Borderline


Give me the greens of summer.

Changes. Many changes.

I really messed up some folks today. Here’s what happened. I decided to make some major changes to Storyteller. You can’t see them. The changes are made in the architecture of the site. The WordPress technician and I worked very well together. We knew that he had to fix a bug and that it would take a little time for my archives to port to what amounts to another website.

In the middle of all of that my scheduled post, posted. Some friends on Facebook saw it and tried to open it up. One received a 404 error. The other could read the text but saw no picture. They let me know. I explained the problem. I also told them when the site was really working.

No harm. no foul.

It seems that I can’t get away from the technology of Storyteller. That’s okay. For now.

George Floyd.

Say his name. Remember it.

Around here, after watching the most disgusting video in the world, we are up in arms. I don’t understand how a human being can do that to another human being. How do you plant a knee on another man’s neck and kill him?

You can’t even claim self defense. George Floyd wasn’t armed. He was begging for his life and that policemen murdered him. We know the cop’s name. I won’t give him the dignity of naming him. None. Zero. Ziltch.

I’m sad. I’m sad that my country is in tatters. I’m sad that killing Black people for no reason continues to this day. I’m sad that I even have to comment.

You know, I speak about opportunity. I talk about not returning to normal. Who the hell wants to return to this? Instead, I want to make things better. But, I don’t think we can. We can’t until we fix this level of stupidity.

People’s lives matter. Right now, it’s Black people who are in the hot seat. For now, Black lives matter. Maybe they’ve always been there. We have to atone for my country’s original sin. You know, 1619. I don’t know how to do that. Some say reparations. Some have other ideas. I don’t know. Just do something. Take a first step. We’ll adapt as we go.

I have a friend from high school who posts a lot on Facebook. He thinks that it might by time for another Black Panther group to arise. He doesn’t really want the violence, but he thinks that they could protect their brothers and sisters.

In case you are wondering, he’s a white guy.

Meanwhile musical miss is up in arms. Her sister, who is usually calm, raised hell on Instagram. I’ve never heard her curse. She did today. F-bomb deluxe. Even the dogs are angry. Cocker spaniels really reflect their people’s feelings.

I really don’t know what to do. I do know that we have to do it now. I do know that the man in the hightower has created this environment. How? There is a picture of the killer cop floating around on social media. In it he’s wearing a red MAGA hat.

When did this happen? When I was a young photojournalist we couldn’t even place a campaign poster on our lawns. Same thing about cops. Believe what you want. But, be professional.

How is killing a man by forcing a knee on his neck professional?

The picture.

I made this picture yesterday. I am sharing it today because green is supposed to make you feel peaceful. It’s not working. At least, on me, it isn’t. I hope that it works for you. It’s really an easy picture to make. I just needed the right light. When I got it, I did it. There is pretty much no processing of any kind.

Say his name. George Floyd. Remember it.

Stay safe. Enjoy every sandwich.

12 Comments

  1. “We can’t until we fix this level of stupidity.” I would have said that this is the key . . . until later on the same day George Floyd was killed, I stumbled upon the video of the Amy Cooper in Central Park and was slugged by the calculation in her initial statement that she was going to call the police “and report that an African American man was videotaping her, threatening her.” She knew exactly what might happen and she judged it to be worth it because she had been called out for not leashing her dog. So: stupidity yes and calculations that our society now/again permits such acts. I despair.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. Two days in a row. It’s got to stop. I wouldn’t happen here, The Black community is strong and powerful. All those Indians and second lines that I photograph are run by professional Black people. Then there are the Zulus and if you don’t think the Zulu king would call the king of Rex (powerful white folk) and ask for help… Those of us who attend those cultural events would align ourselves with them too. As far as Amy goes, she lost her dog and her job.The man who she threatened kindly said that he doesn’t think her whole life should be upended for a ten minute confrontation.

      All I know for sure is that all systems are broken. When that happens all the wheels fall off the cart. That’s where we are now.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you. I’m sick and down. Dehumanizing people is what allowed the Holocaust to happen. I feel like hugging every black person in the universe and telling them I know their lives matter. It won’t help, of course. Too much is wrong.

    The green in your photo is nice.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sorry that you’re sick. Working from the middle of the candles will do that. I don’t have to hug every person because I live in New Orleans where most of us know they matter. Everything I do is based on them. Any good picture is based on them. We had a big protest today. It never got violent. Black, Brown and White were all represented. And, most wore masks. I haven’t seen masks in pictures from anywhere else.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I can’t put a “like” to this, but thank you for writing it. Something surely is happening. I was thinking of the Black Panthers before reading this, and don’t think they were the answer then nor now, though a lot of white people found them so glamorous. Peaceful protest, all races, with people in the black community writing the text and some grace needed everywhere. Trump would just love a race war, wouldn’t he? It was a great moment when the army refused to bend to his will. That is usually some kind of turning point. All the footballers in the restarted Premiership Division here kneel in silence before each game. It is impressive. Footballers and musicians are the most mixed communities in the word.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In New Orleans the Panthers were very good to their community, which was a hellhole called Desire. The city built apartments for the poor people who.lived out there. The buildings had no subflooring. The polluted mud seeped into the buildings. The Panthers fed and protected them. Eventually the NOPD wanted them gone because they dealt drugs for the money to feed the community. The cops came armed to the teeth. The BP were armed too. There was a big shootout. Some 3500 rounds were fired. Nobody hit anything.

      When I served I was an aviator and an officer. We take the same oath that Trump did. We are also sworn to refuse any illegal order. That’s what happened with Trump.

      My musical miss is half Indian and half Oklahoman. Yes. You right. Very mixed.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Thanks for this. I didn’t full understand the community element of the Black Panthers organisation, though I read some of the literature, and it seethes with strife (obviously mostly against the Panthers, the history of murder is grim), which frightens me at the moment. I was younger when I read several accounts. I was less scared of violence then, and also US politics seemed more distant – no mass media, only the occasional newspaper and the BBC. I know that many of the dealers in Brazil are also working in the worst parts of the city, helping during the terrible coronavirus epidemic there. I like the refusing to obey “an illegal order”. Keep safe, Ray, you and your musical miss and your family.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Don’t let me mislead you, the Panthers were violent in some cities. I recall that Los Angeles, Detroit and Chicago were among them. Detroit was already falling apart by then so that sort of makes sense. Dealers in almost every community stick with their communities. In Central City, New Orleans — a area in which I photograph many second lines and Indian events — there is poverty, a lot of dealing and when drug deals go bad, killings. But, those guys look after their people. Sort of a Robin Hood sort of thing, I suppose.

      That’s what we are sworn and trained to do.

      You too. Our six year old daughter wants to play piano. Thank God.

      Liked by 1 person

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