we've known better for a very long time

We’ve Known Better For a Very Long Time

If you’ve never fallen down a flight of stairs, it’s an experience like no other. Unsettling is too small a word but I’m still all cattywampus so unsettling will have to do. Why am I bringing this up? Well, for one, I fell down a flight of stairs last night so it’s still fresh in my memory and two, it seems the entire nation has fallen down a couple flights of stairs this year alone and I thought I should say something about it. About Covid, I have already said all I think I have to say thus far. About the murder of George Floyd: we’ve known better for a very long time and it seems we are just now about to do a little bit better about it.

I talk a lot about my personal life and experience. I am a white, cisgendered, straight, urban, middle class woman. So I don’t have any experience with being menaced and murdered based on aspects of myself I cannot change. I am a woman but the white, straight, cisgendered, urban and middle class aspects of who I am have cushioned me against a lot of the harsher manifestations of sexism. So what can I say about what is happening?

I can agree that white silence feeds violence. I can agree that no lives matter until black lives matter. I can agree that the criminal justice system is broken. And I can link to articles written by people who have spent their lives investigating, advocating and agitating for change.

I can remember that no action is too small. I can get together with my friends and family and neighbors and like minded strangers. Think out loud about our strengths and abilities. Listen as others enumerate theirs. See where we can donate our time, our money, our skills, our energies.

And you can do all this, too.

Depleted in mind, body and spirit? That’s completely understandable. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Humanity will eventually need what you specifically have to offer, rest now so you will be available later. Those who are giving all they have now will one day need time to rest and that is when you can come in.

Be ready.

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