I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to properly articulate the scope of the emotions I’ve felt the last couple weeks. Of anger so visceral I have clenched my horrific teeth so much I may just lose them all by the time the Dentistry Department actually calls back with my appointment.
And, I have cried tears, some from rage, watching heartbreaking scenes of cruelty.
And, sometimes watching heartbreaking moments of strength, of the human spirit, of individual compassion and courage.
All the while as we watch the number of deaths pass 111,1111 Americans to this virus this week, as the pandemic still rages, and it worries me, it worries everyone, but, well, if not now… when?
To be clear, there have been legitimate reasons to raise doubts, from a public health perspective, about the advisability of the protests. But the thing to understand here is that this presented a very real and difficult moral and political dilemma for many people.WASHINGTON POST – The coming campaign to rescue Trump could get a lot uglier – Greg Sargent @ThePlumLineGS
As a good report from Vox’s Brian Resnick demonstrated, many protesters wrestled with the public health risk, ultimately concluding it was outweighed by the fact that a societal window really appears to have opened, in a way perhaps not seen in decades, to force real change to deep problems that themselves threaten black lives daily. As one expert put it, the “cost of not doing something is a lot greater.”
We have watched freedoms and rights trashed on the ground with tear-gas canisters. Reporters and journalists arrested for, I guess being a reporter while black, and multiple violent clashes and overzealous brutality from cops.
Oh, mom, we are watching a moment so strong, so powerful it has swept round the world… through places large and small, from village street corners to Londoners marching to the U.S. Embassy, in solidarity with Americans against the steaming stench of hate that wafts from that fear-mongering, divisive president.
This movement has caught the hearts and minds of many at what seems a profound speed, unprecedented, history making.
And, any who may try to deny the injustice that exists, and who still want to question why #BlackLivesMatter… well, there are a few million folk that think they can go and [email protected] themselves right off.
All week I have thought and thought about what to say, about what I wanted to say to you, my mom, the person who taught me right from wrong, even if she herself didn’t always follow the tenets herself. You gave your daughters the tools to navigate this racist and bigoted cruel world, where the colour of ones skin still may deny you basic human rights, respect, sometimes deny you even breathe, maybe life.
Justice denied for those who happened to be born with skin too brown.
As that officer kneeled on George Floyd, as he was dying, it took 8 minutes and 46 seconds, as he calmly rested his hand in his pocket, as he looked at the 17-year girl filming it all on her phone, as George begged him to stop, he called for his mom. Yet, the cop was smug, completely comfortable taking a human life, least a black one.
Cops are taught to be predators, to hunt and kill, to even like it.
Day after day we watch police from all over the country, completely and almost shockingly, almost as so little does shock me anymore.
Maybe police in the U.S. are asked to do too much, social workers, animal care, domestic violence experts, given military tools, now think they are judge, jury and executioner, and people are just prey.
Still, these cops do not seem to grasp that the public gives officers of the peace the power to police them. They are public servants, they serve the public. Police can not answer protests on police brutality with brutality and then turn around and play the victim card. Naw naw.
That is some officers’ response, completely avoiding or even addressing racial injustice.
It is just unnerving to see the blatant and utter racist ignorant cockwobble president egg on his MAGAt army of hate, some of them evidently working as cops across the country.
Ugh. What a sight, this constant barrage of divisive and sometimes blistering attacks from his sycophants, and it is only going to get worse as the summer turns to fall, and the November 3rd election in the U.S. looms off on the horizon, and the conman imPOTUS, chief commander of chaos, becomes more and more unhinged, and that grand old bunch of white racist party loyalists hemorrhage more voters day after day.
Hopefully Americans can sustain this momentum and vote them all out and defang the Republican Party of their evil authoritarian intent.
God alone, well, or whoever, knows what our future holds, living upstairs as we do in Canada to a, well, upstairs to a meth lab, to quote Robin Williams.
Yet, this week for the first time… least since that man took office… I have felt hope. Slippery it may be, wet with tears, marching through this smoke screen of lies, and crisis after crisis after crisis, are taking its toll.
Still, hope is there, people are coming together. They are risking their lives, and many more will die from this virus because of these protests, yet, how can they not stand against this injustice any longer? Many angry people taking to the streets, to make sure their voice is heard.
This younger generation, those on the ground organizing, the reporters and journalists risking their health, many an eye from rubber bullets, live-streaming to Twitter all that they see. We are gripped by history being made. We are stunned to behold the solidarity of the world, joined together to protest injustice towards minorities and peoples of colour throughout the world.
Still, also a solid punch in the gut reminder that this systemic racism exists everywhere, and we, none of us in the developed world should smugly assume we are immune from hate, bigotry and injustice towards those who don’t look like you, believe what you believe.
Powerful, moving, watching the winds of change with my very own eyes. A mass of humanity on the march, calling for justice, saying loud and clear, Black Lives Matter.
So much so that I honestly have struggled to even know what to write. So many stories to tell. My own stories of racism I have seen, in my own family, in the place where I was born, and with people right in Dodge, down the street, racism has reared its ugly ignorant head.
Stories dad told, of the lunch counter, of what he felt growing up in the Jim Crow south, of only being allowed to go drinking with his black buddy on base when he was in the National Guard, and all the complicated and interwoven to this day racism, entrenched in many places, common, expected, excepted, with no apology or denial.
More so with that racist in chief in D.C.
The racists now carry automatic weapons, drive cars into protestors, as we watch cops lash out in combat mode against the protestor instead, and actually watch them beat the snot out of them right on TV, for everyone to see, cause, ya know, why not?
Since President Trump took office, the Justice Department has sharply curbed its use of investigations and consent decrees, essentially locking those powerful tools in its toolbox. What’s more, the president himself has made multiple public statements that suggest he does not see police accountability as a high priority. And some former Justice Department officials and other criminal justice experts see a connection between the vacuum of accountability at the highest levels of government and the ongoing police violence that has sent Americans cascading into the streets to protest.BOSTON GLOBE | It means open season:’ Under Trump, the Justice Department has largely stopped investigating police departments for systemic abuses
There are people nodding their heads, watching their bigots on FOX News, defending conspiracies and lunatic fringe dwellers, the crazy and delusional alike, pandering to the ignorant and angry multitudes, led by the president himself, cause ya know, why not?
So, yes, I see the tide is turning, but there are absolutely no guarantees right now.
Only, well, only hope, a little faith, and compassion for those who still fear this change that is in the air, empathy, little bit, for those who have been shocked and saddened by what they have seen.
And yes, mom, I do still hold out this faint hope one day dad may be among those, like all the stream of military brass this week that have spoken out against this horrifically incompetent monster who some call president of that land where I was born.
Anywho, I’ve enclosed some photos of my garden for you. It is my sanctuary now more than ever, and I’ve spent much time the last few days puttering around in it, moving this there, that over there, and thoroughly enjoying myself, and trying to completely ignore all that transpires in this chaotic and confusing world. Ignore hate and hope alike, anger and irate begone, turn away from the racists, and all the multitude of all the things and overwhelming news cycle blips and bleeps… snap the horrible device off and Zen the heck out.
Anyway, ciao for now.
Friend came over yesterday afternoon, we had a few beer and chatted. Nice to see other humans that aren’t checking my groceries out. Few beer left over ( I know, eh?), so, thinking I’ll just spend the rest of the day getting drunk. I’ve seen it’s all the rage, pandemic alcoholics are not anonymous, très chic now.