Today I Cried

Maybe it’s too many days of staying home. Maybe it’s not being able to spend time with friends and family. Maybe it’s not doing the things that are part of my daily routine. Maybe it’s the planned trips we have cancelled. All of these things likely contribute to the tears flowing this morning, but there’s more.

Every morning I begin the day reading the news. Today was no exception. It’s a continuing story of the increasing death toll associated with the coronavirus, people losing jobs, businesses closing because of lost revenues, the refusal of some people to wear a mask, the failure of our president to lead in time of crisis. Finally is the straw that has broken the camel’s back, the senseless brutal murder of a man of color. The consequences of that act are deplorable.

Throughout my life I’ve been aware of the challenges for African Americans. While there have been changes that allow them more opportunity, there still remains the fact that these folks suffer from injustice. Why? Why can’t we as people learn to respect one another, not to be suspicious of a person of color, live together in peace?

What is happening now does nothing to improve the situation. Destroying property, looting is not going to make life better for anyone. Nor is the president’s continuing verbiage that incites some of the violence. As a united people, we must stand up and say loudly ENOUGH and begin the process of solving the problems we all know exist.

I care about this not only because I want this country I love to be safe harbor for all who choose to live here but because I have an African American son in law and three precious mixed race grandsons. More than anything I want them to be safe, to live in a world where they are accepted and have equal opportunity, to not be afraid.

With all these thoughts rolling around in my head, is it any wonder I can’t stop the tears. I reach out to all of you to be part of the solution to problems we face, to wear your mask in consideration of others, to help where you can and to have faith that there is light ahead. Take good care.

32 thoughts on “Today I Cried

  1. Lulu,
    the word inside the disappeared… it was: HUGS!

    1. Kiwi, you are so right that privilege granted to us because we are white is something of which we are not always conscious. It is hard to imagine how different it would be if we were other than what we are.

  2. Lulu,
    I love you… <>
    I’m having an inner turmoil at the moment whilst I finally see that the acknowledgement of “Racism existing”… (We ALL knew that right?), and deplored it… is something SO, SO, SO graphically different as in my life as a white person than for any person of colour.

    I have seen police officers beating peaceful black protesters, white protesters moving in between them as “white shields” and the beatings halted as the officers were unwilling to beat the white people. WHAT?!?!?

    I have had a revelation about just how deep my “white privilege” actually is and how deep the “privilege” of people of colour actually isn’t.

    I never considered myself a racist person, and these events have also bought me to tears. I read in disbelief when a female police officer who challenged and stopped a male colleague from kneeling on the neck of a protester for more than a minute, was FIRED instead of the perpetrator of this potentially fatal and highly dangerous act. WHAT !?!?!?

    These events pains, appalls , disturbs, horrifies, angers, dismays, alarms, shocks and sickens me to my stomach.

    I am processing this new revelation and trying to think of ways we can REALLY change the world for people of colour rather than just being upset, and over time nothing actually changes.
    The world needs to change NOW, and as a white person with more privilege than I never knew I had, I need to use that to not only get the ball rolling but also keep up the momentum until it is achieved.

  3. So glad my friend shared this post with me – even though I am totally
    empathetic with what is said it certainly is reassuring to read something that only intensifies our need to stay strong and committed !

    1. I so appreciate your taking the time to read and comment.

  4. Well said, Lulu! Thank you for the post.

    1. And thank you for taking the time to read.

  5. Beverly Fanarof June 5, 2020 — 8:05 am

    Lulu thank you for opening my eyes to your blog.funny how the bridge world keeps us in a mode of true non connection.I look forward to getting to know each other on a different level

    1. I thought the blog would be a way of staying in touch when I was away from Houston, but it has become so much more.

  6. Linda, I value and appreciate your thoughts and feelings. As a 60+ person AND a person who values not only my own health and well being but that of others, the selfish, stupid, and greatly ill-advised politicization of whether or not to wear a mask when in public spaces offends me beyond publishable words. Particles dangle in the air just from speaking, and should a person be unable (or unwilling!) to catch an unexpected sneeze or cough, then everyone around them is subject to whatever germs they may release into the air. The analogy I like to use is that if you want to play Russian roulette and point a gun at your own head, that’s one thing. But to point it at mine and other defenseless people (particularly the physically vulnerable, little kids who have no say in the matter, workers just out there trying to do their jobs) is a whole other matter. It indicates to me that people who refuse to protect others from a potentially dangerous/deadly virus (because carriers can be totally asymptomatic) would rather be careless and selfish than slightly inconvenienced. (I don’t care how many times you get tested. The virus cannot and does not differentiate one second from one hour or one day. A person can be infected even before leaving the testing site if they come in contact with the virus. We would all do well to remember that people sometimes come to get tested BECAUSE they think they have symptoms!) I have a son with a serious autoimmune disease, a physician husband who must come in intimately close contact with people, and countless friends and neighbors whose lives are put at risk daily as well as that of my own. My child didn’t ask to be sick. My husband didn’t train to put his very life on the line. Doctors and other medical professionals are trained to HEAL, NOT be thrust into danger and roll the dice as to whether they’ll survive it! (Not to mention the people to whom they could innocently bring the illness home.) Ignoring the harm’s way in which medical professionals (or ANYBODY out there just trying to make a paycheck…ESPECIALLY when the service they render is deemed “essential”) are placed when a face covering isn’t worn is at the very least unfair. The health of fellow human beings FAR exceeds the choice to be blissfully unaware and uncooperative. My own sister, through no fault of her own, tested positive just yesterday. She has preexisting health issues and is of an age that will almost certainly make convalescence difficult if not impossible. All because she dared to briefly venture beyond the safety of her tiny apartment where other humans went about their lives with no concern for others.

    As for the civil unrest, I, too, have felt a deep sadness for what’s going on in our country. It makes me even more sad when the particular subject of racism and inequality is dismissed by countering with a laundry list of other woes and wrongs in this world. (Yes, other horrible things are going on, but why not address this one on its own, especially given the pervasiveness and long standing CULTURE of racism?) It demonstrates that the willingness to listen and sympathize or empathize is simply not there. It says to me that centuries of systematic racism is somehow not a topic to grieve as a stand alone. It speaks volumes about why this world is so hideously jacked up. Further, it dismisses the basic fact that IF RACISM DIDN’T EXIST TO BEGIN WITH, THIS WOULD NOT BE AN ISSUE. (I am genuinely interested to know the Ground Zero/Typhoid Mary/Genesis of how skin color became a burgeoning weapon of destruction in this world.) Two wrongs have never made a right, and I FULLY condemn those who would take advantage of a nation’s grief by infiltrating a peaceful demonstration to wreak havoc by way of looting, arson and other forms of destruction of property, and worst of all physical harm to others. Their actions show that their selfish interests are all that matter and/or that they apparently lack one iota of consideration for the bigger picture of how their actions deeply harm by way of both short- and long-term ramifications. Worst of all, these stupid acts create a deflection from the real issue, instill greater animosity, and ensure that voices of reason will never be heard over the din.

    Flagrant acts of racism have never gone away, but it seems that now more than ever they are being celebrated and fervently promoted amongst those who would like to see a return to “the good old days.” T-shirts and bumper stickers and tattoos abound. (A recent tattoo I heard about was that of an “Aunt Jemima” hanging from a noose on someone’s leg in plain sight). And yes, I know there are equally egregious, sickening displays that disparage the police and other groups, but the issue at hand right here, right now is the centuries old practice of hatred based on skin color that despite the greatest efforts has not been eradicated. THE BASIC HUMAN RIGHT TO PEACEFULLY COEXIST WITHOUT FEAR OF HARM AND EXCLUSION.

    I’ve rambled on long enough. Bottom line: There are good and bad people in every group. It’s when one group is classified as “less than” and therefore treated as such based exclusively or primarily on their skin color that there is a problem. One is not inherently good or bad based on skin color, nationality, gender, socio-economic position, etc. Until I can leave my house without fear of unprovoked, unjust harassment simply for the level of melanin in my skin…when I can see my husband off to work in the morning without reminding him to be careful for fear of so-called “D.W.B.”…when a disagreement doesn’t automatically precipitate the use of “the N word” as leverage…when my beautiful mixed race son doesn’t feel compelled to “choose a side”…when I no longer must endure the sting of comments like “Well, you’re different. You don’t really act Black” or “You caught me off guard. You didn’t SOUND Black when we talked on the phone”…when the disappointment of exclusion or rejection isn’t exacerbated by the knowledge that the reason is possibly/likely because I’m Black…when there is no longer a need for discussion or protests or tears…when Black people aren’t singled out or threatened with retaliation, arrest, or punishment for simply doing the exact same things their White counterparts do without compunction…when brazenly storming a government building armed to the teeth to demand the right to come out of the house for a haircut despite putting public health at risk is met with more outrage and fear than non-violent demonstrators (who are pepper sprayed, hosed, beaten, and jailed)…when we no longer defend racist comments/acts with “Well, he/she didn’t really mean that the way you perceived it” or “Oh, don’t be so sensitive!”…when we are no longer on the business end of “shoot first, ask questions later”…when we are no longer unabashedly threatened with having the police summoned In retaliation, knowing that doing so with feigned distress when calling 911 is almost certain to end with embarrassing (at the very least) and/or deadly (at worst) consequences for us…when there no longer has to be a distinction made regarding “the first Black person” to earn/achieve something…when the playing field is truly leveled…when racism is called out and treated as the public health crisis and lapse in morality it has always been…THAT’S when I can turn my focus to the next subject. Another kind of MeToo Movement could’ve been started by Black folks a long time ago as each of us have felt the stabbing pain of discrimination on some level at some point. Actually, it HAS been going on for decades under different auspices and always met with resistance. Justice delayed is most certainly justice denied and I, for one, am still awaiting fruition of Dr. King’s dream of when we will be judged not “by the color of [our] skin, but by the content of [our] character.“

    Again, Linda, I thank you for voicing your feelings and thank you for the platform for those of us who share your concerns to express ours in a peaceful, heartfelt and hopeful manner.

    1. You must have known you have been on my mind the last several days. You always have such rational and beautifully written thoughts when there is something worthy of discussion. For that, I am always grateful. I have never felt your kind of pain, and I am trying desperately to understand. My hand is reaching out to yours as we move forward in peace. Thank you, Alycia.

  7. Lynn Bannister June 2, 2020 — 7:04 am

    I think we all must have faith that there is light ahead. Hopefully we will have learned the lesson this virus has taught us – that we are all in this together, regardless of skin color, or ethnic origin. Walls are useless! We are being asked to wear masks to protect the other person, not ourselves. (What does this say about our president?)

    1. I so appreciate your presence here and look forward to seeing you soon pass by my window.

  8. It’s OK to cry. And with today’s news, you have every right to do so. Take care. And continue to be sensitive to the inequalities. Perhaps if everyone were, the world would be so much better.

    1. I doubt that I’m the only one who has shed tears during these last weeks. What a horror show we have experienced.

  9. Beautifully expressed, Linda. It all just breaks my heart. Hugs❤️

    1. Thank you, Danni. I hope you have enjoyed your time at the farm where you can enjoy the beauty that surrounds you.

    1. Thank you. I wish words made a difference.

  10. Love you Lulu. Be encouraged😘

    1. Some day we will get past all this, at least that is my hope.

  11. Beautifully said Linda. My head and my heart agree completely. Always hoping and praying for the best.

    1. I’m afraid hoping is not enough. We have to be part of the change.

  12. Is there much in the news about the black Protective Services officer who was killed Friday night as he and a second officer worked security during a protest over the death of Mr. Floyd? Has there been any mention of the 92 American police officers who have died so far this year… 40 as a result of Covid; 20 by gunfire?
    Nearly a million law enforcement officers are trying to provide protection to 329 million people. Would their job be a lot easier if mass media didn’t incite violence – if the media waited for things like autopsies and investigations…

    1. Police officers have daily challenges the rest of us don’t and I hold great admiration for their courage. Occasionally, as in this situation, they get it wrong.

  13. Thinking of you and yours and sending virtual hugs. I will be speaking with a community activist in our area tomorrow to pull together something, anything, that might help start real conversations about how we can COME TOGETHER instead of this divisiveness that surrounds us every day. Now, more than ever. It has to stop.

    1. Thank you for being an active participant. It is what we all must be.

    1. Yes, thank you. I am just overwhelmed by all that we are experiencing.

      1. Please don’t feel that you’re all alone in this, Lulu. There are others out here feeling confused and searching for some light in this darkness.

  14. I love you.

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