[Trigger / content / trauma warning. We discuss the circumstances of the deaths of several people of color in this blog post. Please be aware before you proceed.]
Welcome to the latest puzzle in my ongoing series, Eyes Open, inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement and other civil rights protests.
Originally, I was planning a puzzle about WWE, WrestleMania, women of color, and hypocrisy. Because that is a rich topic worthy of discussion.
But as I started the puzzle, it felt like a paltry thing to focus on when so much else was happening.
We had the Derek Chauvin case about the murder of George Floyd. And then Daunte Wright. And Andrea Hollingsworth. And Ma’Khia Bryant. And however many more stories we haven’t heard yet.
And I started thinking about the circumstances of all of these deaths and terrible acts. All of the simple, everyday activities that turned into moments of horror when law enforcement got involved.
Talking on a phone. Seeking help after a car accident. Standing outside a store. Playing video games. None of these stories had to end in death.
So I started working on a puzzle about this. One that expressed my anguish and confusion about these stories.
And then, halfway through this week, I stumbled upon this post, that shared everything I wanted to say with this puzzle in much more heartbreaking, illuminating fashion:
Honestly, David said it better than I ever could. He LIVES this fear in a way I can never properly understand. I can sympathize, but as a cishet white male, I simply can’t empathize.
But I still wanted to finish the puzzle, to leave some mark in the blog and the Eyes Open series of puzzles that shows we haven’t forgotten about these terrible acts and the people unfairly stolen from their families and friends.
And, in the looped letters, there is a simple truth that we can never forget.
I hope this puzzle serves to both engage you as a solver and encourage you to continue pushing for a safer world for everyone.
[Click this link to download a PDF of this puzzle.]
If you have suggestions for more topics for me to cover in future puzzles, please let me know. If you’re a person of color and you’d like to share a puzzle of your own, or to collaborate with me on a puzzle, please let me know.
If you’re a member of the LGBTQ community, and you have ideas, please let me know. If you’re a trans person, or a non-binary individual, and you feel underrepresented in puzzles, please let me know.
I would like this to become something bigger, but hopefully, this is at the very least a start.
Thank you for reading. Thank you for standing up, speaking up, and fighting the good fight.
Support LGBTQIA+ people.
Black lives matter.