I’ve struggled with not participating in the marches and protests and mass gatherings of the last 10 days. My health and the health of my partner and my family remain paramount. Since March, I’ve narrowed my circle of contacts to 6, passed on business opportunities and put off properly burying my best friend. I want to see my 87-year old parents next weekend and have carefully planned that visit since May. It’s been achingly difficult but I’ve committed to not taking any chances with my health or theirs.
Today was cathartic on many levels. Today I found a way, on the bike, to try to understand, to begin to affect change. Shane and I joined a small bike tour of what I’d call How Systemic Racism Works in Atlanta: urban redevelopment sites, kick-ass corporate stadiums, broken streets that have never healed, whole neighborhoods forgotten in pursuit of the almighty dollar. But mostly, promises broken.
All of this culminated in riding past the home of Kathryn Johnston, a 92-year old black woman who was murdered in 2006 by 3 members of Atlanta Police Department’s elite Red Dog unit — a vice squad on steroids since disbanded. Expecting a Drug Den, they ran up her wheelchair ramp, sawed through her burglar bars, kicked down the door and fired 39 shots at her. She was armed and defended herself, getting a shot off before being downed by 5 or 6 police bullets.
The cops had the wrong address.
They went on to cuff her when she died, plant drugs in her house and lie about everything afterwards.
For me, Johnston’s death is the grotesque culmination of every aspect of systemic racism. Racism that’s ingrained over generations and perpetrated in education systems and allowed to fester through economic activity ends up with public servants killing old innocent ladies resting in their homes, in neighborhoods no one cares about.
We must do better. Today, I started anew.
So, you didn’t want to wear a mask because you selfishly thought it impinged on your rights (fact check: you don’t have the right to spread a lethal disease).
So, you wouldn’t subscribe to basic science and keep a safe distance between your untested self and the rest of your fellow humans (fact check: COVID-19 spreads via tiny particles of moisture, which you exhale at varying speeds and velocities…which means, you spray beyond 6 feet when you talk, laugh, cough and sneeze. As do I, a person whose status you do not know).
So, you want all you can grab for yourself and your children, ignoring the plight of others, as your savior, Jesus Christ, commands you to do. You ignore others’ health and well-being through your vote and your political (meaning the whole of society) choices and quit “loving thy neighbor as thy self.” In fact, you do everything to make sure your neighbor doesn’t stand a chance (fact check: death by asphyxiation, knee to the neck, to be exact).
So, did it occur to you that the Niggers that live in your city, your state, your country are your neighbors? Also, the ‘Spics, the Chincs, the Kikes, the Wops, the Faggots, the Gimps — that Tranny using your restroom — all of us, we are your neighbors?
So, let me get this straight, you’re appalled by the violence those people — your neighbors, remember them? those who have nothing left to save except their lives — exact on the symbols of your privilege and the temples of your consumption?
So then, your false bronzed prophet grabs your Holy book and stands before a church that moments before was occupied by your “neighbors” (fact check: he cleared them away with tear gas) and says he’s turning the military against you and us and everyone in the name of “the one law.”
Remind me again about your rights? Tell me about your savior? About how much you love your neighbors?
Well my friend, you deserve what’s coming.
Redemption is a ticket that you long ago traded for the comfort of Walmart, Donald Trump, that tattoo and your lily white ass. Good luck.
They’re going to eat you alive.