COVID-19 Journal: Day 78

For reasons that will remain private, I was awake at dawn today. Outside, it was cool and renewed. I decided to go for a bike ride. I went up the main drags, those arterial London routes I'd normally avoid because they're far too jammed. I enjoyed the quietness and birds and the low rising sun. I saw about ten other humans, of varying stripes, and I said Morning! to everyone, and everyone said Morning! back and I loved that. (Morning people are different.)

The first dawn I've seen in a while.

I've had a quiet day. Consuming a lot of media. Two meals. Pasta for just the second or third time since The Weird. What is with the pasta fear at the start? I guess it's good for families maybe. Oh, and a delicious slice of lemon poppyseed cake from my neighbour.

There's a good article in the New York Times today: How Police Unions Because Such Powerful Opponents to Reform Efforts, subhead "Half a decade after a spate of officer-involved deaths inspired widespread protest, many police unions are digging in to defend members." Tons of links and a good overview of a fucking hard problem. It's also a spotlight on the Beast. The systemic Beast. Imagine a warthog being spotted in the wild by a few ten year olds. Now imagine there are endless warthogs everywhere you look being spotted, and one of them is even called Fraternal Order of Police, which apparently has about 350k members in 2,200 "lodges" across the USA. FFS.

One of the people I've discovered as I've been looking for information about racism is Dr Ibram Kendi. He is an historian and founding director of The Antiracist Research & Policy Center at American University in DC. I'm looking forward to reading his book, How to be an AntiracistToday I watched him deliver a great closing keynote at last year's UnboundEd conference called An Argument Between Racist and Anti-Racist Ideas.

I'm finding it so helpful to hear more from experts. To hear statements like 'racism is assumed racial inferiority or superiority' or 'it's difficult to see racism if you've been trained in a racist system'. This is surely Racism 101 for many, but, I need the basics. I've never learned about it properly before. Xendi talked about what it was like for him at school, and how the teacher would make assumptions based on race and treat kids differently because of it, how early it starts. how when a Black child gets different attention to a White kid she is taught to get used to that. The phrase that's been rattling around in my head all day is:

"What if there’s nothing wrong with the child, but everything wrong with the test?”
This evening I mainlined about fifty of the latest episodes of Queer Eye. It's pure attention and love and transformation.