Monday, June 15, 2020

Right Now

I've been fairly quiet on the blog recently. While I published a couple of posts about the coronavirus, it's been two weeks since I wrote about the death of George Floyd and the subsequent protests. A lot has happened in the country since that post. On the afternoon of that June 1st blog post, police cleared peaceful protesters near Lafayette Square in DC, so that President Trump could take pictures outside St. John's Episcopal Church holding a bible. (I'm using police in general since it seems like it was some combination of the US Park Police, US Secret Service, Washington DC police, Arlington police, National Guard, Bureau of Prisons Special Operations Response Team, and members of the US military.) This Washington Post video details all of this brilliantly. (I also recommend reading this Washington Post article about the early legacy of these events including the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Mark Milley, apologizing for going with Trump on his field trip.)

Mostly peaceful protests continue throughout the country. Statues of confederate leaders have come down. Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was charged with second-degree murder (he was originally charged with something less) while the other officers present for the killing of George Floyd were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder. A 75 year-old man was pushed down by Buffalo police resulting in brain injuries and Trump blamed the guy for falling. The Louisville officers responsible for Breonna Taylor's death still haven't been charged. Rayshard Brooks was killed by a Atlanta police officer with the Atlanta police chief subsequently resigning.

There seems to be some real discussions about race in America and police reform including legislative actions or at least proposals. The big question is whether real, long-term change can and will happen. You see peaceful protests with people from all different ages and ethnicities, so I'm hopeful.

Since this is my blog, I'm naturally going to share where I'm at right now and how I can help. I want to attend a protest here in DC, but as I mentioned last week, I'm not going anywhere right now especially during the last few weeks with school still in session. I feel like I'm going to regret not being part of these protests in the future. The big thing I'm trying to figure out is how to teach my kids about what's happening. They don't know anything about white privilege or the history of police brutality. They're only 9, 6, and 2, but the 9 year old is old enough to understand some things. We showed them the CNN/Sesame Street town hall, and I thought certain parts were really well done. 

(On a completely different subject, I started thinking about what a Fox News/Sesame Street town hall would look like. It would be much, much, much, much different.) 

If you have any suggestions about books or shows or movies that are age-appropriate, please leave a comment or contact me directly. Now that school is over, we have a lot more time.  Otherwise, I continue to follow the news and read stories shared by others about their own experiences with police or prejudice. 

Again, I'm hopeful that real dialogue continues and change happens. A good start regarding police reform would be if politicians and community leaders read this article by J.J. Hensley, a former police officer and Special Agent with the Secret Service and someone I'm friendly with online.

So that's where I am right now. Still trying to figure out how to balance life and work and being with the kids nearly 24/7 and trying to do the best I can. I can do better.

Photo by Jose Luis Magana/AFP/Getty Images

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