The “Letter from Birmingham City Jail” was written seven months before I was born, and just under five years before Martin Luther King, Jr. was murdered.
The 16th Street Baptist Church was bombed just under two months before my birth, and JFK was assassinated within my first 20 days on the planet.
This shit is toxic, it’s REAL, and it’s deadly. Continue reading “Another black man dead…Only this time?”
And these children
That you spit on
As they try to change their world
Are immune from your consultations
They’re quite aware of what they’re going through…
A little under two years ago, I wrote this post in reaction to Philando Castile’s murder:
In that time, nothing changed, until last February, kicked off when a series of white males took up arms against their social circle and inspired a movement in the aftermath of their destruction. Except, that’s not the whole picture. Continue reading “Changes…”
In December of 2014, I wrote this post as a placeholder for further exploration. I never got back to the subject because I was trying to juggle the holiday performance schedule and the last semester of classes before graduation in May. It isn’t that the problem had gone away, but it seemed quiet for a time.
The primaries have come and gone, the presumptive nominees are digging in and preparing for their party conventions, and we are reaping the rewards of decades of toxic repressed racism and anger, combined with a rhetoric of hate from the Right that promises to throw our supposedly inclusive society out in favor of pre-war fascism, just as I’ve been predicting since 2012. Continue reading “Storm’s here.”
Some timeline, isn’t it?
Baltimore’s police leadership is SO out of touch that Gene Ryan, President of Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 3, had the gall to suggest the call for jail time for the officers involved in Gray’s death was tantamount to a lynch mob. He later walked the comment back (sort of) in a news conference with police union attorney Mike Davey, saying “Maybe I need to reword that.” His thoughtless comments illustrate just how out of touch our police force really is.
And we know the news isn’t good. The protests turned violent again. It’s horrible how those protesters have NO RESPECT for anything, isn’t it?
That’s what a lot of people are saying, in all these cities across America. At least, that’s what a lot of folks who aren’t black are saying. Because, you know, violence isn’t necessary. Voices get heard when protests are peaceful, and change happens when we’re quiet and polite and respectful, and we don’t run.
Only that isn’t true today, any more than it was true in 1968 or in the 1950s or, in fact, any time prior to that, including 1938, when the last man was lynched in Maryland.
So, how often do these things actually happen? In August, 2014, Mother Jones published an article written by Jaeah Lee entitled Exactly How Often Do Police Shoot Unarmed Black Men?
I’m going to explore this a little more fully when I have some time to go find references, which I don’t have time to do this morning, but you better pay attention to this because it may explain some things about the posts I’m making here and why I’m so very, very appalled not just at what’s happening to people across the country but why I can’t believe what some of the people I’ve known for decades are saying.
I attended the School Without Walls (SWW) from 1977 to 1981. The school, part of a movement that came about in 1968, was very different from traditional high schools. Some of the people reading this note attended the school with me, and I’m shocked to hear what some of them are saying. Shocked because they clearly did NOT understand why SWW existed in the first place, and I’m frustrated because they’re not listening now.
Teachers, students and parents from Monroe High School founded SWW because they needed a place to learn, in an environment that was exploding after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. That core group came from a mix of backgrounds and the student population was diverse, too. It was an intense four-year journey for me, that launched a career of writing, even if I haven’t been paid for much of it.
I’m not going to pretend or idealize the experience I had while I was there, but I can count at least 40 people on my Facebook Flist who attended or graduated from SWW. So here’s the thing. Check it out:
And you thought Rochester wasn’t part of that?
You want to know where SWW derived? Look up the Free School Movement.
I’m not saying folks aren’t paying attention. I’m saying they’re not applying an empathy filter. Put your own kids in the place where Michael Brown was, and imagine what this would be like for you. If you can’t put yourself in that place, examine WHY you can’t do that. Is it because you don’t get it, or because you simply can’t imagine your kid being shot just for being big and belligerent? Not your kid’s style? So what? USE YOUR IMAGINATION! Put yourself or your son or daughter or their friends in that place.
The core problem with today’s world, with all the arguments about money, guns, race, equality, sexuality? They are happening because people (some of them on my own Flist) canNOT imagine what this is like and because they don’t get it, they think it’s okay, what’s going on with the cops today.
I’m telling you, that’s wrong.
If you still want to know what’s wrong with this country, maybe it’s because you can’t imagine what it’s like to be Michael Brown or Eric Garner or Tamir Rice or their siblings or their parents or their friends. And you can’t imagine that cops could possibly be corrupt or that the system does fail.
And to those of you who find yourselves wondering how this could possibly be happening, I say it’s time you woke UP!
You’re being set up. Educate yourself.
The court case I got called for over the summer? It had eerie overtones and I’m glad I wasn’t on the jury because I don’t think in hindsight that I could be impartial. Here’s how it shook out:
Now the thing is, would he have gotten jail time if the cop had been white? Would he even have been indicted? We will never, never know.
No, not all cops, not all lawyers, not all courts, but if there’s even one that’s practicing the law as if some people aren’t worth the same as others, that cop or lawyer needs to GO!
And if we don’t try these people in a court of law, we will never know what happened.
Where’s the justice in that?
Race is fiction. Racism is very, very real.