Journal

Jun 13 – Journal Entry

Another late journal entry, but I did it.

Stayed out for about two hours this morning with André, we went for a walk, played basketball and handball at a nearby school. It was cold this morning at ~ 14° C. The library isn’t open but offers pick-up service. André said he wouldn’t leave the house to go pick up a book from the library. That makes no sense to me, but I left it alone.

I mean, if you check out the book it’s because you want to read it, right? So why wouldn’t you go and pick it up? Mysteries of the teenage mind.

The guys are out playing Cricket again – Sometimes I watch them from my window. I don’t understand the game, except for a batter and a bowler. But I don’t get how they calculate scores. I like the flair with how they throw the ball – the run up and the over arm release. My dad watches Cricket – and every other sport on the planet. Soon, when we have intergalactic games, he will watch all those too 🙂

I have an idea – In writing my story response to “City” word prompt from Sue – I wish I could auto-play songs with individual sections of my story. Music and food are essential to me, and I love including them in my stories. I feel like everyone can relate to food and music, both serve as gatherings. My mom listened to every genre of music – from country, Patsy Cline was her favorite, to R&B, Jazz, Blues and Pop. I still listen to Patsy now and she always reminds me of my mom.

Wouldn’t it be cool if you could smell the food I’m describing? (you may not like it, but that’s a different story) I have a basic understanding of how aromas and music interplay with our memories.

There have been recent murders and assault of indigenous people in Canada by the RCMP. Another black man was murdered in Atlanta U.S.A, shot in the back while fleeing from the police – I thought you weren’t supposed to shoot at people running away since they no longer pose a threat. From Chris Rock’s standup on Netflix – it’s a few years old but very relevant:

“You’d think every once in a while the cops would shoot a white kid just to make it look good. You’d think they’d look at their dead nigga calendar and go, “Oh my god, we’re up to 16. We gotta shoot a white kid quick.” “Which one?” I want to live in a world where an equal amount of white kids are shot every month. An equal world. I wanna see white mothers on TV crying, standing next to Al Sharpton, saying “We need justice for Chad! He was just coming home from racquetball practice!”

I don’t think they pay police enough. And you get what you pay for. Here’s the thing, man. Whenever the cops gun down an innocent black man, they always say the same thing. “Well, it’s not most cops. It’s just a few bad apples. It’s just a few bad apples.” Bad apple? That’s a lovely name for murderer. That almost sounds nice. I’ve had a bad apple. It was tart, but it didn’t choke me out. I know being a cop is hard. I know that shit’s dangerous. I know it is, okay? But some jobs can’t have bad apples. Some jobs, everybody has to be good. Like pilots. American Airlines can’t be like, “Most of our pilots like to land. We just got a few bad apples that like to crash into mountains. Please bear with us.”

Chris Rock Quotes from NetFlix Tamborine
I don’t know what this is but I like it – Who doesn’t want pigs in a cup!? (No reference to police intended – I feel I need to say that.) Photo Credit: @mppllc via Twenty20

Lady Antebellum changed their name to Lady A – saying they didn’t realize the association of the word with racism/slavery (loosely quoted based on my memory) – Antebellum is associated with the architecture of plantation-style houses in the US, which relates back to slavery.

Saying they didn’t realize, indicates a lack of awareness that many of us suffer from. When I go about my daily life, I don’t have time to walk in “your” shoes – To be able to talk freely about our experiences and for others to listen with an open heart and humility truly matters and is the start to making a difference. But then … Once you’re aware, what you do with that awareness is up to you.

We must be clear on what it means to be racist, or what institutional racism means – Without clear definitions, someone who is seen as racist in someone else’s eyes likely doesn’t see themselves that way. In response to an assault on an Indigenous Chief, the RCMP initially said they weren’t racist, then they walked it back later and admitted to it.

From my perspective, we’ve fought this fight before – So many times. Dr. King’s speech from early 1960s mentions police brutalityI am cautiously optimistic on the expected changes this time around. Plus, another area to address is how we see ourselves, and how we treat each other because of how we see ourselves. We’re split on skin shades, the lighter the better (which is also a thing in Thailand, I learned from our tour guide in Phuket), socio-economic status, political affiliation. I have a “friend” who makes fun of black people – so much so, you’d think she wasn’t black herself. (sigh).

Tomorrow I plan to play Jackbox games with the fam – We will connect on Zoom and have some fun 🙂

When was the last time you blew bubbles?

Feature Photo Credit: @SmitBruins via Twenty20

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Shawn L. Bird

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