Racism in America is like dust in the air.
It seems invisible -- even if you're choking on it -- until you let the sun in.
Then you see it's everywhere.
― Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
The murder of George Floyd is a horrifying and unacceptable loss. Just one of way too many senseless deaths because of race. Every single death is one too many. How can anyone expect anything other than the resulting rage?
Yet that rage now creates more innocent victims, and I wish for victimization to end.
I wish for looters to stop looting. I wish for instigators of violence and destruction to stop instigating violence and destruction (while still continuing to protest for change.) I wish for leaders of all stripes to hurry up and initiate a process of healing (and to get with the deeds of righteous change), instead of egging on more violence and destruction with statements like "when the looting starts, the shooting starts."
A message to the rioters and the looters: your anger is more than just, but violent and destructive actions might have very unintended and regrettable consequences, such as empowering the wrong kind of people.
All of that aside, Abdul-Jabbar's quote reminds me that our fates are all intertwingled. That what we do unto others, we do unto ourselves.
When a police officer kills (or even just causes harm) without justification, that kills (or otherwise does harm to) all of us (including other police officers.)
When anybody assaults a police officer who has done no injustice to anyone and does rightly serve to protect, the assault is done to all of us.
When someone's livelihood is looted/destroyed, the looting/destruction is done to all of us.
When any one community is harmed, the harm is done to all of us.
We all lose.
I desperately hope for everybody to de-escalate. For whatever reason, this quote comes to mind:
Water is fluid, soft, and yielding.
But water will wear away rock, which is rigid and cannot yield.
As a rule, whatever is fluid, soft, and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard.
This is another paradox: what is soft is strong.
― Lao Tzu
When everyone is unyielding and takes a hard position, all sides get harmed. This world needs more yielding, understanding, and uniting. It takes some courage and empathy all around.
We are all one, regardless of race, creed, politics, gender, sexual orientation, heritage, ancestry, you name it. Those who can't get on board with that really must get out of the way and make room for those who can bring about a just society. Good for all of us to hold the right feet under the fire without setting everything on fire. Good for certain of us to stop gaslighting.
Prayers and thoughts (1) to the George Floyd family, (2) for healing, (3) for righteous justice and (4) evolution of the human condition. Way too many prayers and thoughts to list; these four capture them all for me at the moment.
For the least of us who may think we do not have the power to be agents of change, even the smallest acts of love/kindness/support can play a part.
Any act, however tiny or seemingly benign, can have huge positive consequences (or huge negative consequences, so good to make beneficial choices!):
It has been said that something as small as the flutter of a butterfly’s wings can ultimately cause a typhoon halfway around the world.
– Author unknown
I don't know what I can do, but writing is a start. Well, as part of parsing through the tsunami of thoughts, a case of intertwingulitis, with much appreciation for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and his profound words.