From Tuesday night, one of the many uprooted trees that blocked roadways.

It’s Wednesday night. I sit in the second floor of my home on 5th Street and Keefe Avenue in Milwaukee’s North Side Harambee neighborhood. I’m burning a candle and writing this by the light of a headlamp I just bought at a Walgreens two-or-so miles away. The lights are on there but where I sit we’ve been without power for more than 24 hours. On my block in particular, downed trees have cordoned off either side of our unusually long block for the last two nights, not allowing any car traffic in or out.

A flash-storm of rain and high-speed…

Today, people everywhere breathed a sigh of relief that George Floyd’s murderer, police officer Derek Chauvin, was found guilty in a court of law. I also learned right around the same time that a friend of mine was killed in a quadruple shooting at a gas station on Milwaukee’s North Side.

Though the verdict may bring some sense of closure to Floyd’s family, it won’t bring George back. And it won’t keep another one of us from losing our life. Only we can do that. A positive peace — the presence of justice — is possible. It must be. …

The police killing of Daunte Wright in Minneapolis, as Derek Chauvin is on trial for the murder of George Floyd, demonstrates yet again that the core function of police is not to “protect and serve” but to act as tool of our oppressors.

Over the next days and weeks, we will hear all the usual excuses — that Daunte had a warrant out, that he was behaving in a way that caused police to act recklessly, violently, lethally. That, for some reason, it was okay — even justified — to end his life; that he deserved it. This is merely…

Since the COVID-19 Pandemic began, United States billionaires have nearly doubled their money while more than 73 million people have lost their jobs, and are now struggling to get by. Recent events, including a widespread power outage in Texas during a particularly frosty cold spell, wildfires in California and abhorrent disaster relief efforts in Puerto Rico after the island was hit by Hurricane Maria in Sept. 2017, have called into question the ability and willingness of governments, even powerful ones, to mitigate the effects of natural disasters that have increased in frequency and intensity.

The planet is crying out for…

these days, i rarely spend time with people who are unaware of themselves, because i am aware of myself, and i am healing. i find that people who would rather stay in limiting patterns than engage in exploration, stretching & expansion can set my healing back.

i wish to move forward, and that path forward for me is not further from feeling, but steeped in it. this is, in my understanding, the greatest distinction between us — not our body parts or whom we choose to be/engage/sleep with but— how much feeling we have.

how can we grow that feeling…

i would like you to know how greatly i have appreciated our time together. you have shown me so much of myself, and supported me in ways i cannot even begin to describe.

i have listened, and have heard that you are in a vulnerable, perhaps even broken, place. i feel the sadness; the pain. i’ve also had little faith that intimate relationships can end in anything other than hurt. but, i can’t believe that shutting ourselves off is the answer. and, for some reason, this time, it feels different. can you feel it too?

i’ve never been more certain…

i wish i could have been better for us both — but, at the time, i didn’t feel great either.

what hurts the most is how you hold me at arm’s length, keep yourself from me. and i wonder:

am i just a body to you?

“i am not perfect, and i do not expect you to be that way. i only wish that you could see me in my fullness.”

if i may be so bold as to ask: for what do you wish? hope? need?

would you like me out of your life for good? for me to…

I am sorry I hurt you.

I am sorry I wasn’t better. And, I’m sorry I couldn’t be what you needed.

I was still struggling to find myself.

Feeling, from the time I was old enough to remember, that I was not quite accepted, perhaps unworthy, really did a number on me. I felt pressured to shut myself up. To grin and bear it. I was told I needed to be strong, impervious to pain, and to shield myself from hurt.

But that merely caused the wounds to fester.

“At the core, I have always been sensitive, caring and protective…

Joe Biden nibbles on his wife Jill’s finger during a December 2019 campaign stop in Iowa

It’s election night, 2016, and a group of us have gathered to watch the results come in. We’re doing our best to keep the faith but, as the night wears on, the outlook is bleak.

Someone proposes a round of whiskey shots.

I felt queasy. I couldn’t have predicted so many people would be duped into voting for an abusive con man, but I did know our defense was weak. I wasn’t excited about Hillary Clinton, and there was good reason for me to be skeptical. …

I traveled with a group of about twenty volunteers to speak with potential voters in Iowa.

I, by default, distrust politicians. I was part of the Obama generation, proudly casting my first vote for the first Black president, whose ascent into political stardom was swift, buoyed by an optimistic message of “Yes, we can.” That message created hope among working people who had, for so long, felt overlooked. The excitement was palpable.

Perhaps that’s why it hurt so badly when he bailed out the banks, instead of us.

Obama himself wrote about the corrupting influence of money in his 2006 book The Audacity of Hope. Indeed, is there a time when American politicians have not represented…

jabril yousef faraj

non-binary. abolitionist. music

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