In God we trust… in America… not so much! “I’m not upset that you lied to me,” said German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, “I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.”
Trust McDonald’s for a quick burger and fries and trust Burger King to let you have it your way. Believe that Arby’s has the meat, but don’t believe anything coming out of the president’s mouth. Depend on Amazon Prime for express package delivery, but as for the promises and protections of the Constitution, they were never meant for you… so, don’t depend on them.
Walmart has low-low prices, Target has great product selection, Friday’s has awesome appetizers and each company works diligently to maintain their respective brand identities. Outback, Olive Garden, IHOP, Pizza Hut, Domino’s, Pepsi, Coke, Delta, Southwest, Jet Blue, Amtrak, FedEx, UPS, and the U.S. Post Office each have brand identities built on time tested trust building. Warren Buffet said, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and 5 minutes to ruin it.” Starbucks had a reputation for a warm, welcoming, Cheers-like environment. You could sit for hours in a business meeting or studying for an exam without interruption. However, when reports surfaced about the mistreatment of African Americans, by Starbuck’s management, that reputation, along with CEO Kevin Johnson, took a hit– or a black-eye. Johnson was forced to offer public apologies and to repair and revise training and policies.
Trust is a funny thing, a strange phenomenon, unshakable and absolute in nature, until it is broken. John F. Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., President Nelson Mandela, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michele Obama won our trust. Bill Clinton lost it. “Trust” is defined as the firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something. A firm belief? Is that to suggest that trust it is not based on reality or on quantifiable data, but on current and preexisting beliefs and assumptions? Is trust real or is it simply a feeling rendering one or a group secure in a belief about a person, persons, or a thing’s ability or reliability?
Trump loyalists trust what they have in common with the president– hate. What they fail to realize is that Trump distrusts those who trust him because he, knowing himself, knows he is unworthy of trust. He is suspicious of those who love him– he hates them! It’s the classic hooker/john relationship—it’s transactional, there is no love. Trump, and others like him, hold in contempt the weak, those who fail to or refuse to see through his facade or to hold him accountable for his evil. Interestingly, Trump feels used—a victim, a drafted agent of those incapable of doing their own hateful, dirty deeds. Out of that contempt and disdain for them, he rachets up his hateful rhetoric and detestable behavior.
The Honorable John Lewis said, “When you see something that is not right, not just, not fair, you have a moral obligation to say something, to do something.” Brother John, I see a government that is not right, not just, not fair, where recently, Louisville, Kentucky became the epicenter of yet more proof that it cannot be trusted to render justice. In America, where law & order go together like peanut butter and jelly, apple pie and vanilla ice cream, baseball, beer and a hot dog, the problem is exactly what the truth has always been– laws and statutes are the very tools of oppression and White Supremacy that keep us in the streets hollering, crying– no justice, no peace. I say, no trust, no peace!
How can we trust America? How can we trust a nation, a government, a system of justice which trades a life for a $12 million check? How can Breonna Taylor spend one dime of that money? What we can trust is Donald Trump to continue to fan the flames of hurt, rage, pain and disappointment across America.
A plaque on the office wall of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s read; “Justice, justice, you must pursue,” Deuteronomy 16:20. Corrie Ten Boom said; “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”