Sit Down Comedy … Juneteenth, 2020

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Sit Down Comedy

I don’t like to lose.

Maybe no one does.

There is certainly no celebration going on in the locker room of the vanquished team.

No retelling of dropped balls, missed tackles or fumbles.

Losing is intolerable in its inception but even more lonely in its conclusion.

There will certainly be no fellowship in hell for those who are self-condemned to dwell in the loneliness of ineptitude.

I once walked off a football field having been thoroughly beat up—64 to nothing. And yes—it felt like just me—like I was whipped, dragged and humiliated by eleven bullies. My teammates sat in silence, with an occasional sob.

I don’t like to lose.

I don’t keep old raffle tickets which failed to deliver the prize.

I don’t have video footage of me coming in fourteenth in a talent contest.

Yet today I feel like such a goddam loser.

I’m white.

But the only privilege I seem to garner from this statis is the curse of achieving my rank through vile prejudice and bigotry.

It is Juneteenth.

Yet do I have a right, as a white, to even mention it?

What would be my statement?

“I’m so glad my relatives stopped owning yours. Just for the record, I would never have bought you.”

Yuk.

It’s like working really hard to be at the top of your class and then realizing when you got there, everybody hated you.

I’m white.

I’m sorry.

I don’t mind saying I’m sorry.

I understand why it’s necessary for me to be sorry.

But I don’t feel better after I say it.

It just doesn’t seem enough.

Maybe it’s because racism has never died.

Maybe it’s because there’s a whole region of the country which still thinks the Civil War was a grand cause.

Maybe it’s because I’m part of a race that shoots black people in the street and applauds them when they run in a sports arena or dance on a video.

I don’t know how to be white.

It doesn’t matter—whether I know how to do it, I still get the benefit. Or can we call it a benefit? It’s more like the spoils of a war, where the other side wasn’t even allowed to fight.

I want to say something, but everything comes across as anemic as the color of my skin.

I want to be one of those whites who’s “a dude” instead of one of those whites who’s really just crude.

But the harder I try, the worse I look.

Because this problem is not going to be salvaged from destruction by platitudes or promises.

It’ll take a generation—maybe two—before we can even begin to trust each other.

Because while I listen to the news, which implores me to be more tolerant, evening television is still about murderers and rapists, who are usually “colored in” with dark ink.

I just wanted to let you know that I don’t like being this loser.

And I just wanted to let you know that me complaining about being a loser is really a loser thing to do.

I wanted to say, “Happy Juneteenth,” because I am happy about it. Not happy in the sense that I personally was awarded liberty, but happy because hopefully, we can reach a point when we don’t have to award it.

It’s a given.

I don’t like to lose.

If there’s a way out of this, I will find it.

If there’s an opportunity to remain silent, but still be actively involved in reparations for the sin of our country, I want to discover it.

I don’t want you to listen to me whine.

But I’m also not going to watch “Roots” one more time to make sure I’m aware of what slavery was.

Somehow or another, you and I need to go forward trusting each other—that we got the message.

I don’t know how that can happen.

But it’s a nice thing to write down as a goal on a Friday afternoon.

And belief in it, pursuit of it and faith that it’s possible…

…makes me feel just a little less like a loser.

PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … October 7th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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PoHymn 10 7 gun

Our National Sin

Yet another fool

Went into the school

To break the Golden Rule

While on the run

He took a gun

And shot his chosen few

Nine are dead

Is what they said

After commercial break

Experts are sought

A lesson is taught

About the creepy fake

Mama cries

Daddy lies

And old friends have their take

I sit and stare

As if I care

Stunned by the sameness

Looking for proof

Some lasting truth

To proclaim myself blameless.

Only nine

Slaughtered this time

A little less than before

But if nine were me

It would be different, you see

Someone shout and roar

But since I live

The little I give

My sympathy

Not much more

When blood is red

Folks are dead

Never to breathe again

Is the gun to blame?

Don’t use his name

Just bury our national sin.

 

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