Yo, My American Sisters and Brothers,
What do George Floyd and Lloyd George have in common?
When I was little, the world was divided into good guys and bad guys, and you were one of the good guys. You helped us in our time of need, you understood occupation and oppression to be fundamentally wrong.
You are a nation, conceived in its modern form on the following principles:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,
--That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."
Hate breeds hate. It gnaws away at our common humanity. Living in a world where this can happen is unbearably heavy at times.
It has taken us Eight Centuries to reach peace with our British Isle Siblings, to begin to explore our shared experience from a place of empathy and compassion. You, America, were fundamental in brokering the fledgling peace we feed each day with assumptions of positive intention.
We don't forget. We try to understand. We strive to be better.
No longer can we say "not my clowns, not my circus." I remember seeing the bullet hole in Michael Hogan's jersey in Clonmel Museum when I was an apprentice human. Gunned down with 11 others on Bloody Sunday, 1920 at The All Ireland Hurling final in Croke Park, Dublin, the attack plucked the thick cord of fear already bred into Catholic Irish. It resonated in me still, at eight years of age, looking at the raggedy hole.I knew the black terror he must have felt, just before the bullet smashed into his chest. My body held the dread, the awful realization of what was to come.
A hole made by fear. A hole inside me, in my parents and grandparents, the a fear in our fabric, in our souls. A hole made by Cromwell and Coffin Ships and Black and Tans.
I have seen it make people burn with rage, to drink it down to the bottoms of their fingertips, where it comes out fighting, against phantom enemies. Red handprints. Black Fear. Purple Loathing.
The mechanism behind the violence is always the same.
My people were burned and stabbed and drowned and starved for 800 years. We reenacted our trauma, writhing, frozen in horror.
First, we forgive ourselves. We look to our own hurt. Who hurt you?
Then, we get angry.
Then, we ask again, who hurt me?
Sit. Don’t turn your anger out. Look to yourself.
We cry for George Floyd. We stand with you, America. Show the color of your convictions. Now is the time to finally be heard.
Enough is enough. Time to heal now.
Oh, and the answer to the first question is 'murder by the throat.'
"Lloyd George famously boasted that he "had murder by the throat"."