Siege Diaries 5/30/2020

For me, a good day. For the country and city of my birth, not so much.

I woke up today after sleeping late, a sense of despair enveloping. But after a discussion with my husband, things turned towards the productive. We took a walk. We talked about the future, about what we could both do with our lives to increase our positive impact on humanity and to feel like we were making something out of this time in isolation. We sat down and planned. And I started in on a much-needed decluttering of my downstairs office/craft grotto, with the aim of removing things I no longer need or expect to need in the future.

We drove out to our favourite burger place in Burlington, but they were closed. Instead, we indulged in an A&W burger—the first in many years. And we spent the evening playing Terraforming Mars, which I won by a single point. I am really starting to enjoy that game.

And then I caught up on the news. The situation in the US has pushed almost all of the COVID-19 coverage down into second place. Peaceful protests over the death of a black man at the hands of white police officers in Minneapolis have spurred demonstrations, initially peaceful, but now marked by violence and looting. On my feeds, my white friends are almost universally angered about the police’s actions, and speaking out in support of Black Lives Matter. And the protests have spread, including to Columbus. There, as in many other cities, there is a disturbing pattern of police behavior emerging—including attacking journalists and provoking the protesters to escalate. And in Minneapolis, it looks increasingly like white far-right extremists are actively involved in trying to escalate the violence.

It’s late. I’ll have more thoughts tomorrow, but for now, just this: It is clear that there is a deep-seated problem in law enforcement in the US. Racist cops are being allowed to multiply and dominate police forces, and they’re no longer content to merely harass people of colour, they’re killing them with impunity.

And I know this problem exists here in Canada as well. It’s perhaps not as blatant, but it’s definitely an issue, particularly in relation to Indigenous people (along with Black people and other POC). The saving grace is, I think, is that we might have a decent shot in doing something about it—that is, if white people can join our voices with those Black, brown, and Indigenous people who have been raising this issue for years now.

To be continued.