Eleven weeks ago, when the closure due to the pandemic started, I did what seemed like the most normal, obvious thing I could do: I went out on my front porch, beer in hand, and wrote.
I’m doing it today, too-Ex Novo’s Cult Classic Pale is in the glass.
Two months ago Breonna Taylor was killed in her home.
In the past fourteen days, two things have come to light for me.
The first is a bit jazzy; it’s all the things I don’t have to worry about.
Like going for a drive, going to work, walking around, getting groceries, visiting friends, waving at babies and coming outside my own house to sit down and have a beer.
Nobody says shit to me about it. Nobody harasses me about causing a pandemic, or drinking in public, or much of anything. The more I think about it, the longer that list gets.
As of this writing, the people directly responsible for Ms. Taylor’s death have not been held accountable.
Which makes me so livid I could cry.
The second thing I understand is this; anyone can be shot on their own porch.
I recognize that now. Because the police want all of their power, but not the responsibility and we’ve been seeing how that plays out over the past two weeks: anyone can be shot at if they think the police should be accountable.
The country is trying to make a statement: What you’re doing is wrong, and we deserve better.
Black people are not them, they are us. Poor people are not them, they are us. Latinix, LGBTQ+, they are not them. They are us.
Since the injustice done to one is an injustice done to me, there is no way to view them as people who are undeserving of the right to sit on their porch, drink a beer undisturbed, and love who they love. Undeserving of justice when they are done wrong.
We deserve a just society. All of us.
Every bullet we purchase is a meal denied to the hungry. I’m tired of bullets. I want more food.
There is a lot of work to do between now and November, and more work to do after that.
Let’s get to it, and protect the people who need protecting. ‘Cause the police certainly ain’t here for it.
Now as a stunning coincidence, the Portland Police Bureau has their contract up for renewal this week. There is a call from the City Council to put off those negotiations for a year, because of the pandemic.
Don’t let them do that. We have seen what the police do and how they react to being told they need to be better. We know it NOW. In a year it will be too late, because the authority that comes from this moment will be forgotten. If you live in Portland, you have a stake in this.
Today’s second pint goes to Campaign Zero.