I Don’t Matter Right Now

I never know when to pipe up during times like this.  I’m not writing jokes because I never do well writing from an angry place.  Ok, one joke…

And I don’t need to be heard from right now.  I can only amplify the words of those who need to be heard.

A quick story… I was driving to a gig one night and my friend Bryant Hicks was in the passenger seat.  (He’s very funny and one of the nicest dudes you’ll ever meet.  Check him out.)

I misjudged a stop light and accidentally ran the red.  Bryant said, “You’re good. I don’t think there’s a camera at that light.”

I said, “Well, if there is, they’ll probably send you the ticket.”

Bryant laughed hard and tagged it with “They’ll be like ‘How did that black guy manage to run a red light from the passenger seat?!”

It’s a joke and we had a good laugh.  But I wish it wasn’t a joke grounded in reality  

I had my share of run-ins with cops when I was younger.  Not because I’d done anything wrong.  But because I was a young guy with long hair driving a red ’65 Mustang.  

They never had a real reason to pull me over.  And I was just barely polite.  Cooperative, but with a LOT of eye rolling.  Mouthy at times.

But I could get away with it.  And every time I see police abusing black folks I remember those times and know what the difference was.

Side note: I’ve only called the cops for help once – after a bad car accident – and they refused to come.

The deluge of news is confusing.  What’s real and what’s not.  It’s mentally taxing and painful to watch.  But I’m also comfortably ensconced in my suburban home so that doesn’t matter.  

Staying engaged and elevating the voices of others is the absolute least I can do.

This post on Medium has a lot of good advice on how to help.  It’s a little overwhelming so maybe don’t try to ingest the whole thing at one time. But it’s not as overwhelming as being beaten by a cop.  So hang in there.

And black artists are near and dear to my heart.  So I made you a playlist of black artists that have had a profound effect on my own work.  If you’ve ever enjoyed a song for a joke from me, it wouldn’t have been the same without the influence of these talented people.  So go give it a listen.

The world has changed over the last few months.  And I hope for the better once it’s all sorted out.  Soon we’ll be able to get the same room and laugh and sing together again.  And I can’t wait for that.

Stay healthy, stay thoughtful.  

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