This 1st day of the month post is a few days late. I live near Minneapolis. Those two things are deeply intertwined. I start each monthly post with Happy “Place Month Here”. It is hard to use the word or the share the feelings of Happy, given the world at this moment, but I am trying to find the good.

The murder of George Floyd, in the city I deeply love has ignited a fire. A fire that is long overdue and is burning hot. I can’t stop thinking about, how do we use this fire for good? Good, both for in terms of the betterment of society and for a lasting permanent change.

To come to how, maybe we need to think about why. These are the words that I help me understand the why of right now:

“But it is not enough for me to stand before you tonight and condemn riots. It would be morally irresponsible for me to do that without, at the same time, condemning the contingent, intolerable conditions that exist in our society. These conditions are the things that cause individuals to feel that they have no other alternative than to engage in violent rebellions to get attention. And I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the plight of the negro poor has worsened over the last twelve or fifteen years. It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice and humanity.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.

The fire burning, is maybe a tipping point. It is about society being less concerned about tranquilly and status quo. I am grateful a fire has been lit. I really am. Sometimes things do need to burn for change to be possible. Fire grabs your attention. Fires must be tended to – they are an emergency. Injustice is an emergency.

I am grateful for more than the fire today. I am grateful:

    • The murder was filmed – eyes often must see to understand injustice, and it makes holding the responsible accountable, easier.
    • The world has opened up not just the discussion about justice, but action, a fire.
    • The Floyd family is calling for peaceful protest to honor their loss.
    • That my eyes have been opened to the real injustices going on. I am sorry I am late to the realities, but I am here now and ready to help. As Maya Angelo says “when you know better do better.”
    • That most cops are good and the police and the public can’t allow the bad to exist. The system can not allow them to exist. My sister-in-laws’ brother wrote this as an illustration:

“When you continuously wage war (not talking about the peaceful protesting) against a profession of 700,000 people for the actions of less than one percent of said profession, it becomes frustrating and exhausting being part of the 99 percent that are out here trying to build bridges, and help heal society. I UNDERSTAND the anger, I feel the pain, I abhor bad cops, it’s why I BECAME a cop, to be the change I want to see in the world, BUT…When people are calling me murderer to my face when I’m getting breakfast, shooting me the bird when driving down the road, or telling me the officer in LV “deserved” to be shot in the back of the head, or when my agency advises me to hide my patrol vehicle and to worry about my family and I being attacked at home….it makes one think, has 12 years of service been enough? When all the “good officers” quit because we have been made into societies villains for so long, who are you left with? I want this to stop more than anyone, but aside from firing and prosecuting the assholes that tarnish the badge, what more can be done? I’ve reported and stopped any injustice and rights violations I’ve observed in my 12 years of law enforcement (3 times, tops). Someone tell me what more do I have to do to stop being the bad guy? What else do I have to do to ensure my 1 year old little girl and wife won’t be attacked when I’m not home?” – Drew Luna

The world is a different place based on the color of your skin. Together let’s commit to the action that causes systematic change to right that wrong. How? I don’t really know anything except that it won’t be easy, but we can’t let the fire fizzle out. Let’s start by giving prompt justice to Mr. Floyd and his family and then together we can go from there.

I hope you light a fire in yourself, to help light the way to the change for good.

Be Your own JoyMaster. xoxox

#GeorgeFloyd #Minneapolis #BeTheChange #Justice #Peace

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