Observations from John Amaechi on the Chauven Verdict

When the verdict came through I was surprised, that justice would be done. And then I caught myself saying, ‘justice is done.’ And then I realized that one verdict, one conviction of the murder of an unarmed Black man in the scheme of the 140  so who have been murdered unarmed in America, and all those harmed in custody across the United Kingdom as well; One conviction is no more justice than eating one salad is a diet. Accountability perhaps. This is accountability. It’s funny how I don’t imagine that to be any solace to the family members with a hole in their heart.

None of you are responsible, perhaps, for this. …But I imagine this is very detached from your reality. But I have been saying again and again and again that we must understand that the narrative that the police use and that many organizations use about ‘bad apples;” that’s 15th Century, ‘A Cox Tale,’ it’s from Chaucer’s Cox Tale about bad apples. We’ve been using it wrong. It’s not a good thing to say we’ve only got a couple of bad apples. Because Chaucer knew something that we’ve should have known by now is that one bad apple spreads it rot throughout. But what will you do? …across the course of your day. This Stephen Lawrence Day? There will be an opportunity for you to witness incivility. It might be racism or sexism it might be something nothing to do with a protected category but you will spot it. And the question will be, ‘If you are interested in justice this systemic justice where the meeting out of what is right is normal and habitual. What will you do to sustain that? People like to think that culture is defined by the most common behavior. Or by our rightful conviction of the egregious offenders. But it is not. Culture is defined by the worst behavior you tolerate. On your next team’s meeting, your next zoom meeting, your next in person meeting, what will you do to ensure a culture of inclusion and justice? People never talk about what we lose. We imagine the people murdered by the police are somehow unworthy. But we lose so much. As if we’re an ancient civilization sacrificing Black blood to the earth in the hope that enough of it will create justice.

4RealTho Show: Death, Fear & Anger

This is the first release recorded May 28, 2020. The initial start was going to be in June. However, the George Floyd thing really messed me up. I couldn’t wait and I felt I had to get some things off of my chest. I knew I wasn’t alone. So I did what I could. It was recorded via Zoom audio digital recorder. I thought I was also recording with Zoom video but I was not. Tried to do a do-over but it wasn’t as organic in my opinion. Therefore personally I choose the original audio version.

Where Are The Blogs?

It’s been a long time
I shouldn’t have left you
Without a dope blog to step to…

Well I’ve wondered about all of that myself. Where has my inspiration been? Not like I haven’t had anything to say. I think I figured it out. These days there is so much going on in the world, and at such a break neck lightening pace that information overload is taking up places and spaces in my mind. These bits and pieces are consumed on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.  Who has time to read something long and thought out? Who has time to write something like that?

Good writing takes time and thought. And shit, by the time you get your thoughts out well enough to articulate it in a way that makes some kinda sense, something else explosive has happened in the world. I don’t know about you, but when that happens to me, my energy and focus has shifted. I credit social media in that need information can indeed travel fast, even in real time. Equally, it’s sucked the creativity out of me when it comes to this writing thing. There is no doubt in my mind for all the great attributes of social media it has a dumbing down affect. It can be addictive and I’ve had to check my social media crack pipe tools. It’s ongoing.

On a higher note, I started my podcast back up, 4RealTho Show. It had been over three years since my last episode. Moving to another state, starting everything from scratch was a big and unexpected move. It was disappointing not to express myself or have access to that venue. But I was determined one way or another to not quit on it.  One of the ways I kept it close was to use my original show logo as my lock screen to my phone. Every day I had to see that logo multiple times and it reminded me of what was needed, what was to be resurrected.

We (I) have a couple episodes loaded and though the technology and studio building is still being tinkered around with, I happy to have it back up.  I’ll post those here for anyone interested.

As for the writing; well this is a start right? The last several months have been as stirring for me as anyone else. I have never been one to just write to be read, or to force content out of ego.  If it’s not something inspiring or true, I keep silent. I hope to do more writing, however, as it is quite cathartic. There will always be room for words that come from sincere thought and curiosity. I certainly am learning to appreciate the value of a few quiet moments in front of the keyboard. No distractions. No sounds beyond the clicking of the keys. Just me and my thoughts.

Maybe the time away will serve as a lesson. Maybe I just needed a respite and a restart. Maybe I’ll have more important things to say than even before. Who knows.

One thing is for sure; I’m still here.