WARNING: This post contains strong opinions, strong language, and a lot of CAPS. Read it at your own risk.
As I write this, riots and protests are happening around the country. We, as a nation, are so tired. The dry tinder we have all become during the reign of the orange man has finally caught. The lit match was the brutal murder last Monday of George Floyd. Thank God for people with cameras. Thank God for cameras on businesses and a street intersections, lest the police get away with yet another hate crime. I personally know people who have been stopped and harassed by cops because of their skin color. In the District, my son was once knocked to the ground by a policeman because he dared ask the question, “Why am I being asked to leave the nightclub?” A friend had become belligerent, and my son was trying to get him out of there, but Sean was caught in the scuffle. He was thrown to the ground out of spite. I think now the only reason it wasn’t worse is because he’s white.
We’re living in a police state, led by a man who wants to be a dictator like his friends Kim Jong Un and Vladimir Putin. Instead of issuing any statements to calm the masses, he has threatened protestors outside the White House with “dogs and ominous weapons”. Oh yeah? That sounds like the 50s and 60s all over again. Rest assured, your time is coming, dictator. We don’t want you. We’re taking our country back.
How many, Lord? How long? We are so DONE.
This isn’t an academic argument for me. Not only have I had to fight for my rights as a lesbian, but I have had to defend those rights over and over as I watch our Justice Dept get stacked with ultra-conservative judges. As I watch violations occur over and over. Transgender folks are killed. Lesbians and gays are killed. The prisons are full of people whose biggest crime is being a color other than white.
And there’s the matter of my family. My niece adopted three black children in Texas. This is my family. I worry for her son. He has special needs and doesn’t always understand social cues. (I don’t post pictures or names, to protect their privacy.) What is going to happen to him when he starts driving in rural Texas? He’ll have a nice car, because his moms can afford that. He lives in a nice house, because they have great jobs in the school system (where, I might add, they have to hide their relationship because the bigotry is strong). Will he be caught coming home one night and suffocated because the cops think he’s in the wrong place? I have to think of those things. And the girls aren’t immune either. They are in almost as much danger. In fact, when my niece tried to get full custody of them from her former partner (who couldn’t even do second-parent adoption in Texas in the first place), the judge looked down her nose at all of them and said, “What’d you do? Find ’em on the side of the road?” She was talking about the children, to be clear. Like they were trash.
I’m mad as hell.
I’ve tried really hard to stay out of the fray up ’til now, because I’m dealing with a lot. I’ve had exactly one treatment of chemo, and suddenly I’m on disability. The complications have been horrendous. But this requires us all to speak up.
If one person says to me “All Lives Matter!” I just might punch that person, and I consider myself to be a pretty chill individual. But no more. Back in the era of Freddie Gray and Trayvon Martin, I heard all those arguments. I call bullshit. As a friend of mine said today, if you’re gay and don’t like the protests, then you need to give up your gay card. The only reason WE have rights is because of the protests and riots at and after Stonewall.
You know, I still don’t understand why a large portion of my extended family voted for Trump. They consider themselves to be Christians, but oh, the racism is deep. They hated President Obama. They hated Michele. They believe the rhetoric of Breitbart and Fox News and other uber-right-wing news sources. I get my news from a variety of sources. How could they justify voting for a man with his background? All the things he said and did. All the accusations by women of his lechery and sexual abuse? They didn’t listen. More likely, they didn’t care, because they like being told what to think.
How did they rationalize praise for a First Lady who was a porn star but were scandalized by Michele Obama with bare arms? How could they still vote for a man who said when you have money you can do anything to women – “Walk up. Grab them by the pussy.” How??? Because they believe Fox News and the like. That’s the only thing I can think. We are nothing alike. We share DNA. That’s all. Voting for an evil man is NOT Christian. Hating others is NOT Christian. And getting your Bible signed by this little dictator? That’s the basest form of blasphemy.
I’ve been backing off the news until this week. When I saw the various videos of what those cops did to George Floyd, I was sickened. I was incensed. We are tired. We are all so damned tired!
I find myself, despite the fact that I always wanted grandchildren, understanding my son’s decision to rethink the pursuit of a family. He sees what the world has become, what America has become, and he doesn’t want to raise children here. I don’t blame him. If I had the resources to leave America, if I were well, I’d be out of here. I love my country, and I’ve served it in many ways. But I don’t love Trump’s America. And I don’t love what the police all over the nation have become.
The coroner actually tried to say that George Floyd died from a pre-existing heart condition. Well, fuck me. You mean, he could’ve LIVED through having a 200-lb guy kneeling on his neck, and a couple of other guys kneeling on his back, if only he had been healthy? WOW. I never would have known that! Well, fuck you, Mr. Coroner. You’re an idiot and probably got paid off. If I passed a fake $20 at a store, I’d be asked to leave or I’d be quietly arrested. It’s $20. I’m white, though. A black person gets no chance to defend themselves. If they are stopped for any reason, they know – without doubt – that they might end up dead.
What can come of this? Well, we have to do better. Just as some police departments have outlawed chokeholds, they need to outlaw any excessive use of force on ANY unarmed and reasonable citizen. Innocent until PROVEN guilty. They need to fire racist cops who have violations on their record. Don’t keep putting those fuckers on the street! They need extensive training on defusing situations. But there was nothing to defuse with George. As we saw on the numerous videos and angles, he was cooperative and calm. There was ABSOLUTELY NO REASON to use force whatsoever. The cop on his throat has been charged with murder. Now, charge the other ones, too.
I want to be out there in the streets with the others, protesting outside the White House, but I’m very immune-compromised right now, and Covid-19 hasn’t gone away. I’m watching, though. We’re all watching. Take this country back, I beg of you. Because it was always great. We didn’t need this sick virus of a man and all the white supremacists who backed him to try and make it great.
Look what they’ve done. Just look what they’ve done.
In power, Jude