Mountain High Indeed

I will not dignify it by linking to it, but there were and are many reports out there about George Floyd’s drug use – specifically Fentanyl. I am not surprised, but I don’t recall in any of those reports seeing any documentation on whether or not he had a prescription for it. I suspect it is just assumed it was street drugs – which is quite possible – but the assumption otherwise really is a part of the problem isn’t it? Isn’t the purpose of releasing that information to reintroduce the idea that George Floyd somehow “deserved” it. Isn’t this idea that black men “must have been up to something” the issue we are really trying to fix here? Isn’t that reflexive assumption killing black people in general day in and day out? It doesn’t have to be like this. We can choose to just stop this shit and be a people together. We don’t have to keep institutions designed to microregulate the lives of our neighbors. We can assume they have the same motives and desires everyone does and simply let them live. Give them medication when they are seek, give them relief when they have pain, and keep a safety net under them and everyone to keep them whole. What kind of society has 46-year old men on the street at 8 at night getting high and getting in trouble over a fucking pack of cigarettes? Why did he not have better choices? That man was supposed to be sweeping up his shop, or helping his children with schoolwork, or volunteering in his community. He was supposed to have an outlet for his energy. What did he get from us instead?

Yes, we can hold people accountable for their decisions, but we are obligated to be honest about what it is they have to choose from. Spending all our energy snickering at bad decisions made by people that had only worse decisions to pull from is mean and unbecoming a nation, but here we are. George Floyd could have been seen as an asset or a threat. What did we invest in him to make him the asset he should have been seen as by our society? I don’t believe he, or people like him, ever get their fair share. They get dealt from the bottom of the deck, and then humiliated when they can’t put a winning hand together with what they’ve been dealt. It is cruel. It is unacceptable. We will never get where we are supposed to go until we fix such things. There really is no greater priority, and I can already tell a huge % of this country just wants to go back to watching the game. Shame on us for that! This can be fixed. We are choosing not to fix it. You can’t let these things go so long and still act like “the good guy”. If we want to be “good”, it is time to put the work in. The young are ready to go – literally in the streets trying to get this started – but we are going to leave them out there on their own to fight this battle and that is disgraceful. It is just one more bill to kick down the road.

It is tempting to fob all the blame for this onto the police, but that is wrong. The police are doing what they were built to do. We can withdraw our consent for them any time, and without doubt, it is certainly time for that discussion; but let’s not kid ourselves about this. The fact is, the police are doing exactly what society asked them to, and the society that asked them to do this now want to act like their memory ain’t working. We can’t allow this. We have to dig deep and figure out why we built an institution like the police? What is it we wanted from them? Why are we indifferent from those who suffer from their interactions with our institutions? The police are just one institution that needs to go under review. We have many many institutions that are just as bad. It is for the oppressed to lead the prioritization of our efforts to fix things, and I am not trying to usurp that. I am simply saying there are many institutions that need a real overhaul and this work isn’t done til we get them all done.

This ain’t going away, and it shouldn’t. This is a mountain that has resisted being washed into the sea for many moons. There is still time to do the right thing if we want it. I am getting worried too few care or really want it. I despair. It is time to fix all of this and we are gonna miss our moment. In fairness, there are so many problems, I suspect many are overwhelmed with life stuff and, it should also be said, we have a pandemic underway. There may be good reasons why everyone with concern won’t be out front in the streets, but I think our problem is bigger. There is such a desire for comforts of the old way that it is hard to motivate people to choose otherwise, but that is what we must do. We can’t just go back. We simply can’t. The bill is due. It is time it be paid once and for all.

  • I have been an Annie Lenox fan since I first heard her in like 1982. She is a real mensch for speaking out on behalf of pain patients.
  • Great idea.
  • Prescription Video Games!
  • April was pot month in the US apparently.
  • Black athletes at Iowa do incredible things for that university and all the people there who claim to love the program are going to have a chance to show how real that love is this fall. I hope it is refreshingly unanimous. I worry it might not be. It is long past time black athletes be allowed to feel at home at Iowa. It can’t wait any more.
  • Of course a balanced approach works, so I am ok with this recco, but it should be said, it will never happen because balance means someone didn’t get everything they want, so they are sure to blow it up.
  • This feels like big news, no?
  • Law Enforcement is really misreading the room these days.
  • Data is going to be a source of power from here on out. There will be even more irresistible temptation to fudge numbers to “win”. We also need to train this society to be data literate.
  • The ACLU’s abandonment of people in pain is sad, but I will take any good from them I can get. Hoping this goes somewhere…
  • Can we stop acting like it is some big revelation to say the War On Drugs is racist? Everyone knows that. It was designed to ensnare the poor and minorities and anyone the emotionally constipated, musty-ass motherfuckers running things want removed from the picture. Can we start reporting instead that the current manifestations of racism in the War On Drugs aren’t a bug but a feature, and spend our time how deep it has corrupted the soul of our country as a result? It has made us unfeeling beasts, and because our puritanical history makes even the idea of pursuing any pleasure taboo, it comes from a place foreign to most human beings in the world.
  • During my youth, homosexuality was still very much a taboo. It took me until I was college age before I started to unfuck myself fully. I read it somewhere, and it struck me at the time, that most people acting homophobic know deep down that it is wrong – even as they do it. I certainly did. We don’t admit it, but I think we all knew. I am glad we are getting this right, but it was only 6-3 in SCOTUS today that you can’t fire someone from work because they are gay, and it is 2020. We should have gotten this right much earlier. The LGBTQ community really is owed an apology – and not just by us.
  • I think Quaker is doing this in good faith. I could see the call-outs if they had done nothing.
  • Science hasn’t had a good year. It is going to likely have some more rough ones. I am not sure the good Doctor isn’t more a part of that narrative than his input suggests – time will tell.
  • Somehow this remains news somewhere.
  • The DEA is a dishonorable organization. They are not going to even be able to ply their own trade honorably. This started the day the DEA started. Does anyone think it has shrunk since?
  • Structural Racism and the Opioid Overdose Epidemic: The Need for Antiracist Public Health Practice here.
  • Something about truth being the first casualty of war.