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April 21, 2021

A Little Langston Hughes Question

In the car today I talked with my kids about the results of the Chauvin trial. The depth of their understanding and nuance in their opinions was surprising. It was sad to hear that my oldest had seen the video of George Floyd being murdered. (When I asked, he said “everyone at school has seen it.” What a price we pay when technology opens the door for everyone to view anything.)

I’m sorry that so many people still deal with racism. I wish it wasn’t this way. Living overseas where I was a minority gave me a few glimmers of understanding to what that must feel like.

I’m sad I had to have the talk with my kids about what to do when they interact with police. Existential sadness over the state of the world is bad, but it’s so much better than my dear child not emerging from a police encounter with their life.

I’m reminded of a poem by Langston Hughes, Question [1]:

When the old junk man Death
Comes to gather up our bodies
And toss them into the sack of oblivion,
I wonder if he will find
The corpse of a white multi-millionaire
Worth more pennies of eternity,
Than the black torso of
A Negro cotton-picker?

Let’s try to be good to one another. Love each other. We all need it so much now.