Day 68: SAY THEIR NAMES

SOCIAL DISTANCING | SOCIAL JUSTICE

Video credit: The brief history of racism within the Minnesota police explained by reporter Rachel Maddow, MSNBC.  #GeorgeFloyd

This morning my bedroom is dark.  An early morning thunderstorm blocks the sky.  It formed over Seattle, traveled 90 miles to reach Bellingham at 9:12.  It swipes across our landscape as it continues its path towards the Canadian Rockies. The thunder shakes the earth.  The earth needs to be shaken.

A poet friend posted “Say Their Names”, by Seattle poet Mercedes Aristotle Lindholm. It is shared below.  I am not very good at talking or writing about atrocious events.  My God—I’ve written about the death of my daughter in my book “Fallen”, I’ve written about homelessness, domestic abuse, even freakin’ break up poetry, but this…over and over again, this goddamn two decades of documented abuse…with no reaction by civic leaders–I have no words.  Words literately escape me.  It’s too much.

I can’t write about trump.  I am outraged, gobsmacked, dumbfounded.  My ears are assaulted EVERY DAY during this neo-nazi president’s rule AND amazed that the “Teflon Don” isn’t slapped in the head and dragged off to jail.  It is not unlike the way police officers, fresh from the kill of unarmed black citizens, escape true justice. How?  Why?

I do not like trump’s america.  I want a Land Of The Free America, I beg for an All Created Equal America!

Minnesota police arrest CNN reporter and crew on live TV as they cover Minneapolis protests
PUBLISHED FRI, MAY 29 20206:51 AM EDT

I am weak.  I can not write. I look to others like Mr. Lindholm.
Please, read his poem out loud:

 

SAY THEIR NAMES
SAY THEIR NAMES
SAY THEIR NAMES

I grew up as a black man in the United States.
We used to throw snowballs at cop cars to get them to chase us because we, and the officers were bored. No one was trying to be violent.
Today I would like to do what ever I wanted.
However I fear that I can not.
Some think I am paranoid or overreacting.
Thank G.O.D. my children look white,
however they now both identify as black.

I fear to go birding (#ChristianCooper)
I fear to go jogging (#AmaudArbery)
I fear to relax in the comfort of my own home (#BothemSean and #AtatianaJefferson)
I fear to ask for help after being in a car crash (#JonathanFerrell and #RenishaMcBride)
I fear to have a cellphone (#StephonClark)
I fear to leave a party to get to safety (#JordanEdwards)
I fear to play loud music (#JordanDavis)
I fear to sell CDs (#AltonSterling)
I fear to sleep (#AiyanaJones)
I fear to walk from the corner store (#MikeBrown)
I fear to play cops and robbers (#TamirRice)
I fear to go to church (#Charleston9)
I fear to walk home with Skittles (#TrayvonMartin)
I fear to hold a hair brush while leaving my own bachelor party (#SeanBell)
I fear to party on New Years (#OscarGrant)
I fear to get a normal traffic ticket (#SandraBland)
I fear to lawfully carry a weapon (#PhilandoCastile)
I fear to break down on a public road with car problems (#CoreyJones)
I fear to shop at Walmart (#JohnCrawford)
I fear to have a disabled vehicle (#TerrenceCrutcher)
I fear to read a book in my own car (#KeithScott)
I fear to be a 10yr old walking with my grandfather (#CliffordGlover)
I fear to decorate for a party (#ClaudeReese)
I fear to ask a cop a question (#RandyEvans)
I fear to cash a check in peace (#YvonneSmallwood)
I fear to take out my wallet (#AmadouDiallo)
I fear to run (#WalterScott)
I fear to breathe (#EricGarner)
I fear to live (#FreddieGrey)
I CAN NOT BE ARRESTED WITHOUT THE FEAR OF BEING MURDERED (#GeorgeFloyd)

This fear is NOT NEW either.
I am blessed to know my G.O.D.
and to know when to shut up and keep my head down.
I have been arrested and incarcerated many times for no reason with no charges.
Been in cuffs in the back of cop cars starting at the age of 11, more times than I can literally count.
I have had a knee of a cop on my neck 3 times before I was 18.
I have had multiple guns pointed at me dozens of times. I have been taken from my property and stripped and given a RED jumpsuit for standing my ground!
And I am one of the fucking “GOOD GUYS”!!This is why now, I know how deal with cops.

Love and Light!…
peace is still a ways off I guess.

Mercy LnL
Seattle, WA
https://www.facebook.com/ari.lindholm

 

Protesters gather near the 3rd Precinct in Minneapolis during a rally Tuesday in response to the death the day before of George Floyd in police custody. Richard Tsong-Taatarii | Star Tribune via AP

https://www.mprnews.org/story/2020/05/26/fbi-bca-investigate-death-of-man-in-minneapolis-police-custody

Day 32: TGIF I think…it’s Friday right?

Shower Thoughts: Last night my friend asked to use a USB port to charge his cigarette, but I was using it to charge my book. The future is stupid.

Happy Friday everyone!  Oh wait, IS IT Friday?  I’m not sure.  Let’s see- Traffic looks like a Sunday afternoon, every day feels like a Saturday, kinda, but sometimes the grocery stores are busy like it is Thanksgiving.  Hmmmm… I’m not sure.  What does it feel like for you?  At times, especially last week, it felt like floating in jello, honestly.  Existence is vague and with little reference of location and time.  My clock and calendars are handrails along a dark trail.

This is me in my car last week, getting ready to deliver some supplies to a high-risk tenant.  I’m still working *knock on wood* and happy to help folks.  I haven’t had more than a sore throat since last December, and I chalked that up to the pollen count.  However, on Monday I have a video appointment with my personal doctor and hopefully, it will result in testing.

Whatcom County in Washington State is offering very little testing opportunities.  An acquaintance of mine was tested about 8 days ago and laughed telling me about it.  He said it felt like a drug deal.  His doctor gave him directions and an address where he met two ladies, dressed head to toe in PPE, working out of an unmarked van in an alley downtown.  He was their ONLY customer.  I’m not aware of any mass testing operation happening in Washington like I see in California, where folks are qued up in mile-long lines perhaps at a stadium parking lot.  Of course, testing and re-testing will help our nation determine if the lockdown is working.  HAHAHAAAAA! …but it is not happening.

The Federal Government, State, and Local appear to be completely discombobulated.   Our ‘effin president basically confessed to offering more Federal aid and services to the Republican States AND (sweet Lord) wants scientists to look into UV and disinfectant injections to kill the virus INSIDE US!—???  Another WTF moment.  EVERY DAY is a WTF moment with this administration.  Unbelievable.

My current mood in meme form.  Take care of yourself and your loved ones.  Hit “like” to let me know you were here.  Wishing you good health. -Shannon

Warm Worm

Photo by Krystian Piątek on Unsplash

Warm Worm

Moss-heavy limbs fall from charge
of a warm southern wind
rest in a compost graveyard
of other arms that have been

Once boasted of leaves
awarded with weighted sog
pray if awarded knees
low water releases a fog

Time will turn you into swamps breath
and a story told around the table
As the matted hair of a beggars sets
as sure you’ll become a fable

Draw out the white worm that hides in the gut
with a warm bowl of cream
Demand it to uncoil from the inner glut
the foreign body within a scream

#

~By Shannon Laws

These Things Shall Pass

photo credit: BY MATT BAUME SEPTEMBER 25 2019 11:18 AM, gay twitter

Do you know what the best day to be at Disneyland was?  September 12, 2001. On the day after September 11th, while all planes over the skies of America were grounded, my neighbors loaded up their Subaru and drove like a bat out of hell to Disneyland.

They were a young Disney fanatical-couple with early elementary-aged kids. The 9-11 attacks came with indirect benefits for anyone who ever dreamed of having Disneyland to themselves.  While most of America sat in front of their TVs for hours and worried themselves raw, these opportunists were like “F*ck it, we’re going to ride roller coasters all week!” Now, most people can get from Seattle to Disneyland in 18 hours, with kids, that could work out to be a full day of driving, day and a half if stay at a hotel on your way down.  They seemed bubbly and downright giddy about the whole situation.  When they came back they told us there were no lines and about 500 people in the whole park all week. Perfect!

I’m thinking about this couple today.
SO much happiness

As the Democrats are getting ready to impeach Trump, I’ve been extra happy.  There’s a little skip in my step the past two weeks. It’s as if my hope in the governments’ ability to function has returned.  (Mind you, it’s been missing for many years)   Since that dark winter’s night in 2016 many groaned and groaned for years after.  

But why, at 2 in the morning on a Wednesday in 2019, eight years later, am I thinking about them?  I’m happy that it appears some justice will be served but there is an element of unknown.  It is a crisis.  Our country is in a crisis, however, we’ve been here before.  So…what were they REALLY thinking? I came up with this: they recognized that these things shall pass

Consider these ancient lines from Proverbs  11:10, “When the righteous thrive, the city rejoices, and when the wicked perish, there are shouts of joy.” or 29:2, “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; But when a wicked man rules, the people groan.” (New King James). 

There was and is a groaning 

Whatever happens with Trump and to America over the next week, year, decades to come, its nothing we, and really all the citizens of the world, haven’t seen.  Proverbs is a testimony to this. For centuries the world has had righteous and wicked leaders. They come and go, but goddamit, how long will they keep the Dumbo ride?

photo credit: Disneyland, CA post card
photo credit: Disneyland, CA postcard