Out of Quarantine

As of today, our state has entered into Phase 3 of reopening.  Our daycare is still closed per DCFS, so I'm still home with our kids. My restaurant is allowed to open for outdoor seating, which would be wonderful.

If we had outdoor seating. 

So in the coming weeks, I'll be simultaneously building outdoor seating, parenting, cleaning the restaurant, and trying to make another album.  Sounds like a lot.  I'm sure I'll be worked to the bone, dog tired, and collapse into bed each night.

But all I feel is gratitude (and a bit of guilt) that these are my only daily trials.

Reader, the state of the world bowled me over this week.  Seeing the video of George Floyd calling for his mother in heaven while a police officer put his knee on his neck brought me to tears, over and over.  How miserable is it that--if that video hadn't surfaced--we white people wouldn't get such a firsthand feeling of how Black Americans feel, everyday. 

Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil, and Brenda Russell famously wrote "None of Us Are Free (if one of us is chained)."  The first version of the song I heard was sung by Solomon Burke. I listened to it again today.  Today, every word hits hard.  And it should.

When will it hit us that we are the same? The man under a knee is me and my kids and my family and my friends.  When we live in a world where black people are so clearly hurt (economically, socially, mentally, physically) everyday, then we are a part of a world that condones the treatment of all humans this way.  I can't help thinking: what if it had been you or your children under that knee, or jogging down that street, or selling those CDs, or any of the other instances where black humans were killed?

Empathy and understanding and active planning and then changing.  That's how we start making it better.  Protest, yes.  Loot local businesses, no.  I'm ready to listen and work.  I'm ready to work to the bone, dog tired, and collapse into bed each night (I've got a lot of practice).   Out of quarantine, into the fray I go.  -Em

 

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