I finally watched the opening of last week's Saturday Night Live---this skit is like a documentary.
"Minnesota News Cold Open": SNL
I hear this exact conversation at work*--nice white people (like me) say, "Oh this time it's going to be different and the cop won't get off, it's so egregious."
And my Black coworkers are, like, "You know this happened before, right?"
And now it's happened here, again--another Twin Cities cop kills another Black man, Daunte Wright. [article]
This morning I was thinking of how some Muslims fast on Ramadan to raise their compassion for people who live with hunger.
As a white person, I'm starting to be more aware, to feel the stress my Black coworkers have lived with their whole lives, like some people live with hunger while I never go without food.
To me these ongoing murders and violence are shocking, out of the ordinary.
To my coworkers like Mr Furniture, the threat of violence is ordinary;
you live with that level of fear and injustice every day, your whole life.
Many of my coworkers just keep their heads down at work.
The disgust, anger, frustration I feel at the unjust management of the store, so that I want to go somewhere else...
Some of them have lived with "bad management" forever. There is no "somewhere else" to go.
My coworkers are mostly poor, but it's the same for upper class Black people like the Obamas: You can move to the White House and the injustice hangs in the air there too, like the smell of cigarettes.
This isn't to say I shouldn't leave.
I'm lucky I have options.
I don't want to adapt to injustice, and I just can't get a foothold at the store... The management is, in my eyes, unskilled, and it unquestioningly follows the default setting of "ask no questions, shut up, and obey Father".
I don't know... I've learned a lot there about being ground down. You can learn a kind of Zenlike wisdom in response. (woo-sah)
Not sure there's much benefit in me sticking around longer though.
Could it be different?
It is a privilege to be able to say, Yes.
And I do say it.
Everyone should have that privilege, to think things can change, to always have food to eat.
But those aren't givens.
*From the SNL skit:
"Let's just say, we've seen this movie before," Nwodim said.
"That's fair, I think skepticism of the legal process is valid ... historically police have gotten away in other cases like this," McKinnon responds.
"Historically?" says Thompson.
"She means: every single time," Nwodim adds.
It would be so great if not this time. But I'm not betting on it.
Also--the weather report is real:
Cold, cold, cold, July: HOT AS HELL, cold, cold, cold.