It seemed impossible for 2020 to get any shittier.
And then I watched a policeman suffocate another man on YouTube.
Typing the above makes my stomach churn. It’s insane.
This crime wasn’t committed in a dark alley or in some underground seedy club.
A uniformed officer killed another man on a crowded street, amid his coworkers, and in broad daylight.
George Floyd pleaded to Derek Chauvin for five minutes before going unresponsive. Mr. Floyd repeatedly said:
I can’t breathe.
Even gasping for his life – he politely addressed his executioner as “officer”. Yet the cruel bastard kept his knee pressed to his neck. George Floyd lay under Chauvin’s knee for eight and a half minutes (roughly 510 seconds).
Chauvin had 510 chances to keep George Floyd on this planet. He disregarded them all.
The fallout from George Floyd’s death has spiralled the US into deep mayhem.
We’ve all seen the riots. I’d like them to remain peaceful (many are) and better socially distanced. But I get why it’s out of hand. People are at the end of their tethers. Looting is only a consequence of an awful underlying reality.
We collectively as a human race must put a stop to racism and inequality.
Let’s begin right now.
If you subscribe to a religion which condones misogyny and condemns homosexuality; rethink your values. If your religion does not unite humanity – find one that does.
Racism is a learned trait. Expose your children to other cultures through travel or even in your own city. Paint diversity in a positive light and remind them that beauty comes in many forms.
Let’s open up the conversation and talk about what’s uncomfortable. Black lives matter. All lives matter. No life is more precious than another.
It Takes a Village
We moved to the Bahamas the better part of seventeen years ago.
I know what it’s like to be the only white woman in a room full of black people. Guess what? It’s never been uncomfortable. Not once.
Oh sure, I received some poor customer service. Bahamas is notorious for it. But it’s indiscriminate. Everyone is treated to the same poor service.
One time when my babes were young – we were at a well known Beach Bar (Tony Macaroni’s). My toddlers were bombing around and stressing me out by getting too close to the road.
An old Bahamian man watched me as my heavily pregnant ass plodded after them. Finally, he said:
Stop running Mama. Nobody here is letting those babies anywhere near that road. We got you.
It was true. The people along the wall were stopping all the children from getting too close to the road. They had my back.
It takes a village.
Nothing could be truer of my Bahamian friends of any colour. My Island is a wonderful village filled with people who’ve got your back. The world needs more places like that.
Finding a Son
Soon after moving to Freeport, we met a Mother and son.
The boy was a natural talent on the tennis court and just sweet. His Mom was raising him right and wholly devoted to her boy. He trained every day.
But what he needed was a break so that’s what we gave him; he did the rest.
He went to tennis academy in Florida for the remainder of High School and then onto University on a Tennis Scholarship.
I worried about him being in the southern states. He told me about being called the n-word in Mississippi after some rednecks threw pop cans at him from a moving car. I remember wanting to fly him home immediately. I hated that racism reared its ugly head at him and his friends. It wasn’t fair and it pissed me off to no end knowing that I couldn’t protect him from it.
He’s graduated now and part of the family – our fourth son, and brother to the boys.
He’s also well away from the US.
Be the Village
I don’t understand why some of us fail so badly at humanity.
Humans come in a myriad of shades. One is no better than the other. That should be simple to grasp.
It’s okay to acknowledge our differences and to see in colour. Ethnicity is one of the things that make humans cool. But our diversity should never polarise us.
The woman in Central Park who phoned the police on the innocent bird watcher. She tried using her white privilege to ruin a harmless man. If you think that’s okay; smack yourself and then educate yourself.
If you’re uncomfortable with black people; that’s on you. Seek a way to change it.
Be the change my friends.
If you’re able to mentor a child in a struggling community – then do it!
We’ve just launched a couple of humans into orbit for commercial space trials. Yet we can’t work out the basic fundamentals of humanity.
It’s not okay to sit idle. Complacency makes you part of the problem.
We must stand in solidarity as humans (black, white, beige, rainbow, whatever).
Say yes to equality and a fierce hell NO to hate and discrimination.
It takes a village – be the village.
But be the village that bans racism, sexism, and homophobia.
Then fill that village with people who stand for the equal rights of everyone.