I wanted to create a record of a few thoughts as of late. I had a lot of melancholy yesterday just about life in general. I kept thinking about how shitty the world is and worrying about how to raise a kid in that. Kelly said, “Do you think it was any different for our great grandparents?” No, I don’t, but that doesn’t make it easier. I’m realizing just how fast the semester is approaching. I’m excited for the new semester, for what it might hold, but I know it’s going to go quickly, which means this third trimester is, as well.
I also wanted a record of an exchange with a Fb friend. In it, I’m reminded of my own privilege and where I sit on the spectrum of radical action. I also want to link this article (http://manicpixiedreammama.com/a-mothers-white-privilege/) as an important reminder. So, the exchange went like this:
Friend: “Please spare me from the vague twitter activism that is so conveniently occurring due to recent police fatality from racist institutions that target Black men as weapons of mass destructions.”
Me, thinking that I am agreeing with him: “While I wholeheartedly appreciate the outpouring I’ve seen for Michael Brown and the people of Ferguson, it makes me think, once again, about the absence of the numerous shootings in Chicago making national headlines. It also reminds me of [another person]‘s NVC project.”
Friend responds: “The shootings in Chicago making national headlines isn’t what Black folks need. My question to you is, even if they did put every single Chicago senseless shooting on CNN, then what? I don’t advocate for the media microscope to be on Chicago violence (Which I believe is an exaggerated representation of the violence). I advocate for jobs and resources.”
Another person, unknown to me: “The lack of outrage in Chicago (and most urban cities) does not invalidate the outrage in Furgurson. We have complained and warned about very poor schools (they have canceled most band, arts and shop classes), jobs (communities lead the nation in travel time to work) etc for 40 plus years. a lot of cause and effect that has lead to hopelessness. The people in furguson had simply had enough. Chicago’s issues are very multi faceted and ignored”
Another person I do know, but is a mentor to Friend: “SuperMan you right on point with this”
Me: “Yes, sir, [Friend]! I don’t mean to dismiss the advocating of jobs and resources. I forget that the news that feels important doesn’t necessarily help the people of that story move forward. And, I don’t mean to invalidate Ferguson, by any means. I think what’s happening is, like you say, a cause and effect of hopelessness. As I sit in my own White privilege, I realize it’s the media coverage that helps draw my attention to these communities I’d otherwise not know about because I don’t “have” to know about them. What I want: justice, mercy, peace, hope, and ways to break down the systemic racism and militarization of police. You know, just for starters.”
Friend: “Thank you Dr. [me], I really appreciate your response. If you really truly want to help, as I feel you really do, if you a are ever in a position to hire, hire a Black man or Women because if you don’t nobody else will…”
This felt poignant and worth remembering. I live a fairly sheltered, naive life…because I can, because there are few repercussions to me ignoring what’s going on in Ferguson. And, that’s sad. It should affect my everyday. It should be a wake-up call. It should make me realize where action and change need to happen, not why I should be “scared” or that I need more media attention elsewhere. My friend is right, what would that do? What would it matter if the “media microscope” was placed on Chicago? Would we come to fear/hate it? Would it be another place to avoid? How do we go about creating resources, jobs, and peace for all our “precious brothers and sisters” (in Cornel West’s words)? There’s so much work to be done…
In other news, I wanted to remark on pregnancy and weight gain. At the family reunion a couple of weeks ago, Doug actually rubbed my belly. It didn’t bother me as much as I thought it might, but I felt myself be a bit apprehensive at the start. No one has really tried touching my belly yet, but I do find it funny when people don’t seem to recognize that I’m pregnant. It’s a weird phase to go through: first, you’re just fat; then, you’re fat for a reason; then, you’re clearly pregnant and so we comment and/or touch you. What?! I went to have lunch with K at work the other day. In walks our old landlord and friend, John. He hugs me and says, “Hi, Mama.” He tells me I’m not really showing much yet, but I do have a “pooch.” Then, he proceeds to make fun of Kelly and remark about a weight loss challenge. I’m not sure what to make of this comment. It’s like a double-insult: “Well, you’re clearly fattening up, but you’re not fat enough yet for me to acknowledge the pregnancy.” I get that he didn’t mean it like that, but how else can I take that? I mean, c’mon, that’s really an interesting statement to make, isn’t it?!
I guess that’s all for now. I’ll leave it with this, I got a text from Jared today; that hasn’t happened in awhile!