IAmNotBritish, episode eighteen
Howdy! Well, that's not very Londonesque.
Hello! Please, forgive my temporary lapse in protocol.
Come in, please. Happy Sunday. Well, Heavy Sunday. There is a lot happening, and I can't bring myself to say the word Brunch. Not everybody gets to eat Brunch. Is there value in pretending that we all have this equal ability to have a lovely Brunch every Sunday?
Does it lift our spirits to escape in the idea of Brunch?
I'm late coming to the computer, waiting for an idea, an angle, some focus.
But all I can think about is: how different would my life have been if I was born a cute, little brown or black baby? 'Cause you know I would have been cute, no matter my color.
1969, summer. Still fatherless. Would my mother have joined the Mormon church when I was two years old? Two white missionaries boys, knocked on her apartment door. She opened the door with a beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other. She would have had more fear of them, I think.
We still would have been on state assistance programs, disability, social security.
My brother would still have pulled the knife on the kid behind him in line for the water fountain in 7th grade--but he would have gone straight to juvy. No third and fifth chances given by a judge.
Actually, when he told the cops, when I was eleven and he was ten, that he got the drugs from me and they woke me up in the middle of the night to question me, as I rubbed my eyes--we both would have been taken.
I would have been the same person--sitting in the front of the class, raising my hand with the answers, being washed clean by the praise at school.
That one incident would have stayed on my record. And when I got into my own trouble later, there's no way I would have only gone to county jail for 44 days. That's a white girl sentence.
Would I be alive now, to write this email?
Do you see, why this routine, little piece of my week is difficult today?
Today's Deep Breath: (Here's a little juju nugget. May or may not be helpful.)
These nuggets are usually framed as our collective Next Best Decision. There are many voices. The voices I want to hear most right now are the ones of the dead, the sick, the oppressed, the scared.
I honor my own voice--after a lot of work on managing my own mind, having been treated badly by men, and women.
That does not mean I honor anyone else less. I am one human, on a planet full of many. All voices, all stories. But the ones of the murdered and abused have more urgency and meaning for us all. Black and Brown lives matter. We need to stop talking, and listen to their stories. Let them change us, from the inside out.
Until next time,
(would have been Tammy Schend still)