Milestones: Keeping The Focus
This past week the 100,000 threshold was passed in this country. The milestone of deaths in the U.S. compared to another horrifying death, that of one, George Floyd. Does his murder signal a milestone, the moment the dam finally breaks loose? After decades of years and months and days of relentless abuse, cruelty, torture, intimidation, and death to communities of color the urge to declare this a watershed takes pause. We are adrift at sea, unmoored from any moral compass, many living well off the fat of the land, emperors big and small reclining in their new clothes, or at least newly dry-cleaned. Where do we go from here? How does the problem give way to the promise? When will rage and racism turn into regret and respect, and reparations.
Wearing camo--these photos are recent, are of this quarantine--is not new. The Camo Man character was created in Wyoming, fall of 2018. Blending in is a privilege. People of color do not have this privilege in a racist country. Preparing for the wars we are in--the longstanding one dealing with race, our current pandemic--requires a focused mind and heart. Focused action. At the same time, we cannot lose humor or humility. We must honor the milestones, grieve and pay respects, sharpen our observations, be prepared to act and react, and stay alert for the treacherous terrain to navigate ahead.