Friday was a hard day. Alton Sterling was shot and killed by police while selling CDs outside a convenience store. Philando Castile was shot at a traffic stop, his girlfriend filming as her 4 year old child sat in the back seat. These were the latest two in a year that has already seen over 500 people shot and killed by police officers. And then shots rang out in Dallas, more people dead, more lives plunged into the heavy ocean waves of despair. Layers upon layers of loss, each one all about politics, and also about the individuals with lives cut short, the people who loved them left, after the cameras turn off, with the void of death. It’s so very permanent, and the grief will never ever fully subside. It is so, so sad, and angering, and it makes me want to melt down all the guns and freeze time until we can figure out how to uproot what Judith Butler calls schematic racism: the settled notion that all Black people are a threat and all white people need constant police protection from them. There’s a lot of other stuff we need to do, too, but that’s what was on my mind as I headed out on a bike ride on Friday.
I had a bunch of meetings on Friday, so after spending the morning doing a wee bit of writing, I hopped on the bike and headed down to the west side to catch the shuttle to work. Because the police state that is Baltimore-under-curfew is confined to only certain neighborhoods, my ride downtown through Charles Village, Station North, and Mount Vernon was fairly cop-free, until I took the right and left toward Lexington Market. Continue reading
It was time to get back in the work saddle today, so I woke up early, did some reading, research, and writing, and then spent the afternoon on grading and class prep, most of which I did down in Fells Point after a blustery bike ride down the hill. I hate riding in the wind, even more than in rain. Those 25 MPH gusts feel downright scary when they poof you into traffic! But I wasn’t going to drive downtown, and I wanted to be there for Baltimore’s march against racism and for justice for Trayvon Martin, so I threw my hoodie in my bag for later (not because I am Trayvon Martin–my race privilege ensures I won’t be–but because I respect the rhetorical approach), and rode squint-eyed against the wind over to Patterson Park and then back down to Fells Point. Continue reading
Today’s ride started off under a clear blue sky with a bright sun–no more frozen precipitation for us, thank you very much. I headed over to C. and P.’s house for a baby shower–congrats, C. and R.!–and then rode down to meet up with a rally some folks organized to stand in solidarity with the people of Egypt. I spotted a crowd on Poydras and headed over with my bicycle to join them. Continue reading
I broke one of my regular riding rules today–never start a ride in the rain. But I needed to get to the Quarter for today’s oil protest, and I most certainly wasn’t going to drive a car down there. I was soaked and muddy by the time I got there, but a quick towel-off at a friend’s house, and I was good to go. Continue reading
After a long day at the office writing rec letters and thank you letters and request letters, I drove (!) home and got my bike and headed back to campus for a rally in support of Tulane’s Sodexo employees’ efforts to organize a union. I stood there with my bike and took this picture of a work speaking in front of McAlister Auditorium. She has worked at Tulane for 40 years. Since 1970. For longer than I’ve been alive. She makes less that $10 an hour after all that time. Continue reading
I was riding up Chestnut on my way to work and saw this Louisiana for Change/Barack Obama bus. Yes, the election is coming near, and the town is flush with lawn signs, lapel pins, and stickers. Continue reading