Recently I celebrated my birthday. I received lots of well wishes and had a relatively pleasant day. (It was hard to enjoy any type of celebration in light of the killings of African-Americans and so many Karen sightings (further explanation of the Karen reference can be found below). When my birthday rolled around I was running on empty emotionally. My mind was racing as I thought about the plight of our community. However, a most needed and unexpected respite arrived in the form of a call from my two closest childhood friends Julia and Teresa. It was so good to hear Julia and Teresa’s voices. In our youth, when you saw one you knew the other two were nearby.
When I got on the call and heard their voices, we all started yelling and giggling like the school girls we once were. Even in our joy, the first topics up for discussion were the deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. We shared our anger, our despair and yes, our palpable fear. We shared that our fear was intensified by the fact that we all have sons.
From there, we moved on to discussing Amy Cooper and her masterful performance orchestrated to get Christian Cooper arrested because he is an African American who had the audacity to confront Amy (Karen) about her refusal to follow the posted rules of Central Park. Thank God Christian Cooper recorded the incident. The recording serves as irrefutable proof of what evil walks amongst us wearing the cloak of a liberal. I was bereft and shook from these incidents thinking about how Mr. Foster was defenseless and yet died repeatedly begging for help. I though too about how Christian Cooper could have easily met that same fate. It was becoming too much, but then, a much-needed preserver was thrown my way via their call.
Our recounting of times past and our survival reminded me that they too were essential to my growth and survival. We laughed about childhood escapades and discussed how, given our backgrounds, our current life stories may well have had different outcomes. When we ended the call, I thought about the Beatles song “I get by with a little help from my friends.” That is my hope for you in the days ahead. That you too have someone who cares about you enough to check in, commiserate with you and let you know that you aren’t overreacting, that your pain is justified and that when you feel down and need a friend, you can count on them being nearby.