There is a lot of public unrest associated with the death of George Floyd. This link here should show some video connected to the protests and demonstrations related to the incident. The death of Floyd is disturbing. I am not sure of much about him except that he was a security guard, he was the father of a young woman, is mourned by his girlfriend and family, played sports in high school and his death was caused by incidents related to an arrest recorded on video. Like thousands of other Americans to die recently he died fighting for breath more or less. What is all to familiar is the tension between a large portion of the African American community and the police. But if one looks at the protests one can see in the videos and photographs distributed around the world there are many people other than African Americans involved in these events sparked by his death in the midst of the other national crises gripping us. President Trump spoke with the Floyd family. The police officers involved were fired and the detective Chauvin who knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes has been charged with third degree murder. That does not seem to have been enough to prevent the unrest gripping many areas. Buildings and cars have been burnt, traffic has been stopped and shots have been fired. The conflict is not new it is simply a resurgence of movements and energies we have seen before.
I started this post on a day when I was hoping to watch some of the events related to the Spacex first private launch of astronauts to the International Space Station which is also the first transit of astronauts to space from a launch on American soil in more than a decade. I saw part of the interview and also saw part of the commentary provided by Lauren Lyons online. She is among other things a Black woman. Here is a quote from her personal website: “I graduated from Princeton University with a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and a minor in bioengineering, and got my master’s in Business and Government Policy from the Harvard John F. Kennedy School of Government. I have worked as a medical device R&D engineer, a writer, a Mars robotics engineer at NASA, a dating startup company founder, and a leadership instructor at Harvard. I’m currently an engineer at SpaceX where I work on certification of the Dragon 2 spacecraft that will take NASA Crew to the International Space Station, and moonlight as the co-host of our live launch webcasts. In my spare time I write (true) stories, give talks about the power of STEM education, and do my little part to help make the world more empathetic, joyful, and just.”
She works in a company owned and run in large part by Elon Musk — a white South African immigrant who has stated that he left South Africa largely to escape spending a life defined by racial politics. Yet his launch of this first privately owned rocket comes at a time largely defined by race for many. There are no easy answers to how to deal with the strains, conflicts and manifestations of violence and division in our society.
Today was a difficult day, worrying about what was for me a large theft of money from my bank account through an online app. Worrying about losing access to another online account. I also cut some grass and did other important things in terms of making my life work — but not enough.
Today I also heard that Julianne Hough and Brooks Laich are separating. I did not see legal separation in the handful of articles but that was the clear intent of the writers of several articles. Like Musk, he was born in the British Commonwealth and has succeeded very well in America. Their marriage does not appear to have been the best or worst relationship to be featured in Hollywood new over the years.
For me, my recent troubles have added to the sense that once again my own aspirations for the summer may be ending with a new kind of falling short. Although I still hope to struggle through as I have been and even to have my money returned or protected since it was only a pending transaction when I noticed it. Monday will tell me a good bit about how bleak or not so bleak my situation is and yet I am aware that the African Americans who feel desperate and left out and the police who feel besieged on the streets of this country are not making up their problems. So many who are suffering now are not sure what the future will hold but they are sure that they are seeing the end of a particular business, job, strategy in their finances or hope of making life connections interrupted by the Pandemic. George Floyd, gasping and pleading for breath is a visible member of the many who have lost their hold on breath, He is a symbol of the impossibility of getting help when it seems like help should be available. He is a black man dead in the streets of America and memorialized in conflict.
So many of us have some hopes for the future. Many of us feel that certain sinking feeling of those hopes that have kept diminishing. I look at space and Julianne Hough and race relations with an interest that comes from years of following and reading about all three. Today, the space industry had some kind of triumph. Perhaps Julianne’s life will be as good or better but the separation is not a happy chapter surely. The racial situations in the country may improve but they do not seem great to me right now.
Then in the midst of all this is the ending of a brief streak of life not being quite as hard and uncertain. I had a small amount of respite before the theft. Today I leave things undone that I should do and go home to nurse my troubled feet and take a shower to wash off my honest sweat. But I am reminded of my situation as one of the many nearly desperate Americans of various types, tending to see each aspect of our national situation through the lens of an urgency and pain that they cannot easily set aside to hope and dream of great enterprises and fairy tale romances.