First, if your major complaint is that politics has become uncivil, go away. Next, if you can’t listen to anything that deviates from your tribe’s orthodoxy without melting down. . . yes, go away. Your normal died. Normal is dead.
Antajuan Hawkins was murdered sometime on or after 2/23/2023. His body was discovered on Saturday 2/15/2025 after he was reported missing. He was a member of my church and part of our Young Adults Group. So the news of his death hits too close to home. Normal would not have saved his life. Antajuan pursued normal and he still got murdered.
The question was asked today (Sunday 2/16/2023) during the service, “could we have done something to prevent this.” And the words out of my mouth, “Nope.” Many things happen for a reason. We may learn over time what the motive was, why this guy got into a beef and then a fight and then died. We may not. Some things defy reasonable explanations. A sad and inescapable fact is that we lost Antajuan.
Normal is Dead and Older Than Fifty
When I started this post Antajuan was alive. I thought he’d not be the normal I see too much of in Richmond’s Highland Park. The boundaries of political normal have been blown down by a Maoist (Woke) windstorm. The Woke True Folk have divided us into tribes: them and the rest of us. Democrat politicians, ever wanting to be part of the fashy set, have donned Mao suits and boned up on their memorization of Mao’s Little Red Book. So progressive, yo.
The Woke True Folk say to us that we are their oppressors. Our normie ways hurt them. Our privilege prevented Antajuan from rising above his circumstances. We need to kowtow to their Dear Leaders and maintain angst over whether plastic, paper, or reusable grocery shopping bags are more woke. How would they explain the murder in Pine Camp? White people. White Anglo-Saxon Protestant MAGA Trump Extremist Fascist White Supremacist Misogynist Evangelical Christian Anti-LGBTQIA2S+ Racist Oppressors are why the police found a dead body in Pine Camp. Now go do a self-confession before your home shrine to Obama and his Bag Man Biden then punish yourself by eating GMO corn-fed beef shipped by an ICE-powered truck. Don’t forget the Chilean russet potatoes farmed by Big-Agra.
None of this is that simple. It can’t be distilled down into campaign slogans. There was a fight that didn’t de-escalate. We can’t blame guns because the weapon was a knife. Reasonable gun safety laws would not save his life. He was twenty so an education based on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion didn’t save his life. The WTF Maoist “he was oppressed” narrative is not helpful. Nor is their normal habit of blaming something external as a cause for all misery. You can’t blame the WTF or the oppressed for misery and evil. It has to be something else. This wasn’t normal. That Normal is Dead.
It’s Time for a New Normal
If all the normal answers are dead then the only answers left are abnormal. We need better than usual. Glen Sturtevant and Amanda Chase are the standard bearers for normal change. They offer just enough change to make us feel like we can accomplish better but not enough to threaten our careful WTF-leaning zeitgeist. Sturtevant is 41. Young enough but also comfortably colors inside the Overton Window. His slate is perfectly crafted by the establishment’s political consultants. He lost to Gazala Hashmi in 2019. Why? He’s too normal.
Vote for incumbents or anyone older than fifty if you want normal. There are plenty of choices. Glen Sturtevant is a former state senator promising to help Virginia get back to normal. Normal? What normal? Whatever. Glen or his campaign is living in 2020. It’s 2023, buddy. Glen, put down your coffee and read the Times-Dispatch. Or get better ad copywriters (me).
Glen wants Amanda Chase’s seat in the newly created District 12. So let’s talk about Amanda Chase. Chase is up for reelection this year. She has been State Senator in District 11 since 2015. Ms. Chase is 54. She’s been in office for eight years. She needs to go. Ms. Chase’s page is similar to Sturtevant’s in that it promises change inside the Overton Window. But Ms. Chase got herself sanctioned by the legislature for loyalty to the crowd protesting the election on January 6th, 2021. Following the crowd shouting that she is the change we want isn’t exceptional–it’s a dead normal. She thought the political winds were blowing in her direction. They are not.
Blue Swamp Lizards
It is March 2023 with the entire legislature up for election in November. Currently, the Republicans have a narrow majority in the House of Delegates and the Democrats have a slim majority in the Senate. The WTF demand total control so a normal where each party controls one house isn’t functional. As I type this the current legislative session wraps up this Saturday. About 700 out of a couple of thousand bills passed. The Democrats are celebrating because they promised to be a brick wall against oppressive Republican anti-woke legislation and were largely successful. This is not a reason to be happy.
Woke True Folk normal is to be against it. They only want the fight. Their comfort zone is on the street fighting the cops. It’s not a healthy way to lead. Their natural itch to be against everything conflicts with the need to be for something because they are in charge. It’s not going well.
Well . . . what then? Who is around that we can vote for and isn’t the same old same old normal? Tina Ramirez. Also, what the heck with your lead about a murder in Pine Camp? I’m tired of the old answers. We need something better than resource dumps that keep the African American community dependent on the government for necessary resources. We need to teach a better way to handle conflict so it doesn’t spin out of control and lead to murder. And we need leadership that defends American values because they work. Ramirez is campaigning to bring Virginia out of the WTF-defined Overton Window and into American values that are effective. She represents the new normal we need.
Real Hope and Change
Downtown Richmond and the Commonwealth Capital Building might as well be ten-thousand miles from Pine Camp. Foolish journalists attacking Ramirez for deviating from his or her orthodoxy are foreign to Antajuan’s life. Hawkins was pursuing an escape from the hard life common in his neighborhood. He was a student at Norfolk State University. When I spent the day with him at a church retreat he seemed to be one of the ones that would make it out. He did not and that sucks.
I don’t know enough to say what happened in Pine Camp and why someone I know from church is now in a morgue. I’m also not so in love with political candidates that I believe one election will fix all the ways that people are evil to each other. But I’ve had enough of the normal offered by Sturtevant and Chase. That normal is dead.
The differences between Ramirez, Chase, and Sturtevant are small. Chase seems to be Tweedle Dee and Sturtevant is Tweedle Dumb. I have little hope that anything substantial will change with a Chase or Sturtevant victory. That normal would be a loss. Ramirez has fought against the Woke True Folk with her Hardwired Global. She is a Mom to her daughter and a former teacher. We need better than the normal offered by Chase and Sturtevant and for me, that better is Tina Ramirez.