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Hack: Can I be both thankful and horrified? Can I?

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I am two years shy of 50, blessed and beaten down.

Am I allowed to be both? 

Can I be a smiling face on your TV and a somber soul when the camera is off?

Can I have laughter in the morning and tightness in my chest at night?

Can I talk Tiger and also talk about being pulled over on a California highway and the Jersey Turnpike, speeding neither time? (“Do you have drugs or weapons in your vehicle?” “No, sir. I’m just driving home from my summer internship.” “Why am I being stopped, officer?” “Uh, there was a dog loose on the turnpike.”)

Can I love my cousin (retired FBI) and my wife’s cousin (active NYPD) and hate being frisked in front of my own home as my Mom begins to raise her voice at the officer and I have to calm her down and tell her it’s OK?

Can I shake my grandfather’s ghost stories when Emmett Till begats Amadou Diallo and Trayvon Martin and Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor and George Floyd?

Can I wear my COVID-19 mask and avoid the look of fear in the cashier’s eyes that my shopping trip has nefarious intentions?

Can I be thankful and horrified?

Can I be exhausted?

Can I?

These are the questions that have been swimming around in my mind following the death of an unarmed black man named George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis.

Not again. 

What can I do?

What can the golf industry do?

The sports world?

My country?

Can I share my pain with you or does my pain not count, since I’m on TV and all?

You’ve made it. What do you have to be mad about? You should be grateful.

Thing is, I am grateful. But I’m also sad and tired and incredulous that I’m having the exact same conversations with my sons that my father had with me.

I’m thinking out loud and I’m talking to myself, hopeful one moment, helpless the next, wondering if anybody hears me.