segunda-feira, 22 de junho de 2020

Version 2.049

I am feeling guilty as I write this, as I failed to send a message to my neighbor in Houston. It was a mix of laziness and carelessness in managing my time, but I must also pat myself on the back for spending most of my weekend working on taxes. I will have enough to itemize deductions this year, so I saved almost all of my shopping receipts and just needed to add all the local taxes that I paid in 2019.

Property and local taxes added up to close to $6900, a rather meager amount compared to property taxes alone in many other big cities, but that's one of the advantages of Memphis. State and local taxes, or SALT, will be added to the contributions to my retirement accounts, health savings account, health insurance premiums, charity contributions, property interest, and other smaller things that I don't recall, to reduce my taxable income. I was surprised to see how long the tax preparation packet is this year. Taxes have gotten really complicated with this last reform.

While I was whiling away in Taxland, the big news of the day was the Tulsa Trump Rally, which did not go well for the Trump campaign. Apparently, many teenagers reserved tickets to go, but had no intention of showing up, so it was a rather lame event. Tulsa, a city in Oklahoma, is still grappling with its history of the Tulsa race massacre that took place in 1921, in which a group of white people attacked the Greenwood district, which had a thriving black community, killing several dozen people and maybe several hundred. It is estimated that about 800 people may have been taken to the hospital.

The affair is not only shameful for the actual events, but also for the cover up that followed and that lasted decades, as local and state history did not include mention of the event. Only in 1996 did the state start to investigate what happened, but school curricula only included it this year, which I find very odd still. My first Christmas spent in the U.S. was in Tulsa, OK, in 1995, and for many years I did not know about the massacre, even though I lived in Oklahoma over seven years. It's still the place where I have lived the longest, after Portugal.

It was in poor taste for Trump to select Tulsa for a rally, but it has also served the purpose of having the massacre be talked about in national news. If Trump had not become President, we'd probably not be having these conversations and the truth is that there are a lot of people who need to hear us acknowledge their suffering. That's the hardest part about this whole thing for me: progress happens more quickly when people like Trump get to power.

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