What I Learned From Black Out Tuesday

Blackout Tuesday.  What will it change just to black out social media?  I loved this quote from  @Tankgoodness “The black posts create a reflection on the phone for you to be able to see that you, the individual are the solution”.    The whole world saw what happened to George Floyd and everyone across the globe has an opinion.  Including me…

Our nation has  been like the frog in the boiling pot, slowly adjusting to the increasing temperature of the presidential rhetoric.  Perhaps the  POTUS  went too far declaring war on US Citizens by saying “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” and angering a very tolerant religious community by holding up a Bible in front of a church he does not attend nor go to pray for those in his community.  I have always believed supporting  whoever the POTUS is.  However, that assumes the assigned task of leadership is being executed. Dividing the country declaring war on citizens is not part of the Executive Branch of our government.  Blame media, or whomever you wish, the point is that we need a leader’s wise words, not one that cowers in a bunker. There is still time for leadership, there is still time for him to  diffuse this bomb.  There is time to tolerate and most of all love.

My reflection:  In 2008 we had a home invasion.  We had  been experiencing an increase in crime that year in our neighborhood, supposedly due to increased foreclosed homes now occupied by drug criminals.  My husband and I were watching out the window  one evening anxiously awaiting our  daughter to come home  to prepare for her first day of senior year of high school. Instead we saw a man casually stroll  up the walkway, and peer in the window.  My husband went out to ask him what he was doing and was blindsided by a rock to the face blinding him immediately.  I did not see this, I heard it. When his facial bones broke it sounded like a gunshot.  I called 911 but  the police arrived long after my husband fought off attacker and fled on foot. My husband’s face and the front porch were covered in blood.  The tone of the investigating officer was that drugs were involved no matter how we told them to the contrary. They took one look at my husband’s biker appearance and decided “drugs”.  They only visited one house in the direction the attacker fled. None of out neighbors were informed to look out for a violent man.   

After this event I couldn’t sleep for weeks. While my daughter & husband slept I kept vigil like a palace guard.  We talked about it everyday. We were angry at the police how they treated us like we somehow deserved it.  We talked to everyone about it.  Our daughter was traumatized that her safe home could be breached and to this day suffers that anxiety.

Present day she is here taking care of me after knee surgery.  Together we read a post to Black Lives Matter from someone in our city stated that they are 100 strong and want to invade and kill white families.  Reading that we reverted back to the fear of 2008…. and ISN’T THAT THE POINT!  The fear we were reliving  is the fear so many people experience every single day.  No white families were executed but the words shocked and disgusted. Perhaps it was the fear of  the person who wrote it experienced every single day. We discussed it at length and more than ever I understood.  I understand not just the fear,  I truly understand the  rage. (After my husband nearly lost his eye and tore all the ligaments in his shoulder, driving back from the hospital I saw the back of a man of similar build and dress jogging in the road.  For a moment I wanted to run him down!  This poor jogger probably wondered what the hell?) Fear/anger/rage/fear again (of what I may be capable of if I saw the real perpetrator jogging in front of my car).  For this reason I understand the need to destroy something that belongs to the perpetrator. I understand wanting to destroy something that belongs to white privilege. Something like a Target.

Racism now not only looks like those oppressing others, but also by our privileged inaction.  We thought  not being a racist in our thoughts and deeds was enough. It isn’t.

Lock down: Due to looting in Scottsdale, AZ has an 8pm curfew. US Citizens are policed into their homes.   The POTUS is threatening  militarizing against we the people if Governors don’t take action. Still evening protests and vigils are scheduled.  So much control.  We are locked in our homes.  Why are there sides?  Shouldn’t we all be for equality and justice?   Don’t you remember the feeling of betrayal in the Sound of Music when the Nazi and Liesl’s boyfriend  Rolf blows the whistle on the escaping  family? We get to choose now to help or blow a whistle.

Law Enforcement: My Sheriff Deputy Nephew is on the front lines.  Here’s how I know he is one of the good ones.  He suffers from the things he sees on a daily basis.  He is empathetic to a fault. He is very good at and sought out for diffusing domestic violent situations with his wise words.  He is loving the way he approaches violent  situations.  He doesn’t justify police brutality.  I am terrified for him even more than usual now.  I pray for his protection every night he is on duty.  Most of us know someone like him in law enforcement.  Examples of officers supporting protests or taking a knee are all over the internet.  Some officers are called out for their racism and  been fired.  We are a changed nation and yet he and other officers like him are in extreme danger.

So many comments on social media from people I have known for years full of hate, sarcasm, anger toward protesters, holding looters up as examples of what all protesters are or become. Authorities stopping people for talking. Religion not following the teachings of Jesus.   INTOLERANCE!  It has been eye opening and very, very sad.  I may not have a popular opinion with my peers but I want to be on the loving side of history.

George Floyd’s 6 year old daughter: “My daddy changed the world”.







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