Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some timely catching up with friends (old and new)!

If we were having coffee this week, I’d still be unable to think of little else than the riots we’re seeing across the country.

I’ve been donating to worthy causes that counter violence and actually help. I’m praying and fasting for peace, justice, respect and kindness.

I have been rereading the sumptuous Swann’s Way, the first book of Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time. It’s a book I must savor and have to stop to look up references and words so it’s slow going, but worth it. I do need something quick though like a sophisticated graphic novel.

I began tutoring a new student from Afghanistan. Nahid is a young dentist who hasn’t been out of school for long. We’ve met three times and it’s hard for me to plan because it’s hard to determine what her English proficiency is so I’m looking for a free test that gives me a better idea. She’s very passive and we work on Skype. I have to refrain from doing too much of the talking.

My colleagues and I discovered that Evanston, a town we need to recruit in, is having a virtual Independence Day Parade. We’re trying to figure out how to create a simple video encouraging people to complete their census. I’ve also spent time learning about video streaming for work. Lynda.com has a really good course that gives the basics on using Periscope, Google, Wirecast Play and Instagram to stream. I’m rather camera shy so I don’t want to become a Social Media sensation, but I like these tools and I am thinking I could develop a How to Stream course and do it at a library.

A friend of mine suggested some videos to get a wider perspective on the problems of police brutality and racism. I’m halfway through this and it’s provided food for thought.

Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some timely catching up with friends (old and new)!

If we were having coffee this week, I’d be unable to think of a topic other than the riots we’re seeing across the country. I never dreamed this sort of mayhem would be so widespread. I can’t remember who, but someone said that people are seeing it in one city and going out in their own downtowns or malls.

I can’t think of times when many cities rioted at the same time. That could have happened in the 1960’s and I would have been too young to remember. There’s a lot of information swirling around, but it’ll be a while till we know what really went on and who instigated all this.

Tonight I’ve come to think that this is the wrong time for peaceful protest. I hope the peaceful folks take another day and time to voice their opinion and therefore don’t give the bad actors any cover. In Chicago, about 20 miles south of me, the Michigan Avenue, home of the Art Institute, the Chicago Cultural Center, the Symphony and hundreds of restaurants and shops, State Street, again full of premiere stores, have all been vandalized and looted.

Many of us have seen churches burned. Our monuments like the WWII Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial defaced. This destruction is nihilistic and evil.

One young woman who had been protesting did go downtown to help clean up yesterday. On television she explained that it was okay that the buildings had been vandalized because the destruction “just hurt things.” She didn’t realize that a lot of people have been injured and some have died. She didn’t realize that it’s not okay to demolish or steal other people’s property. Certainly property is subordinate to life, but I wonder if this woman had siblings who ever went into her room and messed things up or whether a sibling destroyed items she cared about. We all feel badly when our belongings are destroyed.

On a bigger scale a business owner and his or her employees do put their heart into their work and don’t deserve to have their livelihood ripped away. If you think beyond the “it’s just a material object” is short-sighted. By destroying a business, you are causing hardship for these people and their children.

I pray this violence comes to an end tonight.  George Floyd would not be connected to this mayhem and evil.

As the Riots Continue

Last night I watched national news coverage of the Protests/Riots across the country, while today I watched more of the local news.

Some immediate thoughts:

  • Everyone I’ve spoken with is unified in their abhorrence of the horrible policeman who killed Mr. George Floyd. That’s the positive. Decades ago this view would not have been widespread.
  • I’m glad that my nephew who lives near the first Target to get torched in Minneapolis is now staying at his roommate’s parents’ house in the suburbs.
  • Last night I was disappointed with how often CNN sympathized with the rioters who clearly weren’t “peaceful protestors.” You could see them lighting things on fire and throwing things and CNN would continue to paint them in a favorable light.
  • I saw on Twitter that three different gangs in Pilsen, Little Village and Back of the Yards told the police that they’d protect their neighborhood businesses. That sure sounds like vigilante justice may be in the offing. I’m not sure whether the police backed down.
  • It’s troubling that so little is known about these people who come from other towns or states to “protest.” I believe some are with Antifa, but who pays them and what other groups are similar? Will designating Antifa, etc. a terrorist group mean that if a person donates to them, they could be arrested? I hope so. 
  • It’s sad to see the videos of Black people imploring white vandals who’re spray painting BLM and such on businesses, imploring them to stop as the graffiti is marring the Black people’s community. These vandals aren’t protesting and they disrespect the woman. They’ll tire of their protest and move back to their hometowns and enjoy their favorite café will look fine.