I remember Michael Harriot.
Yesterday would have been his birthday. He was a human being. Before his untimely demise, Michael spent most of his time doing things like inhaling oxygen, exhaling carbon dioxide, and figuring out why people consume candy corn in a world where Skittles, Starburst and Now & Laters exist.
Michael even believed in things.
Before he was called home to glory on Jan. 20, 2017, Michael often ranted about COINTELPRO, the execution of Fred Hampton and the carceral state. No matter what the case, Michael would have never sided with the FBI. He would have laughed in your face if you had suggested that Mitt Romney would ever do something good or that he would take any interest in the sexual adventures of a white porn star.
Before the Bush presidency (pick one), Michael believed that there would never be a president worse than Ronald Reagan. However, Michael still wished Reagan a speedy recovery after his assassination attempt because Michael Harriot was once a human being.
But Michael Harriot is dead.
His body still converts oxygen into carbon dioxide but his now-dead soul pulled for the feds in the Mueller investigational and hoped that former FBI Directors James Comey or Andrew McCabe would sink the Trump administration. The animated corpse of Michael Harriot briefly became a fan of Republican Jeff Flake, actress Stormy Daniels and federal prosecutors in the Eastern District of New York.
And, when it comes to a deadly global pandemic that is killing people across the globe versus the kinda duly-elected president of the United States, this new guy who resembles Michael Harriot cannot muster a milliliter of sympathy (Michael always preferred the metric system) for the people who are openly trying to make America cough again.
He does not have a single thought or a fraction of a prayer to offer these pariahs. When Michael hears about another member of Lil’ Wheezy’s crew coming down with COVID-19, the place where his soul once resided is filled with hope. Mike is not apathetic or jaded—he wants them all to suffer.
Michael might be dead, but he is still a good person
That’s why Michael Harriot is rooting for the coronavirus.
Would a good person wish life and health upon a murderer who plans to kill more people? Would a good, faithful servant of Jesus root against God’s will being done? Do Christians wish that some men don’t reap what they sow?
I’m asking for a friend.
Me? I do not believe in things.
I’m not an atheist, agnostic or a religious person. I don’t believe there is an invisible man in the sky who is looking out for my well-being nor do I believe that truth and justice will always prevail. I know segregationist Strom Thurmond lived until he was 100. I know FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover outlived Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Fred Hampton and four little girls in a Birmingham, Ala., church, none of whom made it to age 40.
Sometimes hate whips love’s ass. The moral arc of the universe bends toward chaos. I have not seen a scintilla of evidence that evil people will “get theirs in the end.” The scant few times that justice prevailed, it was because the righteous worked their asses off and—in most cases—the immoral people still didn’t pay for their sins. Wickedness wins all the time, which is precisely why we have to be convinced that our righteousness will be rewarded by an existential supernatural process that can only take place after we are dead.
Me? I’d rather be good.
Good people don’t do good works to get into the VIP entrance in heaven. Good people do good things because they are good people and, for that to happen, evil must be destroyed.
Let me be clear: I do not want anyone to hurt Donald Trump because I don’t want him to become a martyr. Violence is not the answer. But if he succumbs from his refusal to believe in science, experts or the efficacy of masks, I will consider his death to be a suicide or work of the ancestors.
And no, you can’t convince me to feel bad about wishing ill upon my murderous oppressor.
This is an administration that reinstated the death penalty knowing that it disproportionately affects Black men. They openly espouse their belief that poor people shouldn’t have healthcare. They lock children in cages and watch them die. They refuse to condemn white supremacist terrorism. They advocate for shooting undocumented border-crossers and executing drug dealers. They applauded people who killed protesters and sent a secret police force to kill more.
You think Donald Trump and the rest of those wicked motherfuckers give a damn about “inheriting the earth” after they fuck it up by ignoring climate change, rampant disease and poverty while enriching the blood-soaked soil that gives them their fruitful bounty? If they do indeed face any kind of judgment for their murderous ways, I want a front-row seat to their smiting.
I want to see the prayers of the righteous prevailing just one time.
Perhaps the only hope this country has is the coronavirus. No, I am not hopelessly cynical. I truly think there are still some good people on the face of the Earth and the most effective way out of this mess is through the ballot box. But it’s not unreasonable for anyone to assume that the people who ignored election interference, instituted racially biased voter purges and engaged in outright election-theft (shout out to Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp) are not going to summon all their evil ways to maintain their power.
What evidence exists that our long suffering will be rewarded?
This Justice Department will not produce justice. The toothless Constitution provides an infinite number of loopholes that can only be interpreted by judges in federal courts filled with Trump’s right-wing co-conspirators. He has rendered the mainstream media impotent. His fellow Republicans’ cowardice is only outshined by the Democratic Party’s refusal to reject the rules of decorum that protect the system of white supremacy.
All we have left is hope and votes and we should all vote.
But we should also hope something good happens.
Because if I were still alive, I might follow some dude named Jesus’ advice, who instructed his followers to ask God that his “will be done” and to “deliver us from evil.” I would have reminded you that God’s will includes his promise that “God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”
Because he was a poet, the late Michael Harriot would’ve quoted a few lines from a poem in the fourth chapter in the book of Job, which says:
Consider now: Who, being innocent, has ever perished?
Where were the upright ever destroyed?
As I have observed, those who plow evil
and those who sow trouble reap it.
At the breath of God they perish;
at the blast of his anger they are no more.
But Michael Harriot is gone, and this new guy’s faith that the good works will eventually be rewarded was shaped by the little known Bible verse in the fourth book of Rocky:
As the prophets prayed for Apollo, Ivan Drago said unto the multitude:
“If he dies, he dies.”
I want to be a good person.
I truly hope good triumphs over evil.
That’s why I’m rooting for the coronavirus.