Bad News

— Jim Russo

An actor friend in Monterey told me about the audition

Etha Gray, the writer and director, said as soon as she saw me walking up the sidewalk; “I was exactly what she wanted”

I would be the only white guy in her play; the other dozen actors were all black from sixteen to sixty

“House Built Upon Sand”, Etha’s play, was about the damage illegal drugs do to a community and young lives

KSBW TV came to our rehearsal that afternoon and shot a promo of our opening to air on that night’s six o’ clock news

Our whole cast crowded into a small room with a small TV and we waited to watch our promo

The lead story that night was the acquittal of the cops that beat Rodney King, the cops that started the Los Angeles riots

Six days of looting, arson, vandalism, fifty three people killed, over two thousand injured, over eleven thousand arrests

To stop the riots it took the National Guard, Marines, 7th Infantry, Federal Agents and LAPD

It was then that I realized, I was the only one in the room shocked and angry at the outcome

It was at that moment that I felt their weight, the weight of an ancestry of injustice

Injustice that lives only inside those born into it

Someone said, “We’re always wishing, wishing that one day, will be our day”

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