Space to thrive should be a given

Dear President Trump,

Who do you think it was that leaked your schedule? And did s/he really need to leak it? There’s a handy website (Factbase) with your daily schedule and you’ve got lots of “Executive Time” blocked out (in addition to golf time). So, I don’t see why someone would bother with this particular leak, there’s probably lots of other stuff far more leak-worthy.

I was going to tell you yesterday that it was our 6th (legal) anniversary (we celebrated our real 30th one on Jan. 1 of this year), but I got sidetracked distinguishing the fine points of sociopathy and psychopathy. Anyway, to mark the occasion we watched a movie. We tried to go out to the movies, but we got there too late to get anything other than front row seats so we bailed and watched one at home. Except for music (Laura) and politics (both of us) we are generally quite slow, or completely out of it, when it comes to popular culture so the movie we watched is one that most of the rest of the world saw ages ago – “Black Panther.” Did you see it? There were a bunch of parts I couldn’t watch because of the violence, but we liked it a lot. It has an awesome premise, the storyline was strong, and how incredibly refreshing to have all the leads (good and bad-ish) played by black people.

I’m currently reading Jesmyn Ward’s book “Men We Reaped” and I’ll tell you, last night it was pretty awful going from Wakanda to DeLisle, Mississippi. DeLisle is where Ward grew up and where so many of the boys she knew died as young men, including her brother. I’m in the chapter about her brother’s death now, which was actually the first of the five deaths she covers, but because she worked backwards, it’s the last one she describes. The poverty, the racism, the crushingly impoverished existences and lack of viable, livable options of the young men (and the older men, too) she describes are hard to bear even from quite a remote distance.

I’d already been juxtaposing Ward’s stories of dead black boys with Martellus Bennett’s impassioned essay (WP) urging us (the big us at large) to encourage black boys to dream beyond sports and wishing that her boys had even had sports to buoy them up. Now, though, I’m wishing they could all have grown up in Wakanda where they would still be alive.

May we all be safe.
May we all be happy to make space for everyone to thrive.
May we all have healthy, sustaining options.
May we not rest until equality, justice, and peace define who we are as a people.

Sincerely,
Tracy Simpson

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