Some bright spots in the world, and a tense moment of my own with a neighbor:
– Hello and congratulations to new Mayor Ella Jones, the first Black mayor and first woman mayor in Ferguson, Missouri. More about Ella Jones here: https://www.ksdk.com/article/news/local/ferguson/ferguson-first-black-mayor-ella-jones-james-knowles/63-cc55d3eb-3703-4c8f-a29b-16120a7865da
– Iowa’s Republican voters told Republican Congressman Steve King his services would not be welcomed for a 10th term as he lost his state’s primary. He is infamous for his racist actions and views.
– Most of the protests in NYC were extremely peaceful yesterday. There were some tense scary moments that were terrifying (for example, a standoff on the Manhattan Bridge and in the South Bronx) though dissipated without violence
– COVID numbers keep dropping here, and I’m hoping mass gatherings don’t cause any spikes.
And a tense moment of my own:
– At 11pm last night, a neighbor yelled in my face that my mask wasn’t necessary while I walked Phin because COVID’s over, European virologists say the virus has weakened, and the US totally overreacted. (PS – not one word of that is true.) I mentioned to her that over 100,000 people have died from it, one being my uncle, and that number is still climbing. Her response: “Yeah in a country 3 times the size of Germany.” Science-illiterate, ignorant white privilege from a senior citizen who doesn’t have to work and lives in a rent-controlled apartment that I subsidize with my market-rate rent. The work we have to do is literally all around us.
I keep reminding myself that the brightest lights shine during the darkest times. I’m working hard to be that light and to recognize that light in others.
Tonight in NYC is the first night of the 8pm curfew. People are marching uptown, downtown, and across the boroughs, pleading for change. Some shops in my neighborhood started to board up their windows. We don’t know what life will bring moment to moment and so we’re living in the present as best we can.
We are standing on a ledge where anything is possible now. I constantly ask myself, “and then what happens?” as I run through different scenarios in my mind of what life will be like in an hour, tomorrow, or next week. I just don’t know. No one does.
A lot of people have given up believing that any change is possible. I understand why they feel that way. I have my moments of hopelessness, too. Most of the time, I’m still hopeful. I’m here and I’m listening. I’m committed to healing and improving my city.
I go to bed late and I wake up early to stay informed and stay active. I show up and I’m present. For equity, equality, support, community, solidarity, peace, and progress. I still believe in you and in us. I still believe we can be the change.
Goodnight from a tired city that has a long hard road ahead and will become better and stronger for having done the work that needs doing.