Just as spirits were beginning to rise, I watched the video of George Floyd being killed by the police. I looked at my children differently that night. I was thankful for their lives. I was thankful for the fact that we are very far removed from what is going on. I was just thankful.
I was also a little disturbed. The boys and my hubby carried on as usual. I was disturbed because it seems like I was the only person who was thinking about George Floyd. I was also thinking about Breanna and the myriad of other names that we should know but the memories have faded.
I was more than a little curious about race relations when I was a teenager. My mother had encouraged me to read To Kill a Mockingbird. I remember being enraptured by that world. I also read Cry the Beloved Country, a novel about apartheid in South Africa that was just as beautiful and poignant as To Kill a Mockingbird.
Justin and I had a conversation about George Floyd and it went something like this:
"You are blessed Justin."
"You look Caucasian."
"I suppose I do. No yellow here!"
God bless that child for making jokes.
Aidan looked at the TV screen carefully. He took it in with his eyes. They flickered and he scrunched his nose. He didn't say anything.
Jordan was not in the room when the rest of us saw the video. He was playing a game somewhere. I am not sure he would have understood that the officer had been on the man's neck for nine minutes. He probably would have thought it was a video game of some kind.
We turned off the screens for a while. We turned them back on and saw all the demonstrations that were taking place all over the world.
The following week KOTESOL, a non-profit for English teachers, put out a statement saying that black lives do matter. I was a little stunned, but thought it was good that people were being supportive of what was going on in the U.S..
Was the situation accentuated by CoVid 19? I think the fact that so many people were at home has made it a reality.
It rocked my world. Why wouldn't it rock somebody else's?
In the end, I pray.
I ask the kids to pray.
Everything about 2020 has been disturbing.
It started with classes I was taking.
Then it was CoVid 19.
Then it was 19 hours teaching a week while taking a class online.
Then it was George Floyd.
Then it was a CoVid 19 scare.
I pray for change.
I pray in the morning.
I pray during the day.
I pray at night.
I pray for my family.
I pray for people who are living in poverty.
I pray for people who need a little assistance.
I pray for black lives.
I pray for leaders.
I thank God for all the good, small things around me.
I pray to God for all the terrible, horrible things that I know need change.
I pray for Justin, Aidan, and Jordan.
Praying is starting to feel like breathing.
And that is really what I want you to know.
Love and justice are trying to breathe.