Untitled

Untitled because I don’t have the right word. Words have been failing me as of late…

Do you ever get so angry or upset that there are no words? I usually just end up stringing a bunch of four letter expletives and still no one knows what I’m trying to say.

George Floyd. The entire encounter was horrific. The aftermath, the same. The inequality, the injustice, the heartbreak, the destruction of lives and homes and businesses. It is crushing.

Of course he didn’t deserve it. And I cannot even comprehend what justification there was for the aggressiveness. He may have been using a counterfeit bill? He seemed intoxicated? So what? That becomes a death sentence?

I am not black. I cannot understand the fear and hate that too many people have. I wish there was something I could do to help. I want to be a voice… and I feel like a fraud. I don’t know what it’s like to be black and I don’t want to pretend I do.

A couple of days after George Floyd’s death, I went to the gas station. I pulled up to the building, in a parking spot. In the car next to me was a young, black man. He was on the phone and he looked scared. His head bobbed from right to left and left to right. I followed his line of vision and I saw two white police officers. They were just standing outside. They didn’t have anything, they weren’t going inside, they weren’t wearing masks. I immediately felt my chest tighten. I was scared. I went into the store, got what I needed and when I came out, everyone was gone. That one tiny instant in time and I felt so much stress. Fear. And now anger.

There is a burning rage in my belly, a smoldering angst, an overwhelming feeling of helplessness.

I understand why there are riots. There have been many, many times where peaceful protest did nothing. Time to amp it up. The atrocity of it all, I imagine it compounds and years of abuse of power offer fuel for the fire.

I don’t know what the answer is… part of me thinks it has to be love. My sentimental, sappy nature tells me love conquers all. Until.

Until I see the President. Encouraging, inciting violence and not for the first time! We need leadership and the White House goes quiet and dark.

I hear the news reporting telling me their is a vigil being held where “George Loyd lost his life”. Really? He didn’t lose his life. His life was stolen!

He was murdered and the cops responsible? No accountability. Derek Chauvin? He offered no apology. No remorse. The cops had to go to his house and arrest him? I can’t imagine killing someone, there being tons of recordings of it and not turning myself in. He couldn’t even feign surprise? None of the other officers had the inclination to intervene?

Murder at the hands (knee) of police. Riots followed. The Corona Virus is still a thing. And Trump? He’s busy complaining that people on Twitter are being mean to him.

I want to believe love is the answer, yet there is no love for him. There is no place even for basic tolerance for him. He is a disgrace, he is unfit to be president and I cannot believe he hasn’t been removed from office yet.

When I don’t know what I can do to help, at least I can take solace in the fact that at least I care. It’s not enough, I know it’s not enough and I’m willing to listen and that seems to be a big part of what has been going on.

The Day the Laughter Died

Yesterday I read a Facebook post from a comedian I respect. His name is Ben Katzner and among other shows I’m sure, he hosts an open mic night (with fellow comedian Mike Lester on Wednesday nights at Dulono’s Pizza in Minneapolis- check them out!). He presented his dilemma of is it ok to be laughing and making jokes when there is so much tragedy going on in our world right now. He linked a great article published by the NY Daily Times on the repulsive situation with Alton Sterling.

And then, this morning, I read about Philando Castile. In our neighborhood. Our backyard.

I’ve often wrestled with the question: Is there anything too serious to be joked about? And I’ve gone back and forth with my answers. Of course! People dying of cancer? Rape? Racism? You can’t joke about that stuff- it’s not funny.

But can it be? I don’t know. I have heard (and laughed) about a lot of serious shit. You can’t take life too seriously… no one’s getting out alive. Lighten up. “Don’t sweat the small stuff” and “it’s all small stuff”.

As a comedian myself, I feel like it’s my job to make people laugh. Take away their misery, even for a short period of time…

Then, life continues to happen.

I miscarried in April (I think, technically  speaking, that’s what they’re calling it but it wasn’t a miscarriage to me. He was fully formed. I saw him and felt him… Named him, loved him, made plans around his arrival including moving so we’d have another bedroom for a nursery). My sister died of a drug overdose in May. I have been able to joke about those things, gallows humor it’s called. Not because I think it’s funny or because I don’t want to be serious but because I will lose my fucking mind it all I think about is the devastation I feel.

I hate to think that any of this is race related but I cannot afford to be color blind at this point. There are far too many casualties to waive off as coincidence.

I remember being proud to say “I don’t see color”, we are all the same. It doesn’t matter. The truth is, it SHOULDN’T matter. We should all be the same, I mean, we are on the inside…

And, at the risk of serious backlash, I dare say- I don’t think it’s ALL a race problem. It’s a power struggle too. It’s police, armed with guns and a superiority complex that need to be addressed too. Blacks are not the only ones who suffer injustice at the hands of the people trusted to “protect and serve” us but they certainly seem to be the main focus right now.

So, is it okay for you to laugh?

I’ll leave that up to you.

In the meantime, I will try to continue to make people laugh, though I will steer clear of the tragedy occuring today.

What do you think? Am I onto something? Am I way off base? Let me know what you think in the comments below!