All capital letters on the internet equals shouting.
I live on a street shaped like a “U” — the straight part of the “U” on the left side is 678 Street… as the curve at the bottom of the street begins, it turns into 678 Road… as it straightens up again on the right side, becomes 679 Street.
My home address is 123-45 678 Street. My neighbor diagonally across from me/four houses away is 123-45 678 Road. AMAZON FREQUENTLY GETS OUR DELIVERIES MIXED UP.
I wasn’t out protesting this week. I HAVE BEEN TO PROTESTS IN THE PAST (that have not escalated) but know I am not built for the protest life…too many people (I was a pre-COVID19 believer in social distancing), concerns about bathroom access, traffic, lots of walking/standing…whew, that’s not my ministry anymore.
I now choose economic routes (donations/boycotts) and attempts to hold my elected officials responsible via directly contacting them and voting… and I wish that were more successful, so we didn’t have to reach this point. But here we are. Again. I HATE TO SEE WHAT IS HAPPENING, BUT I UNDERSTAND WHY IT IS HAPPENING. (And because it has to be said, understanding doesn’t equal condoning rioting — but the silence of many seems to condone the murder of innocent people.)
If you are honest with yourself, you also understand why it is happening.
Yet, I see many questions of… “what will it accomplish?”… “why don’t they just go home?” from people sitting at home or people who will never understand the physical, psychological/emotional toll that racism in all its manifestations take on a person of color on a daily basis over generations — like SHAKING UP THE CONTENTS OF A SODA BOTTLE.
I could be sitting home just like I was this week, watching everything in Minneapolis, Atlanta, LA and Brooklyn unfold via MSNBC… being a “good Black”, behaving in a way that is “proper”…. (sarcasm) …
….right outside my door… law enforcement could mistake my address for my neighbor… just like Amazon does. (Not implying my neighbor is a criminal.)
…they could enter my home under the pretext of serving a warrant … without verifying my identity and my SURPRISE, CONFUSION AND TERROR could cause them to kill me dead in my Winnie the Pooh footie pajamas as I’m watching Rachel Maddow over a potentially non death penalty offense. Think about that.
And my Momma might get a “oops, I’m sorry we made a mistake” from the PD. And that’s it. NOTHING CHANGES. NO CONSEQUENCES. NO ACCOUNTABILITY.
…and THE ROUTE I ATTEMPTED TO TAKE…. money donated to organizations to fight the problem or withheld from businesses to make an economic impact, or the letters/petitions/emails/phone calls made to congressmen/Mayors/Senators/Governors in multiple city/states or the lines stood in to vote in every election to try and bring about change… none of that will have made any difference…. I would just be dead.
And you would want my loved ones and people who look like me to act more responsibly than the people who killed me. You would hold them more accountable for reacting to my murder versus changing the processes that got me murdered… and that is some REAL CRAZY BASSACKWARDS THINKING.
So… I hate to see what’s happening, but I also understand that YOU ALL DO NOT PAY ATTENTION UNTIL IT’S IN ALL CAPS.
EDITED TO ADD: after I initially posted this, I found out that today (May 30) is JAMES CHANEY’s birthday. He would’ve been 77 today, had he not been murdered by police and the KKK on June 21, 1964 (FREEDOM SUMMER) along with ANDREW GOODMAN and MICHAEL SCHWERNER in Philadelphia, Mississippi.
IF WE HAD FIXED THE PROBLEM IN 1964, WE WOULDN’T BE WHERE WE ARE IN 2020. This morning as I listen to the news, I hear press conferences condemning the protestors and a plan to manage them. WHERE IS THE PLAN for the events that landed us here in the first place?
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