What’s wrong with Americans these days?
SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Bobit S. Avila (The Philippine Star) - June 4, 2020 - 12:00am

When the virus hit the shores of America, one of the most strange things I learned was that Americans started buying a lot of firearms, many of them high-powered firearms… to fight an unseen enemy? With a hundred thousand Americans now dead because of COVID-19, you would really think that Americans these days should be mourning their dead, which is a bigger number than the American soldiers who died in the Vietnam War.

Then came May 27, 2020 when a police officer named Derek Chauvin arrested black American George Floyd and pinned his neck with his knee, causing him to suffocate. Despite his pleas to breathe the police officer continued on until Floyd died. What resulted were fierce protests all over cities in America. Worse, this resulted in riots, vicious violence against the rioters, looting, burning of many police precincts, then it eventually spread into looting shops and stores. Suddenly, America, a peaceful nation was plunged into violence.

Now I can understand why in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic many Americans chose to buy firearms. I checked Google how many riots have happened in America and you’d be surprised that the list is so long. It started more than hundreds of years ago. Apparently violent riots are part and parcel of American life, and if I lived in America I too would arm myself to the teeth to protect myself and my family.

With many Americans turning toward socialism, thanks to the principles of the Democratic Party, you would think that these violent protesters were no longer seeking for justice, but simply looting many stores.

However, what became viral in social media was that there is now a huge difference between protesters seeking justice for George Floyd and those setting fire to police precincts, suddenly shifting into burning, looting, stealing groceries, stores and shops selling luxurious items like shoes, clothes and bags. I heard that the communists in the US are part of this.

What became viral on social media was a New York Post article that showed Atty. Colinford Mattis, a 32-year old graduate of Princeton University and New York University and an associate in the Manhattan Firm Pryor Cashman and a member of a Brooklyn Community Center, who together with 31-year-old female lawyer Orooj Rahman hurling a molotov cocktail at a NYPD vehicle outside the 88th Precinct Stationhouse in Fort Greene early Saturday. Perhaps it is time to ask… why do Ivy League educated lawyers suddenly do a 360 degree turn and become criminals against the police in New York City? It’s just unbelievable!

I’m sure that these lawyers do not even know the late George Floyd and originally joined the peaceful protest against the injustice done by the Minneapolis police. But to turn criminal like terrorists throwing a molotov cocktail against the police is beyond comprehension. America must learn to fix this problem before it is too late!

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My dear friend Arthur Lopez wrote me in response to my column last Tuesday about the hotel industry that he heads. But it’s a bit long… so I will only put in the most important parts.

Hi Bobit, we coursed the letter to Usec Bong last March 25 but he wasn’t able to give it right away to the Secretary. But as soon as she found out about our letter, she sent us a reply last April 17. Please see the attachment for her reply.

In addition to DOT’s assistance in CAMP and TUPAD with DOLE, and the SBSW program with DOF, BIR and SSS for tourism workers these past two months, they have crafted the Tourism Response and Recovery Program or TRRP together with us in the private sector in order to develop a framework for the revival of the tourism industry and the mitigation of its losses during the pandemic. In order to fund the TRRP, the DOT is supporting the passage of the Philippine Economic Stimulus Act (PESA) in Congress, which will allocate about P58 billion in stimulus package to fund the TRRP’s programs and projects. Under the TRRP, the DOT intends to implement the following priority programs.

Actually there’s really more that the DOT has prepared for the hotel and resort industry, like the giving of interest-free loans or issuance of loan guarantees with terms of up to five years through government financial institutions or GFIs; or the granting of credit facilities through GFIs for upgrading of current establishments to be compliant with new health standards because like what I said, tourism is what has made the Philippine economy grow by leaps and bounds. Now the time is ripe to restart our tourism growth in this age called the New Normal. Thanks Sec. Puyat!

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Email: vsbobita@gmail.com

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