Last Sunday night, I found myself sitting in front of my keyboard preparing to write this column. As I sat staring at the screen, watching the eyebeam flash, and waiting for inspiration, I realized I was stuck. This was a difficult column. It wasn’t because I didn’t have anything to write. It was because I had too much to write…which is worse than having too little,
For those of you paying attention, the world has gone mad—100% certifiably mad. The unjust policing and loss of black lives in America and the protests that have followed is overwhelming enough. Couple that with a rampant pandemic that has forced a global lockdown, it’s difficult to find calm in all the chaos.
I’ve been a journalist for nearly seventy years. Those who follow my social media and blog know that in my early years, I was a foreign correspondent in Buenos Aires. I also have worked as a reporter at a few newspapers here and there. Through the years, I’ve lived through and written about some crazy things.
I retired in the late 1990’s. I went onto teaching at universities throughout the Midwest before ending up at Letongaloosa Community College. I started writing this humor column. It’s hard to believe, but that was 15 years ago.
As a journalist, I know its part of my job to look for inspiration EVERYWHERE. Usually, I write about something I saw or did that inspired me during the week. Whether it’s a fun place Emmaline and I discover on date night, a happy headline in the newspaper, or a light-hearted story at the end of the nightly newscast, anything can spark an idea for a column
But with all that is happening: the lockdown, the protests, the arrests and the assaults of fellow journalists all being brought to the forefront, it’s unprecedented. There’s NOTHING funny about ANYTHING that’s happening.
Like all of you, Emmaline and I have been watching A LOT of television. Since we can’t really venture out to our favorite Mexican restaurant at the moment, we hunker down with takeout. While watching the interviews of the doctors and nurses, the elected officials and news anchors, not to mention, the talk show hosts and celebrities, I ‘m inspired to write.
Through the plethora of serious conversation, I see and hear hope. It may take awhile to get to a solid plan of resolution, but conversations are being had by EVERYONE. There is HOPE.
It’s important to keep the momentum. Life must keep moving. The stories of those who have perished from the pandemic are many. Our hearts go out to their families. The stories of those who have lost their lives and helped reignite the Black Lives Matter movement must be told. We will continue the dialog. We will move forward. It will take work, but we will be better than we were before. We have to be.
Like all of you, Emmaline and I are confined to daily expeditions around our neighborhood. We see the RESILIENCE and the COMMUNIITY of those around us. Everyone is coming together, despite the continued unrest and uncertainty and all will be stronger for it. STAY SAFE and GOD BLESS.
* This column is dedicated to George Floyd (June 2020), Ahmaud Arbery(June 2020), Rayshard Brooks (June 2020), Breonna Taylor (March 2020), Amadou Diallo (1999), Patrick Dorismond (2000), Ousmane Zongo (2003), Timothy Stansbury (2004), Sean Bell (2006), Oscar Grant (2009), Aiyana Stanley-Jones (2010), Rekia Boyd (2012), Trayvon Martin (2012), Ramarley Graham (2012), Kimani Gray (2013), Michael Brown (2014) Eric Garner (2014), Sandra Bland (2015), Corey Jones (2015), and ALL of the men and women who have tragically lost their lives as a result of racial injustice.