black lives matter, remembering hiroshima and nagasaki, and some other small bits

some of these articles may be a little less timely, but i’ve read a lot of excellent stuff recently.

last week was the 70th anniversary of the bombings of hiroshima and nagasaki. i’m not even sure what to say. i read a lot of survivor accounts last week. absolutely heartbreaking. frightening. angering. i recommend googling “survivors of the atomic bomb” or something like that. read through what you find. we must remember these stories.

“black lives matter: a new movement takes shape” – international socialist review contextualizes the black lives matter movement. excellent.

Continue reading “black lives matter, remembering hiroshima and nagasaki, and some other small bits”

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black lives matter, remembering hiroshima and nagasaki, and some other small bits

anger but hope

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.

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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.

anger but hope

the world is an infuriating place, so what now?

memoriali can’t say that i know what it’s like to keep watching your sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, friends and cousins put behind bars and/or killed. but i found this gif and i understand a tiny bit of the frustration on dave dennis’ face while giving a eulogy at james cheney’s funeral. (cheney was one of the three civil rights workers killed by the klan on june 21, 1964 while taking part in freedom summer actions.) memorial2

a couple of days ago, i got into some kind of nonsense with a white conservative male who is trolling twitter, specifically the #blacklivesmatter hashtag. when i made a factual argument, backed up by literature from the least biased organization i could find, he replied with some sort of racist graphic, mostly about how liberals cry “racist” when someone disagrees with them. i finally reported him for spam (there needs to be an option for “hate speech”) and blocked him. it was somewhat enjoyable to shoot his vitriol back at him, but ultimately, that’s just a waste of energy. are we really going to change the hearts and minds of people like this? people who are so… dedicated to their hatred and paranoia? i don’t think so anymore. but for some reason, i keep trying…

memorial3every day that goes by, it’s like there’s some new horrible story that i can’t even deal with. earlier this week, the hamilton county coroner determined that sam dubose didn’t have alcohol in that bottle of gin. it was air freshener that’s sold at small neighborhood stores; the people who make it reuse bottles and that one was just still marked “gin.” no words. no words. it wasn’t even open. he wasn’t even violating a law transporting it in his car.

i spend a lot of time these days close to tears – sometimes i can’t hold them back – and raging. just this anger inside of me that feels like it might spill out any time. i’m angry about the assault on black people, on women, on LGBT people, on children, on just… anyone who isn’t a white protestant. memorial4i don’t know what to do with my anger except keep writing and get re-connected with activists here in cincinnati. i have to channel it somehow. i don’t know how the dubose family (or any of these hundreds of families who’ve lost their loved ones to murderers with a badge) is getting through this. their pain must be immense.

 

Continue reading “the world is an infuriating place, so what now?”

the world is an infuriating place, so what now?

no justice, no peace

sam-dubose

sam dubose is the 534th black person to be killed by police this year. 534. let that number sink in.

 

 

sbland

 

 

 

 

sandra bland is one of 5 women to die in police custody in the month of july. she is one of 5 black women to die at the hands of police in the MONTH of july. i’ll give you a moment to catch up.

this is raynetta turner.

(edit: raynetta turner of mount vernon, ny is actually the 5th woman. my apologies for the error.) 

i’m not going to lie to you, dear reader. i’m almost in tears just writing this. i’ve already shed quite a few tears thinking this week about sam dubose and what his family must be going through, what kind of culture we live in that will let this happen and will, in a matter of days, probably move on to discussing the kardashians or whatever, what kind of country we live in that devalues human life this way.

534. that number is big. too big. and still, people have donated to ray tensing’s defense fund. he posted bond yesterday and is probably hiding out at home. today, he pleaded not guilty, despite probably the clearest video we’ve had so far of a cop murdering a person of color. it will take awhile for him to be tried; we are not guaranteed a conviction, although certainly county prosecutor joe deters wants to put him away for life.

i’ve spent the last few days debating white privilege and what it means to move through the world unafraid of dying at the hands of the police. i’ve discussed the culture of policing in this country and how broken and sinister it really is. when it comes down to it, i fear the lack of empathy people have in the united states. we are so willing to excuse someone’s death because someone has a rap sheet, or because they tried to protect themselves from being attacked by another human being. (last i checked, police officers are not gods and therefore not exempt from being hit when they attack someone else. last i checked, all human beings have a fight or flight response when attacked.) our society is made up of many people who would rather believe a police officer did his “job,” even when there is clear evidence of excessive force that becomes murder. how can those of us who believe that black lives matter change the minds of people who are willing to ignore the facts to maintain their own privilege? i’m not sure anymore. anyone who still believes that our country has moved into a post-racial period is deluding themselves and living in absolute denial about the state of affairs these days.

i’m so full of anger.

i’m so deeply sad.

how many more??

i implore you to watch the video jay smooth posted today. he has said it much better than i can.

say their names until there is justice for the living and the dead. don’t let those murdered by police slip through the cracks. don’t be lulled into complacency. we are all responsible. be a witness and go do something to help, whatever that is. we’re all in this together, people. this problem is not going away.

no justice, no peace