Shut The Fuck Up
I was taught not to be angry. Anger is not good, my mother said. I learned to be accommodating. Think good thoughts. I’m a white Jewish woman. Be nice to everyone, I was taught. I’m over 70.
Just as my career was taking off, the Covid came and everything was cancelled or postponed. Well, life happens. So I tried to move on. To deal, like everyone else.
Until the day I watched George Floyd die on television. Watched a white policeman press his knee on Floyd’s neck, while smiling to the crowd gathered, while George Floyd repeated, “I can’t breathe! I watched George Floyd die. Something snapped in me.
Snapped like a match lit a fire in me.
I’m angry. I’m enraged.
While watching Trump on TV, I scream “Shut the fuck up!”
I shout shut the fuck up! at the white privileged people who say in response to Black Lives Matter, “All lives matter! ”
Today, I’m walking my daily two miles. I have a lung condition. My mask is tight. I need to walk. It’s a cool, beautiful day. The roses are in bloom and in the sunlight they look like blown up jewels. I love the San Francisco breeze, the trees swaying and a gray mist hovering along the hills. I walk faster, making sure that my black mask covers the top of my nose. Just then a thirty something runner in shorts and a tank top runs by me, blowing his breath like blowing bubbles. I shout. “Wear a mask! You’re blowing the virus in my face!’
“Shut the fuck up!” he yells.
“That’s my line to you!”
Everyone is angry.
Never before did I like face book. Who cares about watching posts of strangers’ grandchildren, trips, gardens or foodie dinners?
I’m on face book several times a day, posting my rage at our government, at Pence, the white rabbit, at Trump, the orange racist who says the virus is a hoax, and won’t wear a mask. Who repeats that global warming is a hoax. Who won’t say Black Lives Matter. Who complains about the “looters,” but not about the white brutal policeman who lynched George Floyd on television. Who trashes China. Who bashes Dr . Fauci. Obviously he is catering to his base of skinheads, dummies, people ignorant hateful people. Not only do I post my rage every day, but I’m addicted to checking responses to my posts.
I’m on face book. It is near twilight. Earlier, I posted rants about the rising cases of the virus; that we still don’t have a unified national mandate for wearing masks, and social distancing. As I’m scrolling past the pictures of grandchildren, videos and slogans, I read a post in response to my last post: ‘People die every day we need to get back to normal life,’ Ari Jones.
“Shut the fuck up!” I write. “You think normal is children and people dying from the pandemic? We’re in a virus holocaust!! We have a maniac running our country! He is a virus, you dumb fuck Republican!”
I’m breathing hard. Shaking from rage. I move to the next response to a post I’d written about the peaceful protestor in honor of George Floyd and Rayshard and all those before him who were lynched by police officers,. When he approached two policemen, one of the police officers shoved him and the protestor fell flat on his back. Now the peaceful man has a brain injury and is the hospital. A woman posts: “A 75 — year old man had no right to walk backwards. Or talk to the policeman.”
“Shut the fuck up! You are a stupid white bitch racist ageist. Stop referring to the protestor as 75. He’s a person and the dumb fuck policeman shoved him. I saw it. We saw it. The world saw it.
“You have a potty mouth. You are a nut,” she posts.
“Shut the fuck up!”
White people take a knee, I write on face book.
“White people are not submissive, posts a man.
“Shut the fuck up ! You want black people to be submissive!You are a racist!” I write.
“You’re the racist!” he posts back.
A video chat comes on from Nigeria.
I move along. A photograph of a white woman with blonde hair and wearing an expensive t shirt, stands in front of a restaurant with a huge sign in front: It reads: Black Live Matters! Would you eat here?” she writes.
“Why wouldn’t I? Shut the fuck up you racist bitch! Black lives matter. You don’t matter!”
It’s past midnight. It’s peaceful. I can’t sleep. The text beeps ding sounds. More 800 numbers offering loans and burial deals. The phone rings from some part of the world, leaving voicemails, odd accents, men and women selling publishing services or life insurance.
I slip into my dream and I feel peaceful. The rage subsides. Until tomorrow.
BarbaraRoseBrooker is an author. Her latest novel Love, Sometimes, published Feb 2020, by Post Hill Press/Simon Schuster is about ageism and racism in the Hollywood network. She is a journalist, and founder of www.agemarch.org. Her podcast The Rant and her television appearances can be seen on you tube and on www.barbararosebrooker.com
She is working on The Corona Diaries And Other Things, to be published in 2021.