A clarity march
Today was one of those days that I would label “a good day.” I awoke before my alarm and got ready for work. A few minutes before I left my house my boss called me to say that the event was cancelled due to inclement weather; I wasn’t surprised. It’d snowed the night before and that morning. Seattle tenses up and falls down when the weather is anything but sunny. Strange, I know.
The MLK Jr. march scheduled to begin at a nearby high school, however, was not cancelled. I took le pup for a walk that morning where he lost his mind in the snow.
I wasn’t sure I was going to march. It was cold, rainy, cold, snowy, cold, my day off, and I just didn’t feel like it. Eventually, I got off my arse and walked the 7 blocks to the march and got there just in time. Within minutes I ran into a coworker and her husband and that made it all better. We walked amongst people who had signs that blew apart, dogs running amuck, and Occupy Seattle “We are the 99%” stickers on their breasts. Camaraderie iced us all and provided a surprising warmth.
The march left the high school walked up toward Union, moved onto Madison Avenue and took that all the way into downtown. There was a little rally with speakers, singers, and other entertainers. I didn’t stay long because it was COLD. Garv and I made our to way a familiar bus stop so we could head home. My socks were damp inside my shoes, but that was the extent of the weather’s influence on my body.
I’ve never taken Garvey on a bus before and I was a little scared. When he first meets people he goes batshit crazy. As a result, I was none too thrilled to introduce him to the dozens of strangers on a city bus. Oddly enough, it went fine. When we got on he was a little unsteady at first, then finally slouched onto the floor for the remainder of the ride. As usual, he drew an awful lot of attention. People smiled, pointed, and engaged me in conversation. One man asked me what kind of dog he was and when I told him he verbalized amazement at his color. It’s funny how we have to classify things. Anything new needs to fit into a neat section of our brain that makes sense. That same man told me that I needed to watch out for him because he looks like good money. He totally said that someone would steal my dog for money. It was a little strange, but whatevs. Le pup and I got off the bus with only a little leash mishap and were on our way. We still had to walk a mile, but what’s one mile after a day like we had?
When we got home I left my boots by the door and went upstairs. My poster of Barack Obama from the 2008 election hung on my wall. It wasn’t until now that I thought about how amazing of a journey our country has had.
I’m watching Red White & Blue as I type this entry and a few thoughts come to mind. The first, and perhaps most important is, “Sometimes I wish I was White so I could live the life I want.” Now, hear me out. It’s not that I actually wish I was White, it’s not that simple. Red White & Blue is, essentially, a love story. It takes place in the part of the United States that’s small enough, rural enough, and south enough that you can film an entire movie and not need a single Black person. The characters are in bands, work at hardware stores, and drink at dive bars with country music dancing in their cowboy boots. This man falls in love with a girl, Erica. She is kidnapped by a one-night stand because he contracted HIV from her. The guy who kidnaps her has been donating blood to his mother and now his mother has HIV as well. She goes missing and her oddly romantic, psychopath of a boyfriend goes looking for her. When he discovers she’s been murdered he seeks revenge. As I type this he’s literally duct taping someone’s face — all of it.
Well, this movie, at least before everyone started dying and contracting HIV makes me wish I was White because a Black person couldn’t exist in that world without dealing with some serious shit.
I want to buy land, live in a yurt, farm, and be friendly with the folks at the local grocery store. But, I can’t. Well, I could, but it wouldn’t be the same. There are bigots everywhere, I know. I’ve run into them in the center of Chicago. They have driven their trucks past me hootin’ and a hollerin’ in small-town Pennsylvania. They’ve talked to me about the desires of the 21st century Negro in downtown Seattle; they are everywhere. I would love to live an existence devoid of bigotry aimed in my direction. It wouldn’t be better, I don’t doubt I’d still hear some awful remarks about wonderful people from awful ones, but it would be different. I wouldn’t mind different. It seems that different is peaceful in a way that the same can’t be.
Today, our nation celebrated the life of an amazing visionary and leader. He fought for civil rights and advocated for equality. His speeches and marches have colored our skin so we can’t bathe and not see our dirt. His revolution was televised. Ours will not be. It is time for our revolution to change us individually.
Equality is for everyone, but is not be granted by the same. If we continue to work towards a conversation amongst “men.” Our revolution will, perhaps, manifest and mature and allow Dr. King’s dreams along with Huey’s, Malcolm’s, and Angela’s to homestead in that part of The United States where only one section of its inhabitants is currently granted access.