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

How Are You Doing?

Hey, how ya’ doin’?  How are you doing during the pandemic?  Are you ready for it to be over?  Ya, me too.

I live about 2 hours drive north of Seattle, Washington, ground zero for the first coronavirus death in America.  Whatcom County is locked up.  On this day March 19th: restaurants offer take-out or drive-through only, grocery stores and gass stations are still open.  Grocery stores offer early hour shopping for the over 60-year-old crowd.

If it involves being closer than 6 feet or crowds of 10 or more, it is closed.  Imagine a city with no sit-down restaurants, movie theaters, music concerts, bars, schools, worship gatherings, gyms, sports, business meetings in conference rooms, discussion groups, no food banks, retail stores. Public gathering places are closed.  Everyone is online, video streaming, phone calls, emails.  Bellingham was quick to use Facebook to connect healthy people with those in need of help.  An obstacle is few folks over 70- the key target of the virus- are not on social media.  Hopefully, the friends and families of the elderly will bridge that gap.

Meanwhile, some very real stories are beginning to surface.  Yesterday I called one of our contractors for a quote.  She sounded like she had been crying.  When I asked her what happen, she told me all her clients called, one after the other, all morning to cancel cleaning services in order to practice social distancing, the same morning her husband was told to not come into work.  Boom.  Just like that, once again, the working class gets a boot to the behind.  Many hourly-paid folks are up a creek.  The unemployment rates will go up nationwide!

One aspect of trauma is a sense of losing control.  Do not kid yourself- this- ALL OF THIS- is traumatic.  However, times like these are opportunities to build character.

“I judge you unfortunate because you have never lived through misfortune. You have passed through life without an opponent—no one can ever know what you are capable of, not even you.” – Seneca

How am I doing? This week I am “sheltering in place.”  Today I need to find my feet and snap out of this gloom hanging over me.  Remind myself what I have control over, and find the courage to freakin’ do the right things.  Let’s hope this ends quickly.

Please take care of yourself, and check in with those around you.

The coronavirus COVID-19 is affecting 176 countries and territories around the world and 1 international conveyance (the Diamond Princess cruise ship harbored in Yokohama, Japan).  The link below: The day is reset after midnight GMT+0. The “New” columns for China display the previous day changes (as China reports after the day is over). For all other countries, the “New” columns display the changes for the current day while still in progress.

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

 

#