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Two suburban white couples chat about BLM


(George and Martha Jefferson and Will and Caitlyn Johnson are neighbors in the wealthy, privileged community of Dexter Mills. Their large, well-appointed homes abut; their children play together. On this occasion, George and Martha are sitting with the Johnsons in their backyard on a warm Summer evening, sipping Chardonnay and snacking on smoked salmon blinis with crême fraiche as they settle the problems of the inner cities.)

George: Frankly, they should defund the police. They get too much money anyway.

Will: I agree. All they do is kill Black people.

Caitlyn: And Brown ones too, sweetheart.

Will: Yes, and Brown ones.

Martha: I don’t understand why someone would want to be a policeman. I guess they just like shooting people.

George: Happiness is a warm gun.

Caitlyn: I was watching Rachel Maddow the other day and she said something about defunding the police being very good.

George: What did she say, exactly?

Caitlyn: I don’t remember, but she was in favor of it.

Will: Well, we have to take a stand. No justice, no peace. Say, George, how’s the remodeling coming?

George: Oh God, contractors. Don’t get me started. You know how it goes.

Caitlyn: When we re-did the kids’ play room they said it would take a month and it ended up being more like three.

George: Well, it will all be worth it, when we have the new addition and the sun deck.

Caitlyn (looking at her cell phone): Look, everybody! It’s breaking news. A Black man has been shot in the back someplace in Wisconsin!

Will: Not again!

Caitlyn: Apparently he was totally innocent and a white cop just walked up to him and shot him seven times.

George: That does it. I’m emailing Mayor Wallace immediately demanding the complete defunding of the Dexter Mills Police Department.

Martha (smiles): All three of them?

George: What the hell difference does it make? We don’t need them anyway. When’s the last time we needed a cop?

Martha: That time you saw a raccoon in the front yard and thought it was a mountain lion.

George (pours himself more Chardonnay): My point is, these racist cops have to get their knees off Black people’s necks. If we white people don’t stand up and demand justice, who will?

Caitlyn: It says here on Twitter that our local BLM group is organizing a protest rally tonight in Lincoln park. I think we should all go.

Martha: Oh, shoot. We’d love to, but George and I have our virtual mah jong game tonight on Zoom. We never miss it.

Caitlyn: Don’t you think that the life of a Black man is more important than a mah jong game?

Martha: Well, sure, but…I mean, two people more or less won’t make any difference.

Will: Every person makes a difference, Martha. You have to put aside your petty interests when it comes to these bigger things.

George: Look here, Will, you can’t be talking to Martha like that. It’s not her fault that cops are slaughtering Black men in droves.

Will: Mea culpa. You’re right. Besides (glances at Caitlyn), we were going to watch BlacKkKlansman on Netflix tonight.

Caitlyn: Oh, that’s right. But we could watch it tomorrow, instead.

Will: No, tomorrow we were going to watch The Last Black Man in San Francisco.

George: I heard that was really good.

Martha: Didn’t it win an Oscar?

George: I don’t think so. You’re thinking of Black Panther.

Caitlyn: Isn’t that the same as BlacKkKlansman?

George: Is it…?

Will: These blinis are really good.

Martha: Thanks. Smoked salmon is getting so pricey! Thirty-five dollars a pound at Grace’s Gourmet.

Caitlyn: Couldn’t you drive into Segovia and go to Trader Joe’s?

Martha: They’re closed and boarded up since the riots.

George: Damn shame the police are causing all this trouble. That’s why I say, defund them. The people in the inner city don’t need this constant harassment.

Caitlyn: I don’t think they’re all racist.

George (pouring another Chardonnay): Cops? Maybe not all of them. Might be a small handful, a very small one, aren’t. But most of ‘em are.

Will: Right. No justice no peace. (Reaches for the Chardonnay). Hon, the bottle’s empty. Got any more?

Caitlyn: I think there’s some Pinot Grigio in the fridge. That all right, sweetie? (She goes into the kitchen and comes back with a bottle of Pinot Grigio. Everyone refreshes glasses.)

Will: Here’s to the Black people who are getting murdered.

Everyone: Cheers!

Martha: Speaking of Black people, Lateesha quit yesterday.

Caitlyn: Lateesha?!? Seriously? She’s been with you forever.

Martha: Four years. I know. It’s terrible. Nobody irons better than her.

Caitlyn: Well, our Shanice is looking for more work. Do you want to meet her?

Martha: Is she trustworthy?

Caitlyn: Why, certainly.

Martha: I’m so glad we’re in a position to provide economic opportunity to Black people.

George: Makes me feel good.

Will: All those years I spent in medical school didn’t go wasted if I can help somebody like Shanice.

Martha: Where does she live?

Will: Shanice? I’m not sure. In Segovia, right, hon?

Caitlyn: Funny, I never asked. I guess so. Don’t they all?

George: Was her neighborhood one of the ones that was burned down?

Will: Was it…?

Caitlyn: Umm…

Martha: More blinis, anyone?

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