This time

President* Trump,

I picked the first little handful of raspberries from our bushes this morning. Some went into my yogurt bowl and some were a surprise for Laura. It was a nice antidote to what was a pretty rough night filled with bad dreams, restlessness, and a trip outside with Old Lizzie. Then, on my walk I went by the house with lots of concrete animal statues. It was a frequent destination for years because in addition to the frogs playing musical instruments, oversized snails, and lounging deer, there was a lopsided, no-ear donkey that was half-covered in moss and we treated the donkey like she was a Buddha of sorts, always meriting a special nod and ‘hello.’ Well, the donkey went missing about two years ago and our trips by that house waned as it was just kind of sad going by there and seeing the donkey-less yard even though all the other creatures were still there. Well, lo and behold – lopsided donkey is back! She’s still half covered in moss, still tilting down to the right, and still has the stick coming out of her head where her right ear should be and nothing where her left ear should be and she’s holding forth in the middle of the lawn. It was so good to see her. I wonder if she decided that things might be looking up and she can come out of hiding now.

Since I sort of slept in, it was a fairly short walk this morning, but in addition to seeing Donkey Buddha, I saw a bunch of new BLM signs in a bunch of previously unadorned windows as well as ‘Black Lives Matter’ stenciled in orange paint on the sidewalk. The teddy bears still out number the signs protesting racial injustice at least two to one, but a week ago that ratio was probably ten to one so things are changing. I know that putting BLM signs in one’s window(s) isn’t doing anything instrumental to change racist laws, but the outward-facing nature of the act does seem to push beyond the limits of white people’s book club behavior that Tre Johnson laments in his WP OpEd the other day (https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/white-antiracist-allyship-book-clubs/2020/06/11/9edcc766-abf5-11ea-94d2-d7bc43b26bf9_story.html). He’s understandably frustrated by the pseudo- (minimal) effort so many of us White people make when confronted with a fresh egregious example of systemic racism taking another African American’s life. He points out that too few Whites do anything beyond the book club thing, which all too often never gets down to the real issues because after all “Who wants to damage a relationship over something as abstract and removed as racism?” Johnson closes with a vignette wherein he describes watching a Black woman slowly riding her bike in circles in front a line of National Guard troops with a sign affixed to the handlebars that reads “No, YOU Do Better.” Well said.

And hey, it looks like the Supreme Court is stepping up and doing better (Kavanaugh, Alito, and Thomas excepted) in their refusal to hear any of the 2nd Amendment rights cases before them, their refusal to hear the California sanctuary state case, and in their positive ruling for LGBTQ worker protections. Whoot!

Still, I know you all are going to keep hurling everything you’ve got at us. For the sake of the base (and your handlers), you can’t be perceived as going down without a serious fight, so despite these victories (and in part, because of them) those of us who want to reinvent America need to brace ourselves in the near term. A desperate misogynistic white supremacist sociopath is more dangerous than a trapped, injured bobcat or even grizzly so we’re in for a wild ride between now and November.

May we be safe from the POTUS*.
May we celebrate the victories even as we brace for the backlash.
May we hold steady and strong.
May we accept that we have a shit-ton more work to do.

Sincerely,
Tracy Simpson

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