It's Thursday, July 2, and FYI, mark your calendars, this column is taking tomorrow off, in honor of the national fiction that July 4, 1776 is this country's birthday (its actual birthday is August 1619).
Today we turn to someone who's a total connector in the world of culture, Betsey Brock. She knows art people (she helped lead the Henry for almost a decade), film people (worked at Reel Girls, served on the board of Northwest Film Forum), dance people (advisory board member of Velocity), performance art people (she's now the executive director of On the Boards)—the list goes on.
"I've been thinking a lot about my position as a leader of an arts organization in this city," she says, "and I've been phone-banking, and donating money, and marching, and contacting my elected officials, and really connecting with with my community in a different way—but that doesn't change the fact that I'm doing it from a position of privilege, as a white woman, a product of white-supremacy culture, in an organization and a field that is inherently part of a systematic history of exclusion."
She has more to say along those lines. But first, here is some beautiful footage of Lake Washington.
Thank you, Betsey, for this message.
Thank you for being real, and humble, and showing us the joy of the lake but also showing us the kind of work that white people need to be doing right now. White supremacy was created by white people, it benefits white people, and it's up to white people to get rid of it.
And hey everyone? Especially those of you who believe 4th of July is a special day and you have to "honor" "freedom" by yakking it up at your friend Thad's apartment barbecue? NO!! No apartment barbecues for anyone this year. Nada. Negatory.
Maaaaaybe you're allowed to go to a barbecue at a lake, if you mask up, but the weather's gonna suck, so just stay home. Almost every barbecue is not worth it, in the end, anyway—ever notice that? The only fun thing about a barbecue is being on your way to a barbecue. So just say "I'm going to a barbecue" all day while staying home, and you'll get all the dopamine and none of the COVID.
Since you're staying home, you're not going to be ingesting a pound of Cool Ranch Doritos, four devilled eggs, a hot dog, and a bunch of Thad's homebrew, so go get out the ice cream and the powdered sugar and any sprinkles you have a make an entree-sized dessert for yourself.
Ice cream sundaes in the kitchen during quarantine are actual freedom.
Previously in this series: