My goal for this week was to share follow-up thoughts on Fall ’20 goals for teaching in the face of COVID-19. Of course, I still believe this is a worthwhile topic. In the face of what our nation has been facing since the senseless death of George Floyd, I’m having a hard time thinking about anything other than the other virus impacting our lives.
Here is my FB post from 30 May 2020:
“Too many images of anguish and very little sleep tonight. I speak from the perspective of a white woman…I get that. My classrooms and ensembles have and still include a cherished rainbow of students, all of whom I still call “my kids,” and I worship next to brothers and sisters of color. I grieve the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd as I did those who fell before them. I don’t know what it’s like to have “the talk” with my sons because they haven’t needed it but I have had it with those of my students who needed it by virtue of the color of their skin and their gender.
I’ve seen posts from some of my friends and students of color reminding us that tonight isn’t the night to mess with them. I get what they’re saying. I’m just tired of shaking my head in sorrow…in confusion…in frustration and in anger. Judging by what’s running on tonight’s news, we’re running out of time to fix the cycle of wrongs. If we are moving about our lives with the perspectives of white men or women, can we afford to ignore what’s in front of our eyes much longer? To my friends and students of color, I see you, I hear you, and I stand with you.”
And from 31 May 2020
“We’ve had a number of peaceful protest actions here in CT. Today, parts of I-84 and I-95 are already being impacted and there is info about further actions planned for tonight. If you’re participating, be careful (duh, I know) and be judicious in choosing who you follow. Carry your identification in a safe place. Stay with groups that you know. Antagonists are out and about.”
While we certainly hope everyone stays safe as they give their own witness, please don’t refer to peaceful action as riots.
Fr. Jim Martin, SJ continues to be an honest voice for so many of us who identify as Roman Catholic. Regardless of whether you are RC, identify with any other faith tradition or not, or are a seeker, I hope you’ll take time to listen to Fr. Jim’s message in response to the blight that is undermining the spirit of our nation.
Blogging continues to be a great outlet for me and the thoughts that rattle around in my head. I look forward to any responses/dialogue you can contribute to this discussion.
In the meantime, I hope we continue to ache…to weep…and to feel the greatest of discomfort during these times.
2 thoughts on “We ache. We weep.”
My graduate students have expressed similar pain and anguish. The COVID19 meme is “Together We Will Get Through This”…that seems to apply even more so to the racial imbalance hitting this country.
I feel as if the isolation resulting from COVID-19 has made the news about Armaud Arbery and George Floyd, and the protests/violence that much more difficult to bear. This would be the time for my colleagues and me to connect with our students and become sounding boards for one another. Our souls are weary.