“Do you wanna join us for meditation?” I asked.
“Naw. I’m too angry.”
I had caught him, mid torrent, his throat still strained and stretched from volleying, “Stop killer cops!” and “Justice for Ezell Ford!” across 1st Street. But no one responded and the words bounced then rolled still under the shade of trees. Unnoticed by the assembly of mourners. Mourning the French journalists of noxious lure, of churning hate bait, breeding new “terrorists” from the Muslim ghettos of relegated scum. Their caricature hands and satire voices were cut short. And this crowd, this massive crowd, gathered in the lawn of city hall in front of gallant salutes of LA’s finest in blue. Children perched on shoulders to peer at the pomp and honor showered on provocateurs who had no problem feeding the public fear. Feeding them misunderstanding. Zombie mob hate. Immigration Invasion. Mass immigration from the THIRD world. NON European. Fertile infiltration. Litters of criminals. North African French Muslims. American Blacks. So their pens, protected. And our brown and Black children’s laughter and play sucked in to avoid reprisal. For living and undoing silence. The vigil for Hedbo reporter lives lost continued. Turning away from the Black life and lives taken across the street by police that now pushed papers.
How barbaric and unjustified these terrorist assassins. All Muslims should apologize. How insensitive and aggressive these Black protesters. All Black people should abide the law, be grateful, and settle down.
How disgusting to unsee humanity and blink away your neighbors’ suffering; to only grieve those that look like you. To grieve what you claim are the liberties they stood for when it was always and only your right to be blind.
I looked deeply at my Black brother.
“Everyone needs a break from anger.”
“My anger’s keeping me warm.” He said.
I spread out the blanket my Jiji had sewn; royal purples, midnight blues, spring greens to cushion us from the cold of grey. Our circle kept wiggling outwards, making room for more. An elderly woman in a chair. The lead organizer’s four children. I brought the bell from Deer Park. Cedar wood and Rosemary essence. Shawls to cover shoulders. Hafiz. Whatever portable trinkets so I could carry sacred with me. It’s hard to temper your voice, know when and how to insert instructions between horns and sirens and concrete geysers. We checked in with what filled us with happiness and out with hands clasped, filling lungs then letting air tumble out in cascades of laughter. Laughing yoga, my 8 year old guru requested. In between we sat. Breathed. Released. Tried. We adjusted numb feet, scratched elbows, straightened and slouched. I asked them to take a break from movement, from crafting and challenging and strategy. A break to catch their breath, and let it touch the parts that hurt.