i wrote this in another form on facebook, but then commented on jezebel with a very similar thing. i want to share it. i don’t think i’m saying anything new, but i think it bears repeating.
1) i was absolutely horrified by the photo i saw come through twitter last night of the 12 year-old girl who was arrested. i would like to know her name because i feel that we need the names of victims of police brutality. we need to stop making black people anonymous. but yeah, seeing her in cuffs and reading that she told the officers she was scared and they did and said nothing enraged me. we are arresting 12 year-olds and prosecuting *children* as adults. what kind of fucking country is this?!
some troll on my instagram – i posted a photo of her arrest – did the victim blaming thing by asking where her parents are. does that even matter? i went to a sam dubose vigil/march here in cincinnati and there were children who marched with us. children should be brought if they want to come. they need to see what it looks like to exercise your rights to speak freely and assemble peaceably. and it really doesn’t matter what she was doing. she’s 12, for crying out loud! she needed to be cuffed?! if she had been a white girl who got in trouble at the protests – and i seriously doubt the girl who was arrested was doing anything that warranted this – she would have had a police escort home.
2) i see some people in this thread expressing frustration and hopelessness about change. i totally get that; i feel that way often. but i’m here to tell you that BLM and other activists are playing the long game. and history is on our side. the civil rights movement of the 20th century was successful because activists knew they were in it for the long haul and they persisted and pushed. this is what we’re seeing now. the rights that black people gained in the 20th century were not won just because white people found it in their hearts to do the right thing. they were gained because black people and their allies sat in, got arrested, were murdered, sat on buses and at restaurant counters, petitioned, spoke out, educated themselves and others, marched, had dogs sicced on them and were sprayed with high-power water hoses, braved segregated areas, loved each other, sweated, cried, prayed, and demanded. we are seeing this movement gain the kind of traction that we saw in the mid-20th century.
don’t lose hope. that is what white supremacists want. they want to flex for us all and force us to submit.
to quote deray: “protest is confrontation, disruption, the end of silence. protest is not solution; protest creates space for solution.”
i just started reading the fire next time by james baldwin. i figured it’s a good time to finally read it. it’s hard to hold back the tears reading the first few pages. it’s all still true. heartbreaking.