some of these articles may be a little less timely, but i’ve read a lot of excellent stuff recently.
last week was the 70th anniversary of the bombings of hiroshima and nagasaki. i’m not even sure what to say. i read a lot of survivor accounts last week. absolutely heartbreaking. frightening. angering. i recommend googling “survivors of the atomic bomb” or something like that. read through what you find. we must remember these stories.
i can’t say that i know what it’s like to keep watching your sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, friends and cousins put behind bars and/or killed. but i found this gif and i understand a tiny bit of the frustration on dave dennis’ face while giving a eulogy at james cheney’s funeral. (cheney was one of the three civil rights workers killed by the klan on june 21, 1964 while taking part in freedom summer actions.)
a couple of days ago, i got into some kind of nonsense with a white conservative male who is trolling twitter, specifically the #blacklivesmatter hashtag. when i made a factual argument, backed up by literature from the least biased organization i could find, he replied with some sort of racist graphic, mostly about how liberals cry “racist” when someone disagrees with them. i finally reported him for spam (there needs to be an option for “hate speech”) and blocked him. it was somewhat enjoyable to shoot his vitriol back at him, but ultimately, that’s just a waste of energy. are we really going to change the hearts and minds of people like this? people who are so… dedicated to their hatred and paranoia? i don’t think so anymore. but for some reason, i keep trying…
every day that goes by, it’s like there’s some new horrible story that i can’t even deal with. earlier this week, the hamilton county coroner determined that sam dubose didn’t have alcohol in that bottle of gin. it was air freshener that’s sold at small neighborhood stores; the people who make it reuse bottles and that one was just still marked “gin.” no words. no words. it wasn’t even open. he wasn’t even violating a law transporting it in his car.
i spend a lot of time these days close to tears – sometimes i can’t hold them back – and raging. just this anger inside of me that feels like it might spill out any time. i’m angry about the assault on black people, on women, on LGBT people, on children, on just… anyone who isn’t a white protestant. i don’t know what to do with my anger except keep writing and get re-connected with activists here in cincinnati. i have to channel it somehow. i don’t know how the dubose family (or any of these hundreds of families who’ve lost their loved ones to murderers with a badge) is getting through this. their pain must be immense.
sam dubose is the 534th black person to be killed by police this year. 534. let that number sink in.
sandra bland is one of 5 women to die in police custody in the month of july. she is one of 5 black women to die at the hands of police in the MONTH of july. i’ll give you a moment to catch up.
(edit: raynetta turner of mount vernon, ny is actually the 5th woman. my apologies for the error.)
i’m not going to lie to you, dear reader. i’m almost in tears just writing this. i’ve already shed quite a few tears thinking this week about sam dubose and what his family must be going through, what kind of culture we live in that will let this happen and will, in a matter of days, probably move on to discussing the kardashians or whatever, what kind of country we live in that devalues human life this way.
534. that number is big. too big. and still, people have donated to ray tensing’s defense fund. he posted bond yesterday and is probably hiding out at home. today, he pleaded not guilty, despite probably the clearest video we’ve had so far of a cop murdering a person of color. it will take awhile for him to be tried; we are not guaranteed a conviction, although certainly county prosecutor joe deters wants to put him away for life.
i’ve spent the last few days debating white privilege and what it means to move through the world unafraid of dying at the hands of the police. i’ve discussed the culture of policing in this country and how broken and sinister it really is. when it comes down to it, i fear the lack of empathy people have in the united states. we are so willing to excuse someone’s death because someone has a rap sheet, or because they tried to protect themselves from being attacked by another human being. (last i checked, police officers are not gods and therefore not exempt from being hit when they attack someone else. last i checked, all human beings have a fight or flight response when attacked.) our society is made up of many people who would rather believe a police officer did his “job,” even when there is clear evidence of excessive force that becomes murder. how can those of us who believe that black lives matter change the minds of people who are willing to ignore the facts to maintain their own privilege? i’m not sure anymore. anyone who still believes that our country has moved into a post-racial period is deluding themselves and living in absolute denial about the state of affairs these days.
i’m so full of anger.
i’m so deeply sad.
how many more??
i implore you to watch the videojay smoothposted today. he has said it much better than i can.
say their names until there is justice for the living and the dead. don’t let those murdered by police slip through the cracks. don’t be lulled into complacency. we are all responsible. be a witness and go do something to help, whatever that is. we’re all in this together, people. this problem is not going away.
it’s been a minute. i’m currently beating the heat at my favorite coffeeshop around the corner and starting to change my position on buying an air conditioner unit. i’m pretty sure my apartment is at about 90 degrees right now. clothing is totally optional.
anyway, here’s some stuff i’ve been looking at over the last few days:
i’ve been meaning to post for the last few days, but i’ve honestly had zero energy despite reading amazing/horrible stuff that i’ve wanted to share. i want to keep up my posting momentum, though! so here are some links for your consideration.
donald trump needs a better research team – so trump managed to score some more press by posting to twitter a ridiculous image of himself, the american flag, and some… nazi soldier. the tweet has since been taken down. as someone with two degrees in history and an MLS, i can do some good research. BUT more importantly, as someone with a fucking brain, i can tell you that if you’re going to use an historical image, you MIGHT want to make sure you’re using the right one. you MIGHT want to do some fact-checking. also, how frightening is it that trump is leading in the polls?!
some white artist decided she should make a statement about white privilege and violence by recreating the michael brown crime scene. proving once again that white people will do anything to make a buck and exploit people of color.
i think almost everyone can say that the last 4 days or so have been incredibly rough, even if you’re not in charleston. i’ve spent a lot of time writing angry screeds and occasionally crying. but my emotions, i’m certain, pale in comparison to the kind of grief and anger those who have lost their loved ones in the charleston murders and those who feel the effects of racism and white supremacy on a daily basis. you can know a lot intellectually about white supremacy; you can read all the history books and the critical race theory literature. but when something like this happens, you can see for yourself the human cost of this kind of terrorism. Continue reading “the worst 65 hours”→