Each Person to Their Ability

I know that the urge and need to help may exceed your ability to help right now, and you may see some ablest comments that make you feel like you are not enough. Help to your ability. There are plenty of folks who can and will physically protest, and really, many do understand that there are folks who probably shouldn’t do that. It can be dangerous, you may need to move quickly, the noises are loud, and there are lots of people on the front lines. Covid 19 is still here, and immune suppressed people definitely shouldn’t be out in groups. I see you and I get that.

Many people will be able to help by donating money. If you can, that is awesome! We also know that a lot of people don’t have jobs right now. I personally do not have a job right now or any source of income. When I did have income, I gave it away. I have also given away all of my savings. In money, I simply have none left to give. I understand if you don’t either. You and I both know that if we had it, we would give it, so we can find other ways to help.

If you have access to some free downloads, there are lots of lists of books that you can read, if reading is your jam. This is a very personal, less visible way to help, but probably the most helpful overall because it changes and educates you as a person. Never underestimate that. It is important. Sharing things that are helpful on social media is also a great way to help, some folks call some of that “armchair activism”, but I know that can be frustrating for people who can’t physically do things. The fact that you are researching, thinking about, and critically assessing things yourself is also helpful.

Sometimes we have disabilities and illnesses that are invisible. I have clinical depression, and for me that means that if I am going through a depressive time, I have both good and bad days. There are many invisible illnesses and disabilities that also make it so that people have “good and bad days”. If you have never heard of “Spoon Theory”, google that. It is a very helpful. I understand not having enough spoons. In order for me to have nearly endless spoons, I have to be not depressed for a long period of time. I have been in a deep depression for over 2 years, and my spoons are very limited. Today I slept til 5 pm and cried multiple times. Today I didn’t have enough spoons for much of anything. I felt guilty about that. I can’t tell you not to feel guilty about that, because I don’t know how to tell myself not to feel guilty. I’ll just say “I understand you, and I empathize with you.”

Do what you can. I’m doing what I can. None of us will ever feel like “enough”. I don’t know that it’s humanly possible, but we can all contribute something.

Which Part of Revelations are We on Today?

Every day we wake up, and it feels like we’re taking in the daily damage report. I feel like we are on the precipice of a revolution, but I’ve been feeling like that for a few years- I guess that it really does take “a few years”.  I feel like, in the future, a paragraph might begin “The years leading up to the pandemic, 2016-2020, were ripe with controversy and protesting…” Then it will go on to describe the pandemic years, the riots in Minneapolis, additional riots, more murders of innocent people, some other conspiracies that ended up being true, probably a few more murders and cover-ups, and then: “This last action lead to the beginning of the uprising of the second Civil War”.  Then the war chapter will begin.

Those little 4 years won’t look like much written down on paper, especially to school children who have not yet been born. They seem longer when you live them.  I swear this has been the most unhappy 4 years of my adult life. I’m starting to feel like I just wish the other shoe would drop and we could go ahead and get this thing started.  We know it’s coming, and I really don’t want to be old, slow, and helpless when it happens. It feels like every day is a little piece out of the book of Revelations.

I wouldn’t be surprised if more cities burn over the next couple of years. I wouldn’t even be all that surprised if ours did.  You can only push people so hard before they break. I don’t blame looters, shit, you may as well get something while you can, everyone is poor, and many are even poorer now.  Some folks see an opportunity and can’t pass it up. Amid chaos, it’s hard to pass up a Target shopping spree, shit, you could die tomorrow, you know?  Not like Target is going to miss it. The employees that work there are the folks who are hurt the most locally, and I think those looters knew that, if they were even battling their conscience over it. Honestly, in the big scheme of things, the looting doesn’t matter at all.

What matters is that we have a system of power that used to try to be pretty slick about how they operated, but now is very blatant, (oh, and now we have cameras to catch it all on film). If you’re in camp “I don’t think we need any more evidence, a whole fucking video of it is enough”, I am there too. What more do you need? Autopsy report from the hospital would probably be a nice piece of evidence to have at a trial, but I mean, there’s a fucking video.

I do find it interesting that we have a president that has 1.) Absolutely no plan to get us through the pandemic. 2.)No fucking idea how to properly address this man’s murder and the demands of the public, and yet he can have a major social media company sued in less than 24 hours for a personal slight. He can’t seem to help get medical supplies going to where they need to go, but he sure can threaten our governor about his upcoming GOP rally. He says “Open Minnesota” when white people are ARMED PROTESTING having to stay home, but threatens shooting people with the National Guard when people are protesting, unarmed, over the murder of a black man by a cop.

Now, I get why people would not want to approach an armed protester.  They are fucking armed. Police know that there is almost nothing crazier than a group of 10-20 white dudes who are armed to the teeth and think they have been slighted in some way. Shit, I don’t blame any of our local advocates for not wanting to protest against that kind of group either- you could literally be killed by a random human. Maybe this says something, though. If a group of people can be armed, and not have a single person fuck with them, but another, larger group, unarmed, have all kinds of rubber bullets, mace, and pepper spray turned on them… maybe armed protests are the direction this country is going in- which leads me back to “That, children, was the beginning of the Second Civil War”.

I don’t know how we’re supposed to get through all of this without leadership that is willing to do something positive; to actually BE real leadership.  I don’t see that in our future at all.  At best we get Joe Biden, and at worst we get 4 more years of Trump.  Neither of these are prizes.  One is going to bring 4 more years of abject misery, like we’ve all been experiencing on a daily basis. The other will bring, at best, a pause from some embarrassment, a halt on a couple of damaging policies, and a break so that our political parties can get their shit back together. Hopefully Biden can push though something to mark his term that will be rememberable, and I don’t have a whole lot against him, he’s just not a big “force” and not much to be excited about.  Trump excites his base.  We really needed someone exciting (like Obama was) to go up against this, and while Biden is as close to Obama (kind of literally), as we can get right now, he just doesn’t have that energy.

No matter who is in office going forward, we have at least discovered that having a black president didn’t solve racism. We thought it would do a lot of good (and I think it did for the younger generation to see), but it caused a white-lash of cruelty that I don’t think many people expected. The subtle racism is still all there, which will take generations of active unlearning, but even further, there is now an entire generation of young white children growing up in blatantly racist “Donald Trump” households. Those children are essentially being radicalized from birth, and in larger number than would have previously (pre-Trump) been thought.  It isn’t that those households wouldn’t have held racist beliefs, they would have, but now they hold very unabashed, bold, racist beliefs AND they know exactly who and where their support system is now.  That’s the actual thing to fear, not that KKK members couldn’t find each other in the past (they could), but that now you don’t even have to BE one of those folks, and you can very easily find a huge, supportive community of varying degrees of racist ideology to work with, play with, worship with, hang out online with, and make playdates for your children with.  This next generation is going to truly be a thing of undoing.