Obviously frustrated by Portland’s protests, a recent writer pictured a conversation between Black Lives Matter activists and their mothers.
He portrayed the activists as enjoying the harm they inflict — which reflects more on the writer’s mistrust and lack of compassion than theirs.
No white person can understand the existential fear flooding the lives of Black citizens. We whites are never terrified that a traffic stop could result in our death. We don’t worry our teens may die if they wear a hoodie.
The BLM protests are a good thing, except when they (or their white “friends”) employ violence, which erases the message.
Martin Luther King demanded nonviolence for just that reason. Must be turning over in his grave. Violence stymies change.
We need substantive change, and not just tokenism that makes us feel we have actually done something.
Instead of changing school names, take some of the police budget used for military-grade weapons and buy a laptop for every underprivileged child!
Instead of trillions for nuclear weapons, spend it on better schools and teacher training. Spend it on entrepreneurship training and accessible loans for small Black businesses.
Instead of renaming the civil war games, make hiring decisions that increase the percentage of Black faculty and staff closer to 13% (ratio of Blacks to whites in the U.S.).
Instead of editorializing, make it a priority to hire more Blacks to leadership positions on all levels of government and business.
Let’s actually work hard to make sure that “change is gonna come.”
June Forsyth Kenagy
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