put yourself in someone else's shoes
(Mike Allen)

(Editor’s note: Mike Allen drew this installment of his weekly Sundaze comic on Saturday, May 30, as protests escalated across the country. As NonDoc worked to cover Oklahoma City’s protest scene over the weekend, we decided to delay publishing this comic and its brief explanation until today.)

Progress. What does that mean to you? On Saturday, I watched a live stream on Twitch of a rocket blasting off, with cameras on the rocket, as well as multiple viewing angles inside the capsule carrying the astronauts. Then, I watched as the rocket landed perfectly on a platform in the ocean after detaching from the capsule. Everything was like clockwork, and we, as normal people, could watch and listen to every bit of it. Truly, we are living in the future, I thought.

However, two other thoughts came to me immediately after the SpaceX launch was over. First, there are probably a troubling number of people out there who were watching and thought the whole thing was faked in some way. We should, you know, just ignore those people at this point.

Second, the whole event of blasting astronauts into space — and all of the progress it represents for the United States — was juxtaposed with protests around the country over the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers. I shouldn’t have to spell it out, but that is quite the opposite of progress, and a rocket blasting away from all of this is weirdly symbolic of where we’re at in this country right now.

I don’t have any Martin Luther King Jr. quotes to give you or anything else inspirational. In fact, you shouldn’t listen to me at all. But you should listen to and understand where the communities who are routinely affected by institutional racism are coming from. When you put yourself in someone else’s shoes, even for just a little bit, it can give you perspective on just how different another person’s “normal” can be. It’s a lesson we are taught when we’re young, but it’s something many of us forget as we settle into the routine of our lives.

Past Sundaze comics

Them boys from Oklahoma roll their joints all wrong
Pour yourself an age and wisdom on the rocks
All the government Oklahoma could ever want
Open sesame: Kevin Stitt and the 40 mayors
Parents agree: The Easter bunny is an essential worker
Bad news for Cheetos: Our behaviors are changing
Quarantine quandary: Are your pets sick of you yet?
Quarantine: A rear window into our worried minds
From wipes to swipes, social (distance) life impacted
Birds of a feather draw together
Where the whiskey drowns and the Bern chases …
Blow up the Thunder? Chris Paul extinguished the fuse
Imagine that: New Oklahoma brand confuses some
Be careful searching, algorithm overlords are watching
Oklahoma’s recent liquor bicker confusing, even sober
Highway to the construction zone
All ears: OU basketball gets it right as Top Daug returns
Stitt, tribal leaders pack their poker faces for court