Over the weekend the protests continue, many of them loud, some of them silent.
All the lost lives that have already turned to dust in the open grave of humanity are bodies on the street, marching.
No man, no woman.
No black, no white.
No POC, or, for that matter, privileged, ignorant, well-meaning and or well-educated white person. No White Trash. No Asians. No Hispanics. No Native Americans. No Albanians.
Have we left someone out? We are all here together, but we are not these things.
A name, an identity, a thing. A self.
While it is perhaps unpopular to argue for a sense of non-self at this particular moment, it is actually one of my primary anchors. For if we choose to detach from our identity, either the one we choose, or the one that has been put upon us, or both, we are left to swim in the sea of humanity in an entirely new manner. Without identity as such, everything becomes so much more clear. Delusion, greed, hatred — the foundations of our suffering, as well as many a road to hell, paved with good intentions.
I am not suggesting we renounce our identities permanently. But in the midst of righteous rage, there is also a lot of misplaced violent hatred. There is still so much absurd delusion. A need to identity with something, anything.
Then we come to a still. All the shouts fade away.
We are left with a vibrating truth.
All our blood runs red.
On that day in Brooklyn there was a rise in temperature, and everyone was feeling it. The protesters were gathered at the Barclay center, assembling peacefully. Then a wall of riot police gathered on one side, and then the other. An empty water bottle was thrown, and subsequently force broadly and indiscriminately applied. Police were hitting people with batons. Out of the corner of her eye she saw someone being carried away, profusely bleeding from the head.
Graciously, a storm rolled in upon the open-ended moment, and the crowds dispersed.
Mourning as a lived reality
Outside it is open, alive, and yet feels dead
Self protection and the abuse of power. These are two facts, coexisting.
Say their name.
It is not public safety or civil rights, says the Governor. These are false choices.
It has always been both.
You need to be able to hold two truths in your hands at the same time. Maybe that is why we have two hands.
This is a time of total accountability. You need to assume that someone is recording everything that you do, and knows everything you ever did.
It is a time for radical changes in behavior, for all of us. We need to learn how to soothe the memory and lived experience of trauma. Breathe into your bones. It’s time to end this war. Pull all your hearts forward. Thrust up that torch you were born with. We are all of us the keepers of natural law.
Natural Law, another way to say, the Right Thing.
Here we have the Spirit of Activism, but we also want change. We have our laundry list to put into legislation. 45 people died yesterday. Two months ago it was 800. We have to remember from where we have come. Celebrate our accomplishment even as we turn to the next thing.
“Look around, do you see the virus?”
We conquered one virus, only to be made aware of another that has been spreading unchecked. We must attack it fully or else we’ll never defeat it. This has been brewing for decades, if not centuries, if not eons.
You are lucky we are looking for equality, and not revenge.
(This is not the last rodeo)
Take a deep breath, put our your hand. An open hand, this is the symbol of peace.
You have your tensions, anger, extremes, says the Governor. Our society now functions permanently in extremes. But if we want to repair the relationship between the police and the people first we must recognize that these tensions exist on both sides.
Mutual trust is the most important action we can achieve.
We need to bend the curve into a heart, a beating heart, two beating hearts. Millions of them. All these beating hearts. That’s the one variable of the equation we’re not sure of. How strong is your heart? Can it bend iron?
Currently this is reality TV, and the audience has no tolerance for delay in justice.
“The fall was greater than the force.”
Are you serious? Tell me how what you know is better than what I saw.
A 75 year old member of Antifa? You say he fell harder than he was pushed? You think the blood coming out of his ear was staged?
Show some decency. Show some humanity. You’re President of the United States.
I’ve seen it all, says the Governor, and I thought nothing could surprise me. Then you get shocked again. Some people create their own facts in order to advance their opinions. But then you can’t even have an intelligent conversation !
(Here we take a small segue into Non Violent Communication, which for all intensive purposes means having an intelligent conversation. The point is, our needs and our feelings guide our behavior, which is essentially the strategies we choose to meet our needs. Simple enough. But then we land in a room with someone who is incapable of having an intelligent conversation. Someone who is unable to communicate without judgement, blame and accusation. Someone who insists on using labels, guilt, reward and punishment, good and bad, right and wrong. They enter the room and start their argument, while on the other side of the spectrum we have someone who is speaking about facts as distinguished from opinions; observations, feelings, needs, and requests. Like this, the cries of Jackal drown out the petitions of the Giraffe.)
“What I want in my life is compassion, a flow between myself and others based on a mutual giving from the heart.” (Dr Marshall Rosenberg)
We lock up more people than anybody else. For the past 30 years we have had increased militarization of the police, increased numbers of police, and increased incarcerations.
Gasoline on the fires of anguish and anger.
No police department can work with people that don’t trust and respect them. And the people cannot trust a police force that does not respect them, and extend their trust in kind.
This has got to be unpacked. There has been inertia nationwide. Knee jerk responses. What we need is fundamental rethinking. Something thoughtful, smart, deep. Not some cursory PR.
Forget trying to make people happy. It doesn’t work in life. Doesn’t work in personal relationships either. Just do the right thing. And that means right for both of us. For all of us.
If it doesn’t work for both, it doesn’t work for either. The whole relationship doesn’t work.
(Just do the right thing)
We don’t trust each other anymore, and maybe we never did.
If there’s no trust, there’s nothing.
No one wants to say the truth because they’re gonna yell at you. And by the way, I’ve been yelled out for a long time, by the best of them. Doesn’t bother me anymore. Let em yell.
All the hype is so extreme. The conversation is too real.
Is that an uptick? A spike? A new hotspot?
It’s a beautiful day and our top buttons are already undone.
Go enjoy the sun, he says.