I’ve gotten political this week here and here. There is so incredibly much I want to say, and my constant state of exhaustion these days is making it hard to find the words, so I figured I’d give you a picture of the various directions my mind is going in right now (late afternoon on Thursday). Some of them are related to the events of this last week, and some of them are “ooooh shiny!” type thoughts about bullet journal supplies.
I’m honestly really angry at the people who are getting their news about the protests from biased sources. Click here for an interactive media bias chart. I tend to double and triple-check my sources to make sure that whatever I’m posting is as neutral as I can get it. I have also been examining my own biases and trying to get news from sites like The Grio that show things from a different cultural standpoint.
I’m really struggling with how helpless I feel right now. I’m not going to lie. It feels like this verse in the Dropkick Murphys song “The Green Fields of France” right now:
And I can’t help but wonder oh Willy McBride,
Do all those who lie here know why they died,
Did you really believe them when they told you the cause,
Did you really believe that this war would end wars.
Well the suffering, the sorrow, the glory, the shame,
The killing and dying it was all done in vain,
Oh Willy McBride it all happened again,
And again, and again, and again, and again.
While I know the song is addressing World War I, the whole thing about “the killing and dying it was all done in vain… it all happened again, and again, and again, and again, and again.” Last week, it was George Floyd. Before that, it was Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. I don’t blame the black community one damn bit for being angry because the cards are stacked against them, and there is no static date in sight for change to actually come until our society completely reevaluates itself.
I’m thinking about the casual racism I’ve witnessed in my own life. When I was living in Bexley for seminary, the cops there often got referred to as the “Bexley Border Patrol” because of their habit of following black men walking on city and neighborhood streets. It was only 20 years earlier that the seminary had their first black students, and the seminary president had to go to the police department and tell them to stop harassing them. (I heard the story from one of the students who became a professor there and was teaching my “African-American Religious Experience” class.) The local Kroger was right across the bridge over Alum Creek, and it was like walking into a different world once I crossed the bridge from the leafy streets of Bexley. It was then that I learned that Columbus looked like a checkerboard with white and black neighborhoods alternating. It was something that I had never thought about before as a sweet little 21 year old girl from northern California. That year of seminary changed a lot of the ways I saw the world.
I’m heartened at some of the conversations that are happening in various places. Louisville Metro Council’s public safety committee has unanimously approved “Breonna’s Law” which would regulate no-knock warrants. It is named for Louisville paramedic Breonna Taylor who was killed while asleep in her home when officers stormed in on a no-knock warrant and opened fire. Investigations have been opened into her killing by the FBI, and there was a wrongful death lawsuit filed against the city by her family.
There is also a bipartisan push to demilitarize police, which I think is important for many reasons. There needs to be a serious push toward community-based policing and not the rough tactics that Trump has been demanding. We’re seeing from the protests that the rough tactics are backfiring pretty spectacularly and are causing more problems than they’re resolving.
I don’t think police departments are going to be defunded, but I’m really hoping that conversations between city officials and organizers of protests might start a kernel of change happening.
I’m reading what people are saying and trying to listen more than I speak. (And yes, this is harder than it sounds for me, and I don’t deserve a medal for it. Former President Obama wrote this, which I think is helpful for people like me in figuring out a starting point. There is also this list, which is being added to as time goes on. (For those who are “all or nothing” people like me, the second link is stuff to do over time to help you consider your privilege and move toward being helpful, not to have to accomplish by tomorrow.)
I’m mentally putting together a list of things to do tomorrow to help my child to not have a screaming meltdown. Let’s just say that someone had a bad night and someone’s mommy has been suffering the repercussions of this all day. It’s hard having a largely nonverbal child with autism who can’t tell you *WHY* they are enraged and screaming so loudly that it is shattering glass in a three-mile radius… at 12:45 a.m. (My hunch is that allergies are causing him to be congested and not feel good, and I couldn’t make a run to Haggen in my jammies for Children’s Dimetapp because they close at midnight due to COVID-19. (They’re usually open 24 hours.) He was tired today, but the 4-7 p.m. meltdown time was pretty normal in terms of rage at being told “no” to things that his crappy impulse control (from the ADHD) compels him to do. I’m seriously wishing there was even a shot at in-home ABA up here.
My kiddo truthfully occupies 90% of my spoons and 75% of my mental energy these days. This is why I tend to rip heads off of people who don’t have kids with autism but still think that they have anything useful to say to me regarding what I *SHOULD* be trying with Daniel. (Hint: A gluten-free diet isn’t going to magically cure him. Neither is the GAPS diet.)
I’m plotting out next week’s bullet journal layout to keep myself somewhat sane. I’ve got a bunch of stickers from Planning with Kay, but I still have a month to go until I migrate my bullet journal and use those for my July layout. (I get to start a new journal at that point! *bouncebouncebounce*) I also need my ink cartridges to arrive already so that I can print out stuff for next week’s layout.
For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.