred when I look back, searching in vain for the first of my fitness resolutions. I was 12, I think. Maybe 13. Those earlier efforts speed past my memory like passengers in a train’s window. My mind flashes with only the acute, ephemeral details — hard breathing at the top of a staircase, strained pushups on the concrete slab outside my family’s home, digging in the trash to calculate the calories in my mother’s dinner. …

Credit: The New Yorker

My coworker eased on the throttle of the company moving truck, engine gurgling as we lumbered across the intersection. We’d just finished our first job of the day, stopping at the nearest gas station to stock-up on overpriced beef jerky and bitter coffee. I like to keep my work conversations light, so of course, I thought it best to bring up the most recent Presidential debate.

“I’m not political, I don’t really know anything about all of that,” my coworker said. “But I think that you should have to work for what you have. If you don’t wanna work that’s…

Creator: Ryan Garza | Credit: USA TODAY NETWORK via Reuters Co

Chris Swanson, Genesee County’s Sheriff, stood bare among a group of Flint, Michigan protestors. With his hands unarmed and his head unshielded, he yelled out to the group, “Don’t think for a second that he represents cops from all over the county and around this nation.”

The man who doesn’t represent them, the man who kneeled on George Floyd’s neck as he cried out “I can’t breathe” for nine minutes, is an outlier, an aberration, a deviation from the norm, from the ideal of the police force in America today. Like the cop who choked Eric Garner to death, like…

Elijah Nicholson-Messmer

Former college student. Future journalist. Always a writer.

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