On hope

The “South Bend man” referred to in this headline is a former student. He was a bright, inquisitive, funny and honest student when I had him in 6th and again in 7th grade; his older brother was one of my DC kids and was a member of my single favorite class of students I’ve ever had. There are still pictures of both of them on my phone.

He was just sentenced to 45 years in jail because he and a high school student planned to steal another man’s gun and then beat him up. The “plan”– and I strongly suspect I do not have anything even close to the full story– went badly sideways for them, and the man killed the high school student and shot Makyi “at least” eight times. Somehow, another person’s decision to kill a child and attempt to kill a second person rather than be robbed of a gun has led to the person who was shot being convicted of murder and sentenced to jail for 45 years, more than twice as long as he has been alive.

I am not interested in you attempting to justify the existence of “felony murder” charges, and I can guarantee you that attempting to do so will be the last thing you ever say around here. I don’t care if you think this is okay or justified. You can keep that shit to yourself. I loved this kid. He was smart. He had a chance. He should be in fucking college right now. And instead he’s 20 years old and somehow has been convicted of a murder that everyone involved in his sentencing knows that he absolutely did not commit in an incident that led to he, himself, being shot eight + times, and will be in jail until he’s 65.

I hate it here.


I am not done sorting out my feelings about the Derek Chauvin trial– and I doubt that I will be until after he is sentenced. And I am definitely not done sorting out my feelings about the fact that less than 20 minutes after the trial a cop gunned down a sixteen-year-old Black girl in Columbus.

I kinda hate it here right now, and I’m incredibly tired, and I’m wearing my Black Lives Matter shirt to work tomorrow.

On anger and hatred


I didn’t post yesterday because I was exhausted; I didn’t get home from OtherJob on Friday until after midnight.  I didn’t get home from OtherJob until after midnight last night either; it turns out that when we finally get a few days of no-bullshit perfect weather people remember that it’s fun to go outside and do things, and so they do.  I’m still exhausted, and my back hurts.  Today will not be terribly productive.

I got home to three pieces of bad news, only one of which I’m remotely interested in discussing, and honestly I’m not even going to do that.

Because right now I feel like the first black person– no, the first person– to catch George Zimmerman outdoors and alone after dark should shoot him in the face immediately.

And I cannot trust myself to write when I’m in this state.  It’s been almost twelve hours; I’m still here.

Seven or eight years ago, I would have.  Seven or eight years ago I was a much angrier person; ironically, I may have lived in a better world then than I do now.  Little has gotten better.  But I don’t want to write this post, and I don’t trust myself to write this post, so for now, I’m not going to.  If that changes, I might.

But probably not.