Black Lives Matter Quarantine

Change comes slowly, then all at once.

Fuck. I don’t even know where to start.

Who would have thought the day after my last post that the world would be able to change again so dramatically for the worse. The global pandemic that has killed hundreds of thousands of people is second in the news to a pandemic of even greater magnitude. One that has spent more than 400 years spreading its illness into every facet of our lives and systematically disenfranchising people in ways that even the most virulent flu wouldn’t be able to. And on top of that, the actual COVID-19 virus itself is fucking racist.

I am a white man in his twenties. I have suffered no racism, only the privilege that is afforded to me by systems put into place that benefit my gender and skin colour. I have stood by whilst family members have made racist jokes, I haven’t called people out when they refer to shops owned by ethnic minorities by their race instead of their function. I have been able to turn off the news, shut out the noise, ignore the voices that have been demanding change for years.

I have been coming to terms over the past few weeks with my complicity with racism. It is an uncomfortable truth, and one that will need significant work to even begin to rectify. For the first time in my life social media is actually providing some value. I have seen so much that I never knew existed. The level of brutality still being performed on Black bodies is horrific, the logic behind treating protesters of oppression with oppression is mind boggling. Though my main frustration right now is that friends and colleagues are treating this as an American problem.

I’ve bought a few books, and I’ll offer them as a library for anyone who wants to borrow. It’s something small I can do, but it’s something worth doing. There is so much in the UK that isn’t mentioned, even specifically in Scotland, I was never taught about the “merchant traders” of Glasgow. I’ve lived in Scotland all my life and at no point was taught about the tobacco lords, the colonisation of the US, the transatlantic slave trade, none of it. So it is back to me, I can’t refuse to educate myself when the gaps in history have been so blatantly pointed out. I can’t live in ignorance, blaming a flawed education system for my complicity.

There are so many names that I didn’t know that I should have. Some I heard about but did not investigate, like Sheku Bayoh, Mark Duggan, Sean Rigg, Sarah Reed. Others I had no idea about, and am only just educating myself on. Christopher Adler, Smiley Culture, Jimmy Mubenga, Michael Powell, Leon Briggs, Ricky Bishop, Brian Douglas, Joy Gardner,Leon Patterson, Cynthia Jarrett, Cherry Groce, Derek Bennett, Kingsley Burrell, Roger Sylvester, Azelle Rodney, Habib Ullah, Faruk Ali, Adrian Thompson, Jean Charles de Menezes, Demetre Frazer, Aston McLean, Seni Lewis, Anthony Grainger, Rocky Bennett, Alton Manning, Mark Nunes.
This list I discovered from @sarzworld on Instagram.

I was at a protest yesterday. I feel privileged to be able to hear experiences from such wonderful people. I am glad I could lend my support by going, and continuing learning and educating myself. I hope there are more that I can support. No justice, no peace.

I am also single. As if everything else wasn’t enough. Not much to talk about here. Honestly I’m relieved, which I feel so guilty for, I never realised I wasn’t happy until I realised that. It’s been a few weeks, it is getting easier.

I’ll sign off here. Updates will come later with book progress and Black Lives Matter info as I discover more.


Life doesn’t care

It’s amazing how quickly you can get used to unusual situations. Everything I read online seems to have no other word than “unprecedented” to describe the situation. Don’t get me wrong, the whole pandemic is unprecedented by its literal definition. Two months in though, it’s just life.

Work is calm, a repetitive schedule of training and development. More than I’ve ever had time for before. It is interested, I just feel lucky. Lucky to work for a company that is willing to pay a full wage, even though they’re getting no real work product from me. I have no idea what I would have done if the situation was any different. It doesn’t bear thinking about.

Uni is all quiet, the exam board won’t meet for another few weeks, so results are a while away. Though without any exams I’ll be interested to see what happens on that front. How can you tell someone’s performance without that information? Deeply regret going on holiday. But what can be done, booking so far in advance is not usually a bad move.

Family is weirdly good. We’re talking more than ever, and we have a lot more to say to each other. We’ve been playing games on video calls, strange how doing so little on a weekly basis means we talk more. It’s good to talk.

I’m frustrated by how busy it is outside, I may be lucky in the sense that being introverted has given me a distinct advantage when being told to stay inside, but the level of selfishness I’m seeing by people hanging around in groups is extreme. It seems like Scotland hasn’t been as hard hit as many other countries, but I am worried it will get much worse before it gets better.

Signing off for now, see y’all in another few weeks.


Hello lockdown world!

Interesting times. I have been cooped up long enough at home that I am now becoming a different person. This new person likes Fifa. Not only that, he is good at it.

He cooks. Much better and in much more variety, starting out from re-creating all the fast food items that are not currently available, now to making them much healthier and creating new dishes he would never have done before.

He also has an indoor workout routine, nothing too fancy, no tools or other gizmos, but more exercise more consistently than anything in the last few years. He takes joy in it. No, he takes pride in it. It makes him happy to know that he is taking better care of himself.

He still plays games, Magic: The Gathering will never truly fall to the wayside, and being the DM for his Dungeons and Dragons group brings more happiness on a weekly basis than almost anything else.

He talks to his family more, twice a week, rather than one short call on a Sunday. This is more of an appreciation thing, but then the adage is “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” How funny that more than five years in different countries didn’t enforce that, though now we are an hour away, it’s further than it has been before.