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Numb. That’s what it feels like. Or doesn’t feel like, I suppose. Numb. Not depressed. Not saddened. Just no longer subject to the psychological millstone collectively hanging around the neck of the nation’s psyche. Yet it’s still hard not to fill affected in some way.
On Saturday morning, in a short span of time, I was greeted by a series of realities. The first, known to us all Friday night, was the commutation of the Stone sentence. Let me say at the outset this has nothing to do with politics for me. I’ve always viewed Presidential pardons and commutations that weren’t plainly an act of grace and decency to instead reek of corruption (such as, for instance, Clinton’s pardon of Marc Rich). Let’s face it, Stone is one of the smarmiest looking guys on the planet. This whole thing stinks to high heaven.
We move from Q2 into Q3 next week, and remember that Friday is a holiday. Because of that, they’ve shifted the monthly jobs report from Friday to Thursday. Considering the shocker of a report last month (to the upside), it’s going to be awfully interesting to see what happens this time. I’m certainly expecting…………..a surprise.
Preface from Tim: I am usually very hesitant to do any posts like this. The last time I did one even remotely close, one reader wrote to grumble about how this is not why he comes to the site. OK, fine. Skip the post. But TNRevolution has been such an important Sloper, and his contributions so generous, I’m going to bend the rules. I appreciate his hard work here, and his openness.
Why do I care? Why do I care about the state of race relations in black America? I am white. For one, I am a human being. To be a healthy human being is to have a measure of empathy. I am no different. When I see people hurting, my initial instinct is to help. Whether it is tornadoes ripping through Nashville, Covid-19, or black Americans being abused, I want to be a part of the solution. Second, it’s personal.
I grew up in rural America, in the suburban country north of Nashville, TN. In the school I grew up in there was only one black kid. I only remember him ever being in one of my classes. Everyone I knew in my world was white. That changed rapidly as I left home to attend college. Students from around the world attend Georgia Tech, and living in downtown Atlanta was a dramatic counter to my all-white childhood. I loved it. As college passed, I met and made friends with people from all over the world. However, I didn’t have any black friends. Why was that?
Since I’ve managed to wade into the waters of politics and religion in the past without mortal harm, let me up the ante and go where no one sensible has gone before…………race. Fellow Sloper TNRevolution has a much longer (and better) post than this one waiting in the wings, but I’ll probably publish that one Thursday afternoon.
This has obviously been a big topic in this country since, oh, about 1620, as well as quite recently. I’d like to comment on it by way of a personal experience. I’d like to use this to offer an idea about a distinction I see between prejudice and bigotry.
For all its progressive pretense, Palo Alto is no saint. It wasn’t that long ago that there was a specific street in my otherwise very rich neighborhood where the black people were expected to live. There’s was nothing subtle about it. It was the one black street of Crescent Park. That’s where I live.
I received the following from Dutch’s daughter, who asked me to share it:
I would first like to start off by thanking you and the community here on Slope. All of the people who reached out to extend their condolences and lend me support and advice has helped me deal with this difficult time. I am ever grateful and it has had more worth than my Dad’s purported net worth. I don’t care what my Dad has or didn’t have whatever it turns out to be. Having all of you as friends and colleagues made him the richest person in the world.
When i first found you guys it was purely by accident while searching to see where one of my Dad’s email addresses went. [email protected]lead to a posting on Slope about my Dad’s passing. When i clicked on it I never imagined what i would find. You have something really special Tim and I can see why my Dad devoted so much time there. He looked forward to putting SlopeFest together and the past few years it was happiest times for him probably coming in close to it was the birth of my son Jaxson Roy who was there last Grandchild my Dad had.