A Minneapolis police officer knelt on George Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds until he was lifeless. Dead. In broad daylight. It’s been an emotional and fraught week for the country and especially for the black community. And silence from allies is no longer an option.
This past weekend, protests were organized across the country, intended to be peaceful, but understandably fueled by centuries of oppression and also tainted by opportunistic assholes. The result was an extraordinary number of supporters (the good news), mass destruction (mixed emotions here), and police brutality (unacceptable). It’s such a sticky mess. What’s clear to me is that this is the moment. We will never overcome systemic racism, a concept which still feels misunderstood by so many, without a reckoning. It’s going to be painful, prolonged, and necessary. Because if not now, when?
Adding a pandemic to the mix just makes the mountain feel that much higher.
Tonight, Jeff and I took a walk and ran into a teacher friend. She indicated that Washington schools drew a hard line and will not reopen until there is a vaccine. I could have cried. Honestly, I can’t believe I didn’t.
I nearly pulled a Karen today. I suppose it could be argued that I briefly Karen’d.
Twice I’ve tried to pick up medicine at Walgreens and both times they closed early – and right as I was approaching the entrance. Presumably, the early closures are related to Mayor Durkan’s 6pm curfew and threats of nearby looting.
At today’s attempt, I started to say something like, “It’s an ear infection! This is the second day you’ve closed before I could get relief!” It was kind of a micro-moment of my own sense of entitlement.
But if you really want to see some Karens in action, you must check out #karensgonecrazy on Instagram. You’re welcome.
Flash bangs, pepper spray, tear gas, military police – all used against peaceful protesters. It feels like a dystopian novel. I know that honorable police departments, police leadership, and police officers exist, but it’s horrifying how many blatantly violate their duty to serve and protect and abuse their power. There is video! SO much video demonstrating exactly was POC have decried for decades. Can you imagine living in a neighborhood where it’s more dangerous to call the police than to endure whatever criminal or violent threat you’re under?
Obviously, I’m sorting all of this in my head. I’m following leaders in the BLM movement, I’m reading the op-eds, I’m researching proposals for change, I’m learning. This diary was intended to document the coronavirus ride, but racial injustice has overtaken the brain space once allotted to virus anxiety.
I’m swirling in all there is to know and especially in how I can root these lessons into my boys. They must understand their privilege and learn to step aside. I want that to come as naturally as breathing when they are men.
And I can’t stop writing without mentioning this blasphemous stunt by our president a couple days ago: the National Guard and police used tear gas, rubber bullets, and force to clear peaceful protesters so that the president could have a photo op in front of a church. Holding a brand new, upside down Bible, a book which he very obviously knows nothing about, as he’s repeatedly demonstrated, he smugly posed in front of St. John’s Church. Why every Christ-follower is not incensed, I’ll never understand. He’s a fraud in every way.
I finally did some research on what I thought I heard my teacher friend describe as distance learning for eternity. It looks like Seattle Public Schools are considering 3 options:
- k-5 return to school 100%, 6-12 have a/b schedule
- k-12 have a/b schedule
- 100% remote learning
Please, please let it be option 1.
I’ve recently decided that I miss bowling. I rarely bowl, but when I do, it’s really a good time. Seems like a risky activity, what with the finger holes. Poor bowling alleys.
Coronavirus win: Turns out, I’m not really that gray. It’s just a small observation that brought me a minute of joy in the midst of so much angst, depression, and hopelessness.