(NEVER MIND ALL THE SENSELESS HUMAN VIOLENCE BASED ON VILE BIASES THAT IT DOES SEEM WE MIGHT HAVE EVOLVED BEYOND BY NOW?)
LET'S MEET IT TOGETHER.
I made one of those wee-hours decisions early this morning, launched by mama grief.
Right before bed, I talked to my 20-something kid who lives in NYC. He was recounting a harrowing adventure in rally and rioting in Brooklyn the night before. He told me he couldn't stand being a white person not taking part in the protest launched by George Floyd's death. (You've surely heard about the senseless murder by a police officer of this man who deserved no violence directed his way, except the cop was white and the dude was black—and wow, whoa, mystifying though it is, though we've gotten all the way to 2020, that can still be all it takes.)
So during a pandemic, my kid was out there holding space with and for other protesters, chanting, looking out for vulnerable people, running for cover sometimes, taking part in protectively surrounding someone spray-painting a message sometimes, dodging rubber bullets and getting pepper-sprayed—and continuing to breathe the stuff because he didn't want to remove his face mask (both for virus and identity protection)—witnessing aggression between police and people, watching NYPD officers do things like drag protesters over the don't-cross line to throw them on the ground, beat them, arrest them, and more. He watched a scene in which he saw police ask a bus driver to surrender the bus so they could use it to transport those arrested (already there were vans standing by, my son reports, to throw people into like cattle), but the bus driver refused. You can see a brief video of that very scene right here.
So forgive me for the flaky, bad-business aspect of this, but I've changed the topic for my first Monday night zoom program in the current series (June 2020).
This Monday, instead, I want to sit with you, whoever wants to come or request the audio replay to go into later, and be with this pain. I've been carrying it around as you have, in my case ever since my other son called to unload his distress because he had watched the video of the murder and needed to recount every detail. I would not have chosen to watch that. I did solidly choose to hear about it for 2 reasons: 1) I don't want to look away from this reality; 2) I wanted to hold my son's heart with him (as I wish to do with you on Monday night). For him, this was a sort of next death of innocence. He's had a dream of being a good cop since he was small, and had held out believing he could be a force for good with others who actually care. In a flash, he sees it differently: not even possible.
I've got mama grief for George Floyd too, because what happened to him might have been his mother's worst fear, certainly not what she ever wanted for her boy. He grew up to be a man people spoke well of, a big-hearted human being who cared about those coming behind him enough to make a video with a plea for an end to gun violence. (Scroll down on linked page for that video. Go ahead. Hear his voice. Look at his face.)
What I'll be doing with anyone who comes (or asks for replay) this Monday night (June 1, 2020, 6:30 pm ET to 8 pm ET):
much love & many blessings in these tender times, Jaya