These are weird times…
I had to finish teaching my first university class online because of Covid-19. I've been confined for weeks trying to work on my PhD thesis. This morning, an humpback whale was spotted swimming underneath the Jacques Cartier bridge. There are people demonstrating and rioting in multiple cities in the US because George Floyd, a black man, died due to police brutality.
A lot of teenagers haven't be able to experience the traditional graduation ceremony this year due to the sanitary crisis. I remember when I graduated from high school. I did not get a ceremony either. I graduated from an adult education center, the place where you send high school dropouts or people who don't fit in, but for whom there's still a little bit of hope. There, it took me 2 months to get my high school diploma. In an effort to give me the rite-of-passage-experience that comes with this accomplishment, my parents bought me a plane ticket to travel to the south of the United States for that summer.
Did I mention I graduated from high school in April of 1992? Right at that time, four police officers from the LAPD were acquitted of police brutality on Rodney King, a black man. The brutal arrest was filmed at the time and widely broadcasted by the media. People were angry and there were big riots in Los Angeles. A few years later, I saw Rodney King on the reality TV show Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew. King was still alive, but he was struggling with addiction. A few years later, King was found dead in his swimming pool.
Right now, people in Montreal are having a demonstration in solidarity with the ones organized in the United States demanding justice for George Floyd and all victims of police racism. I wish I had my good camera ready, but it's still with all of my stuff from the fieldwork trip I did in Nunavik last November. Just the thought of opening my fieldwork suitcase gives me anxiety. These few pictures taken of the demonstration with my old iPhone will have to do...
Listening is not the same as hearing.