Whose Lives Matter?

Joey here.

But for the pandemic, our 732 miles (and counting!) of biking would have taken us from suburban Seattle to Blue Dome, Idaho.

Instead, we’ve rolled among the COVID-free autumn leaves of northern NY.

Last week we pedaled 59 miles and rode two empty ferries to explore a bit of New Jersey.

Aboard the ferry from E. 35th Street to Atlantic Highlands.

Part of Lower Manhattan, seen from the East River.

Keyport, NJ.

Elizabeth, NJ.

On a bridge west of Jersey City, a deck opening trapped our rear wheel. It took Jeffrey several tries to extract the wheel. Then he vaulted a rail to a barricaded walkway, pulled the undamaged bike and me after him, and saluted the irritated trucker who’d halted behind us.

Approaching our Manhattan home on the ferry from Weehawken, NJ.

As we acknowledged friendly support from pedestrians, cyclists and motorists who saw our signs, we thought about human lives.

Whose lives matter?

All Lives Matter.

Yes yes yes, almost everyone accepts this in principle.  But shine a spotlight on the bromide and it disintegrates.

Black Lives must be singled out because experience proves that in America, those lives have mattered less.  Equality and liberty were enshrined in America‘s founding documents.  Yet after hundreds of years, these ideals elude us.

Some remind us that White Lives and Blue Lives Matter.  That is an unhelpful distraction.  Almost everyone accepts the value of those lives in principle and in fact.

Too many Americans consider Gay Lives, Queer Lives, and Trans Lives, to be disposable.

Immigrant Lives.  Refugee Lives.  To some Americans they don’t matter much at all.

Because you’re reading this, you and we may be in the same information bubble.  Many people don’t learn from outside their bubble.

That’s why, for ten years, we have biked America . . .

. . . to engage people who otherwise wouldn’t hear truths about immigrants and refugees.

(Want some hard truths, too many to list here?  Read the 10 October 2020 New York Times editorial: “Trump’s Overhaul of Immigration Is Worse Than You Think”.)

We continue biking and listening and talking, believing that when enough Americans understand, All Lives actually will Matter—including the lives of the persecuted.

To be true to this belief, even now when there are so many urgent demands on our time, attention, and money, we and you must not forget the people who have no country, no protection, whose lawful pleas for refuge are not heard because of our government’s lawlessness.

You can help.

You can amplify the small weak voice of a puppet and a person.  Speak up for the persecuted foreigner.  Speak out for their human rights.

And let’s put batteries in the megaphone of an organization whose words and acts can speak louder than our own.

Please find in your heart, and in your wallet, something to support Human Rights First.

(Donors of any amount will be mailed a Beatles postcard, signed by Joey and Jeffrey, from the late Joel F. Glazier‘s collection.)