My daily audience has shrunk by half this summer. I think there are two primary explanations for this and I have no idea which is more potent: A. I haven’t been posting about the Duluth Schools that much but spent my postings on Trump and race relations. B. I haven’t posted that much.
Its not that I haven’t had a lot of things to get off my chest. I’ve got a couple lists of topics I want to pontificate on but finding the time has been difficult. Over the past week I’ve begun a couple long posts – about race – but didn’t want to post them until I’d proofed and edited them. As editing takes even longer than writing what I poured out may never make the cut.
Also I’ve been distracted by other projects. Heck, after my last post my Buddy sent me a bunch of emails some with subject lines that hinted he was responding to my long winded exposition of awkward black white relations. I haven’t opened them because my head already seemed to full of other things and I didn’t want to nurse yet one more urge to respond to his retorts.
I’ve gotten into about four books this summer that I’m flitting between. A recent one on Gypsy Rose Lee does a lot of flitting itself between the turn of the 19th Century, and the 1940’s and beyond. American Rose has kept both Claudia and I intrigued as I’ve taken afternoons to read it out loud to her. I picked it up on our recent camping trip with the grandsons at a Goodwill store. I’ve also begun digging into a biography about my Dad’s first political hero the Democrat turned Republican Wendell Willkie.
Reading this is part of a longstanding effort of mine to understand the history of the Republican Party as it was experienced by my Dad before me and my Grandfather – Dad’s father-in-law the generation before that. I’m about to read the chapter about Willkie’s treatment of his wife which so scandalized a since deceased, online author, few other Minnesotans have read Tom Roeser. Roeser sneered how Willkie had taken up with a new girlfriend, something I’m sure my then 15-year old Father had no knowledge of.
I’m still only half-way through the Pulitzer winning bio on Andy Jackson and I’m up to the Psalms in the Old Testament although I was so busy last week I set the Bible aside for the first significant stretch of time since plunging in last January. The Bible is part of my quarter century study of the Christianity I’ve felt obliged to come to some sort of terms with since the Days of the Moral Majority gave way to the GOPification of Evangelical America.
Since my efforts to memorize lines in the Hatestorm “teaser” for last weekend’s shoot I’ve also been poking about in all sorts of corners trying tie various race related threads to Duluth and my life. Just this morning I got a call from Tim who asked me if we should have a school board discussion about the “school to jail pipeline.” Tim had just had a ten-hour drive along with a Duluth patrol policeman. He was in recovery because six of his stops that day involved attempted suicides a figure which shocked me. Tim also reported an unplanned meeting he had with Art Johnston and a local District Court Judge which ended up hashing over the Judge’s hours of court cases involving tickets issued by the Duluth Police as they walked Duluth’s public schools.
All of these subjects deserve a post of their own but I am leaving them at your doorstep in this state of dishabille (that’s French for a state of undress – I’m just showing off)
I’ve been putting lots of thought into the movie about Duluth’s lynching. It strikes me as a project so worthy that I’d like to see all of Duluth take part in its development as an antidote to ignorance and as a salve for old wounds.
Speaking of antidotes I was moved by the medal ceremony for Simone Manuel for the 100 freestyle event. While Malcolm X’s knife is not yet out of black America this and other recent Olympics have shown that some healing is taking place.
BTW – my Niece, no mean swimmer herself, has raised money with her swim club each of the last four years to help pay for swimming lessons for inner city kids. Black children are far more susceptible to drowning because they have much less access to lessons.
As Andrew Sullivan always used conclude his posts, “know hope.”