Wednesday, June 03, 2020

Fact as the Window to Truth

Truth and fact are not always the same thing.  The latter often is a window to the former.

A black man is pursued and captured by four cops in Minneapolis.  One of the policemen detains him prone facedown on the ground by placing a kneehold on his neck.  The man exclaims that he cannot breathe.  The three other police ask the small crowd to step back; a number of the bystanders are recording video on their phones.  After a short period of time, the man lay silent.  He is declared dead at the hospital.

Times have not changed.  This brutal treatment of a black man is not new. History is just on video now.

White America has always treated African-Americans, hispanics, people of color, as inferior humans.  We have been racist since the beginning of our history, believing we white-skinned descendents of Europe are superior because of our culture, our education, our bloodlines, our self-definition of success.

Yes, this is a broadstroke.  It does not apply to all white Americans, just as the stereotypes we hold are inappropriately applied to people of color.

But the death of this one man is more than fact.  His full story – his life, his history, and his death -- are another symbol of a broader truth about racism in America.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020


The back deck is so much better in May.  We have had a stretch of 10 sunny, increasingly warm days. All of which Pam has spent in the gardens, expanding to the east, rearranging plants using her ‘poke and hope’ methodology that rarely fails.  And if it does, she does not mope, as plants are fungible and flexible.  The rich green explodes everywhere, from the depth of the lawn to the expanse of the hostas.

The chipmunks flourish to the point where we implement traps to cut down on their incursion into soft parts of the gardens.  They know no boundaries, of course, so even if we capture a few, they may be part of families that live on the other side of our fences.  Our clans know where to hide out in their own tunnels, knowing full well exactly where the best meals can be found.

These critters have a different sense of ‘shelter-in-place’.  They are in constant shelter mode, having made numerous entry holes into their underground tunnels.  Their virus is the collection of predators that stalk them – although I am not sure that our suburbia contains that many threats.  I have seen a hawk swoop over the lawn and pluck a chipmunk off the lawn, and we have a fox family that lives in the gully beyond the houses across the street.  Other than that, we humans are the largest threat they seem to have.