Sunday, August 30, 2015

Hope: Law School course

I heard about this on NPR yesterday. It think it is a hopeful opportunity for change. -DG

This is from

The University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law will be offering a unique class this fall: a course inspired by the events following the tragic death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray. The class, entitled Freddie Gray’s Baltimore: Past, Present, and Moving Forward, will be offered to University of Maryland law and social work students.

According to the course description:

The course will examine the recent unrest itself and then examine the causes of, and possible solutions to, those dislocations, including an examination of problems in policing; criminal justice; housing; health care; education; poverty; and community development and joblessness.

Since the Baltimore riots in April, sparked by the city’s frustration following Freddie Gray’s murder, Baltimore has had a hard time recovering in those areas. This month, the city saw its 200th homicide — a number the city didn’t see until December in 2014. Hopeful the course will pave a path to change, Maryland Carey Law Dean Donald B. Tobin described it as “an opportunity for our students to grapple with important issues in their backyard.”

The class will provide information about opportunities for students to volunteer in the Baltimore community to assist in the recovery of the aforementioned issues.

see my post about the death of Freddie Gray
see my first Signs of Hope post

Why this Blog?


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Petition: Drop ALL Charges Against the MallofAmerica36

This email came from

My name is Rev. Dr. Rebecca Voelkel and in December 2014 I joined fellow clergy to encircle in prayer a group of peaceful, courageous #BlackLivesMatter protesters at the Mall of America. It was one of the most sacred moments of my life.

And yet, in response to faithful witness, the Mall of America and City of Bloomington reacted with a militarized police force – hundreds of police wearing bullet-proof vests, riot helmets, and carrying weapons. Bloomington City Attorney Sandra Johnson then used her great power against those who hold far less power – pressing criminal charges against 36 of the organizers and participants. I started a petition to stand with the Mall of America 36 (#MOA36) to demand that the charges be dropped. Will you add your name to this faithful demand?

We’ll be delivering our petition to the City of Bloomington Attorney Sandra Johnson on Labor Day weekend. 

Our timing is critical. On August 5th, in response to a defense motion and sustained community support, the most serious of the charges were dropped. But there remain offenses which still require costly legal fees to fight. We demand that City Attorney Sandra Johnson drop ALL the charges against the #MOA36.

Our multiracial, peaceful ritual was a witness for justice – a demonstration of Dr. King’s vision of the 'beloved community' – but the Mall of America and the City of Bloomington responded with police in military and riot gear and legal charges.

As people of faith of all races, let us proclaim that Black Lives Matter and stand with the courageous #MOA36. Link to the petition here.

Please join me in signing our petition demanding charges be dropped against the faithful protesters.

Rev. Dr. Rebecca Voelkel
Pastor and Director of The Center for Sustainable Justice, Minneapolis, MN

Why this Blog?

Monday, August 17, 2015

Black Lives Matter

This excerpt describing this movement is from

#BlackLivesMatter was created in 2012 after Trayvon Martin’s murderer, George Zimmerman, was acquitted for his crime, and dead 17-year old Trayvon was post-humously placed on trial for his own murder. Rooted in the experiences of Black people in this country who actively resist our de-humanization, #BlackLivesMatter is a call to action and a response to the virulent anti-Black racism that permeates our society. Black Lives Matter is a unique contribution that goes beyond extrajudicial killings of Black people by police and vigilantes.

When we say Black Lives Matter, we are broadening the conversation around state violence to include all of the ways in which Black people are intentionally left powerless at the hands of the state. We are talking about the ways in which Black lives are deprived of our basic human rights and dignity. How Black poverty and genocide is state violence. How 2.8 million Black people are locked in cages in this country is state violence. How Black women bearing the burden of a relentless assault on our children and our families is state violence. How Black queer and trans folks bear a unique burden from a hetero-patriarchal society that disposes of us like garbage and simultaneously fetishizes us and profits off of us, and that is state violence. How 500,000 Black people in the US are undocumented immigrants and relegated to the shadows. How Black girls are used as negotiating chips during times of conflict and war. How Black folks living with disabilities and different abilities bear the burden of state sponsored Darwinian experiments that attempt to squeeze us into boxes of normality defined by white supremacy, and that is state violence.

#BlackLivesMatter is working for a world where Black lives are no longer systematically and intentionally targeted for demise. We affirm our contributions to this society, our humanity, and our resilience in the face of deadly oppression. We have put our sweat equity and love for Black people into creating a political project–taking the hashtag off of social media and into the streets. The call for Black lives to matter is a rallying cry for ALL Black lives striving for liberation.

See my post about Trayvon Martin’s murder

Why this Blog?

Human Limits...Last Straws...

I was at a party the other night and someone asked why so many riots and protests were happening in the last few years. Why now when there has been discrimination and racial profiling for a very long time? I found the video below explains it somewhat.  -DG

Published on Nov 26, 2014: Jay Smooth looks back at the week's events in Ferguson and asks how we can truly apply Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's advice that "riots are the language of the unheard."  5 min. YouTube Video

Why this Blog?

Friday, August 14, 2015

Petition to Help Stop Online Hate Speech

This email came from ColorOfChange:

I just started a petition titled "Don't Fund the Next Dylann Roof: Dump Reddit"

Here's why this is important:

Online hate speech leads to violence in the real world.

Less than two months ago, nine people were killed as they worshipped at a historically black church in Charleston, South Carolina. The young man who murdered them did so as a result of his indoctrination by various websites espousing racial hatred. The website Stormfront has already been linked to upwards of 100 murders. Despite recently banning CoonTown, its largest "subreddit," or forum, dedicated to anti-Black racism, Reddit still hosts tens of thousands of white nationalists and other racist activists in the many racist subreddits that remain, and CoonTown users have already announced plans to re-form. These users recently began outpacing Stormfront users in measures of engagement like subscriber growth and page views, which spells danger; in its report on murderers linked to Stormfront, the Southern Poverty Law Center noted that more time spent on hate sites was a common characteristic of those who went on to kill.

Reddit validates hate speech by giving it space on one of the largest, best-known websites on the web. White supremacist groups have also recognized the site as a fertile breeding ground for their ideologies, and have provided a template for using Reddit to recruit new blood to their cause. The "containment" strategy that Reddit CEO Steve Huffman announced earlier this month is not keeping hate contained; racist content shows up all over the site, and subscribers to hate subreddits continue to harass other users, particularly users on Black-interest subreddits.

Reddit has repeatedly shown that it will not act to protect women or people of color without public and financial pressure to do so. Child porn and other forms of non-consensual pornography, such as revenge porn, were only recently banned, and only after a barrage of negative media attention and celebrity involvement. Despite publicly announcing a crack down on subreddits that harass others and promote violence, Reddit continues to look the other way as subscribers to its racist subreddits harass users of color, celebrate violence against black and Jewish people, and call for racial holy war.

With the momentum building and in response to pressure from activists and supporters like yourself, Reddit announced August 5th that it would ban some of its racist subreddits, including "CoonTown." However, in doing so, Reddit didn't articulate a clear hate speech policy, and made no moves to stop the violent anti-black racism that dominates the site. They banned CoonTown because it became an "annoyance" to them. Reddit's announcement was so egregious that Gizmodo published a piece titled "Reddit Bans /r/Coontown For All the Wrong Reasons.

Reddit needs to see that they cannot hide their hate problem; if they do not address it head on, their advertisers will face a consumer backlash that will force them to #DumpReddit.

Please join me,
Casey Stevens
go to site to see/sign petition

Here is the petition text:
Audible showed itself to be a good corporate citizen by taking a stand and pulling its ads. I am now asking that you do the same until Reddit bans hate speech entirely. Will you please make a public commitment to cancel your advertising on Reddit until it accomplishes the following:

1) Bans speech intended to dehumanize, demean or degrade a group of people based on inherent personal characteristics like race, gender, sexuality, religion, and the like
2) Prohibits users from forming groups solely devoted to hating other people
3) Bans the rest of the subreddits devoted to hate, not just CoonTown

Your advertising dollars help the site maintain its echo chambers of dangerous white supremacist ideology, and having the support of mainstream advertisers like you validates both Reddit and the hate speech it hosts.

Sign now

Why this Blog?

Monday, August 10, 2015

A Year Later

Presentation: Rest in Power Mike Brown
This is from

I like this part:
..."because of Ferguson protestors, more than 40 policing laws in 24 states have been passed, and we've even seen a few indictments."

I stood with 4 others in downtown Ashland yesterday. It was moving to mourn publicly and with others. Before 12:55, we decided on the words for our sign together:

Honoring the memory of 
Michael Brown Jr. and others
Join us in silence
12:55 pm
for 4 1/2 minutes


Why this Blog?

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Langston Hughes' poem “Kids Who Die” in current day video

This is from

In 1938 civil rights activist and poet Langston Hughes wrote his chilling poem “Kids Who Die” which illuminates the horrors of lynchings during the Jim Crow era. Now, Hughes’ vivid poetry is being featured in a three minute video created by Frank Chi and Terrance Green. It is a startling reminder that the assault on Black lives did not end with the Jim Crow era.

As we approach the one year mark of the Ferguson uprising that has sparked a movement of resistance against state violence, we are reminded of our ability to secure real change. This is a matter of life or death and we need collective power to win.

watch the 3 min. video to Langston Hughes' poem “Kids Who Die” 

Why this Blog?

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Sandra Bland, Action to Take (2)

Sept. 2015 update: this petition has expired

This email came to me from

Last week, in a remarkable display of solidarity, we joined with partners to deliver more than 500,000 signatures to Attorney General Loretta Lynch urging the Department of Justice to investigate Sandra Bland's tragic death. But we can’t stop here. Over the last 3 weeks, it seems that Waller County District Attorney Elton Mathis has done everything in his power to cover up what happened to Sandra. Instead of looking at the illegal stop and violent arrest that unjustly put her in jail in the first place, local officials are trying to blame Sandra for her own death. (see Ref.1)

We've waited long enough for Officer Encinia to be held accountable for his abusive misconduct. Now, we need a groundswell of public pressure to ensure DA Mathis does his job and brings Officer Encinia to justice.

Demand Waller County DA Mathis prosecute Officer Encinia for the illegal arrest and assault and battery of Sandra Bland.  

The truth is, Sandra Bland would still be alive today had it not been for Officer Encinia's brutal racism and violence. Sandra didn't make any traffic violations when Officer Encinia made a u-turn and sped up behind her. She was also not armed and yet Encinia threatened to “light” her up with his taser.(see Ref.2) Sandra was not combative nor resisting and yet Encinia slammed her to the ground while she cried out in pain. Sandra was arrested and charged with assault, even though the video clearly shows Encinia as the aggressor.

In the video and later the police report, we see Officer Encinia spin a web of lies as he quickly attempts to justify his violent behavior and criminalize Sandra to his fellow officers.(see Ref.3) His actions are criminal and he should not be a police officer. We need DA Mathis to do everything in his power to prosecute Officer Encinia with a felony offense in order to keep this killer cop off the streets. In order for Officer Encinia to lose his police license he must be convicted of a felony.

Demand justice for Sandra! We will not remain silent as DA Mathis fails to do his job.

We’ve waited long enough. It's DA Mathis' job to protect Black residents in the area and hold racist and violent police who target Black people — such as Encinia — accountable. And we know accountability is possible. Baltimore DA Marilyn Mosby recently indicted the six police officers involved in the killing of Freddie Gray and just last week Collin County DA Joe Deter indicted Officer Ray Tensing for brutally killing Sam Dubose.(see Ref.4,5) Prolonged delays and silence are not the answer. We need Waller County officials to act now. Waller County officials must come to terms with their violent history of racism and discrimination and stand up for Black lives. This is just as much about Sandra Bland as it is about making sure all Black people in the area don’t have to experience the same unbridled violence and brutality at the hands of the state. And it starts with prosecuting Officer Encinia for the illegal arrest and assault and battery of Sandra Bland. Let's show Waller County officials that we are not going to stop until the killing stops. We need widespread public pressure to bring Officer Encinia to justice. Raise your voice today.

Thanks and peace,
Rashad, Arisha, Shani, Lyla and the rest of the team August 6th, 2015

1. "Marijuana Didn't Kill Sandra Bland," Ebony 07-27-2015

2. "In the video of Sandra Bland’s arrest, the tape doesn’t lie," Boston Globe 07-23-15

3. "Blame the Police," Slate 07-22-2015

4. "Marilyn Mosby: 6 police officers indicted in Freddie Gray death," Washington Times 05-21-15

5. "Prosecutor: UC officer 'purposefully killed' DuBose," Cincinnati Enquirer 07-29-15

See my first post about Sandra Bland's death

Why this Blog? 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

15 Black Women Killed During Police Encounters

This is from  
15 Black Women Were Killed During Police Encounters. Their Lives Matter, Too (

This is from this article:
Some activists, like writer Dream Hampton, intentionally amplify the experiences of other black women. She told HuffPost she was encouraged the country was finally talking about police militarization after years of raising concerns in a “pro-policing culture,” but conversations need to be more inclusive.

“The reason why it’s important to center girls and women in this conversation is because the other narrative, and it’s not a competing narrative, but it’s just not a complete narrative, is that this only happens to black boys and men,” Hampton said. "We have always only framed this as a black male problem, and it is time to tell the entire truth about who police violence and terrorism happens to.”

The more complete narrative includes a small child shot while she was sleeping, as well as women killed while in violation of the law. While an important part of the latters' stories, it doesn’t somehow erase their deaths or mean the actions of police involved shouldn’t receive scrutiny.

This is the list of the 15 black women and girls killed (during police encounters over the last 15 years) from the article:

Tanisha Anderson: Died Nov. 13, 2014, age 37, Cleveland
Yvette Smith: Died Feb. 16, 2014, age 47, Bastrop, Texas
Miriam Carey: Died Oct. 3, 2013, age 34, Washington, D.C.
Shelly Frey: Died Dec. 6, 2012, age 27, Houston
Darnisha Harris: Died Dec. 2, 2012, age 16, Breaux Bridge, Louisiana
Malissa Williams: Died Nov. 29, 2012, age 30, Cleveland
Alesia Thomas: Died July 22, 2012, age 35, Los Angeles
Shantel Davis: Died June 14, 2012, age 23, New York City
Rekia Boyd: Died March 22, 2012, age 22, Chicago
Shereese Francis: Died March 15, 2012, age 29, New York City
Aiyana Stanley-Jones: Died May 16, 2010, age 7, Detroit
Tarika Wilson: Died Jan. 4, 2008, age 26, Lima, Ohio
Kathryn Johnston: Died Nov. 21, 2006, age 92, Atlanta
Alberta Spruill: Died May 16, 2003, age 57, New York City
Kendra James: Died May 5, 2003, age 21, Portland

This is from the article too:

Four of the above women were killed during police raids.
Three women had young children with them when they were killed.
Two were children when they were killed.
Two women with mental illnesses were killed after their family members called authorities for help.
Seven of the incidents resulted in charges. Only one woman’s death has led to conviction. Several cases are still open.

There are many more women of color who have died in incidents involving police -- including all-too-frequent encounters with the mentally ill, like Michelle Cusseaux, Aura Rosser, or Margaret Mitchell. These women were armed and considered dangerous according to police, but their deaths point to failings in how police work with with mentally ill individuals.

Why this Blog?

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

More Deaths and Names to Know About

The email I got from FergusonAction specifically mentioned the deaths of these people within the past year: Michael Brown, Jr., Sandra Bland, Kayla Moore, Yvette Smith, Kajieme Powell, Dontre Hamilton, Taneisha Anderson, and Vonderrit Myers.

I already have posts about Michael Brown, Jr., Sandra Bland, and Vonderrit Myers

I feel it is important to know what happened to all of them. So I have been doing Internet research, trying to find out about Kayla Moore, Yvette Smith, Kajieme Powell, Dontre Hamilton, Taneisha Anderson.

It is sobering what I found.

February 12, African American transgender woman Kayla Moore died while in the custody of Berkeley police (read more

When looking into the death of Yvette Smith, I found her and Taneisha Anderson in an article that I use in this post: 15 Black Women Killed During Police Encounters

St. Louis Police Release Video Of Kajieme Powell Killing That Appears At Odds With Their Story (, Aug. 2014

Shooting of Dontre Hamilton from wikipedia
No charges for Milwaukee officer who shot man 14 times
Dontre Hamilton Shooting: Fired Milwaukee Cop Won't Get His Job Back


Why this Blog?

Notes on Additions

For those reading this blog for the first time, you don't need these notes. Please go ahead and read through all the posts (listed on the right side) and pages (buttons at the top). If you aren't familiar with blogs, months need to be expanded by clicking on the triangle (or the month) to see the post list for that month.

If you have read through the posts before, and want to know when I add something to them, this will help you. I will date and note only major additions...I am also making tweaks/improvements.

It has been suggested that I add new posts for new things...not adding to posts I already have. That is what I might do going forward now but here this is anyway. -DG

Before Aug. 5, 2015, I added to these posts/pages below (and more):

  • Ways to be Engaged:
    • Facing History and Ourselves
    • Community Change
    • Union of Minority Neighborhoods
    • Haley House
  •  Ferguson, Michael Brown shooting:
    • Timeline for a Body: 4 Hours in the Middle of a Ferguson Street
    • Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson Not Indicted In Michael Brown Shooting


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Jordan Davis shot by white male software developer

This is from

The murder of Jordan Davis occurred on November 23, 2012, at a gas station in Jacksonville, Florida, United States. Jordan Russell Davis, a 17-year-old African-American high school student, was fatally shot by Michael David Dunn, a 45-year-old white male software developer from Brevard County who was visiting the city for a wedding. The incident began when Dunn allegedly confronted Davis and his companions because he found the music that was being played in the vehicle in which Davis was a passenger objectionable. A verbal argument ensued to which Dunn responded by retrieving a loaded handgun from his car and shooting 10 rounds into the teenagers' car. This resulted in the fatal injury of Jordan Russel Davis. In closing arguments for the first trial, the defense lawyer for Michael Dunn cited the language of Florida's stand-your-ground law. The jury was unable to return a unanimous verdict on a charge of first-degree murder for the fatal shooting of Jordan Davis, the judge declared a mistrial on that count. Dunn was convicted, however, on three counts of attempted second-degree murder for firing at three other teenagers who were with Davis and one count of firing into a vehicle. The three other teenagers were not injured.

Dunn faced up to 75 years in prison for the four counts on which he was already convicted. Dunn's retrial for first-degree murder began the week of September 22, 2014. He was found guilty October 1, 2014, and was sentenced to a mandatory sentence of life in prison with no chance of parole on October 17, 2014.

Why this Blog?

Trayvon Martin shot by neighborhood watch volunteer, 2012

This is from

Trayvon Benjamin Martin was a 17-year-old African American from Miami Gardens, Florida, who was fatally shot by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, in Sanford, Florida. Martin had gone with his father on a visit to his father's fiancée at her townhouse at The Retreat at Twin Lakes in Sanford. On the evening of February 26, Martin went to a convenience store and purchased candy and juice. As Martin returned from the store, he walked through a neighborhood that had been victimized by robberies several times that year. Zimmerman, a member of the community watch, spotted him and called the Sanford Police to report him. Moments later, there was an altercation between the two individuals in which Martin was shot in the chest. Zimmerman, who was injured in the altercation, was not charged at the time of the shooting by the Sanford Police, who said that there was no evidence to refute his claim of self-defense and that Florida's stand your ground law prohibited law-enforcement officials from arresting or charging him. Zimmerman was eventually charged and tried in Martin's death and a jury acquitted Zimmerman of second-degree murder and of manslaughter in July 2013.

Why this Blog?

Monday, August 3, 2015

Why Shooting of VonDerrit Myers Matters

October 8, 2014

This is from off-duty St. Louis City Police Officer working in uniform for a secondary security job chased, shot and killed 18 year-old Vonderrit Myers. The officer fired 17 shots, completely unloading his clip.

Police say he was armed and shot at the off-duty officer. No witness saw him carrying anything other than a sandwich or could corroborate the details offered by police. Read more:

Why Vonderrit Myers Matters

Vonderrit Myers is no Michael Brown. Myers, the black 18-year old shot and killed by a St. Louis police officer last week, is also no Trayvon Martin or Jordan Davis or any of the others on a growing list of slain unarmed black men who have invigorated a new generation’s fight for racial justice.

But Myers doesn’t have to be.

Unlike Brown and others who were clearly unarmed during their fatal confrontations with white antagonists, police say Myers shot first, and the officer he shot at returned fire and killed the teen. Lab results found Myers had gun powder residue on his right hand at the time of his death. He was also facing trial on earlier gun charges and was wearing an ankle bracelet as a condition of his bond in that case.

Myers, in other words, may not be the model victim in the ongoing story of police brutality and white violence against young black men. But his death nonetheless has sparked an important wave in the burgeoning movement built around the notion that black lives matter. All black lives – not just those that draw the most public sympathy.

“Vonderitt Myers matters because we are still talking about a fundamental question of the value of black children and the value of black life,” said Brittany Packnett, head of Teach for America in St. Louis. “The circumstances may be different, but there’s the recognition that if we don’t come out early and often to demand justice for African-American children, quite often it doesn’t come.” 

Why this Blog? 

A Helpful White Privilege Metaphor

Straight White Male: The Lowest Difficulty Setting There Is 
below excerpt is from

Imagine life here in the US — or indeed, pretty much anywhere in the Western world — is a massive role playing game, like World of Warcraft except appallingly mundane, where most quests involve the acquisition of money, cell phones and donuts, although not always at the same time. Let’s call it The Real World. You have installed The Real World on your computer and are about to start playing, but first you go to the settings tab to bind your keys, fiddle with your defaults, and choose the difficulty setting for the game. Got it?

Okay: In the role playing game known as The Real World, “Straight White Male” is the lowest difficulty setting there is.

This means that the default behaviors for almost all the non-player characters in the game are easier on you than they would be otherwise. The default barriers for completions of quests are lower. Your leveling-up thresholds come more quickly. You automatically gain entry to some parts of the map that others have to work for. The game is easier to play, automatically, and when you need help, by default it’s easier to get.

...Remember when I said that you could choose your difficulty setting in The Real World? Well, I lied. In fact, the computer chooses the difficulty setting for you. You don’t get a choice; you just get what gets given to you at the start of the game, and then you have to deal with it.

So that’s “Straight White Male” for you in The Real World (and also, in the real world): The lowest difficulty setting there is. All things being equal, and even when they are not, if the computer — or life — assigns you the “Straight White Male” difficulty setting, then brother, you’ve caught a break. read more

See first post on White Privilege

Why this blog?

White People, documentary

What does it mean to be white? MTV's "White People" is a groundbreaking documentary (41 min.) on race that aims to answer that question from the viewpoint of young white people living in America today.

For more information on "White People" and to join the conversation, head to

I watched the video and found it moving and helpful.  Worth the time to watch. -DG

See first post on White Privilege

Why this blog?

True Colors - Racial Discrimination in Everyday Life

True Colors - Racial Discrimination in Everyday Life 
report by Diane Sawyers:, part 1, 2

Feb 26, 2010
Documentary on the "nature of today's prejudices." Follows two men (equal in all measurable aspects, except skin color) as they participate in a variety of "everyday" life interactions and situations to test levels of prejudice based on skin colors. Shows how two young men in St. Louis, one white, one black, but otherwise similar in background, appearance, etc., are treated differently in various situations as they go about shopping, applying for work, and looking for rental housing.

In the 1960s, black Americans were promised that this country would not judge people by the color of the their skin. Three decades later, this video investigates situations in which blacks and whites continue to be treated differently.

Video raises the question of the relation between discrimination in everyday social exchanges and what sociology calls "structural racism," the systematic exclusion of people of color from full access to social resources. Where does this program root the problem? In the individual bias of a few people? Or are individuals expressions of a society based on white privilege? Does everyone who identifies as white have a stake in upholding the racial hierarchy with its tendency for white preferential treatment? On the other hand, what responsibility do European Americans have for eliminating or helping to eliminate racial preference? How would some of the problems indicated in the film be addressed or remedied?

I watched the video (both parts) and found it moving and helpful.  Worth the time to watch. -DG

See first post on White Privilege

Why this Blog?

Ferguson 1yr. anniv. Moment of Silence

Four and a half minute National Moment of Silence on Sunday, August 9th at 11:55AM CST

Would you join with me in Ashland center at 12:55pm on Sunday 8/9/15? It would be meaningful to mourn together these senseless deaths (see below). Let me know if you will join me. -DG

This idea came from an email (below) that I got from FergusonAction 7/27/15:

It has been almost one year since the murder of Michael Brown, Jr. and the uprising that followed. Our movement has grown immensely and here in Ferguson and St. Louis, we continue to fight for all those who have been lost. From August 7-10th, we will stand together, united in purpose, as we uphold our commitment to this movement for Black Lives.

Over the last year, our movement has made it clear that Ferguson is Everywhere. That’s why we’re using the hashtag #UnitedWeFight — because we lift up and demand justice not just for Michael Brown, Jr., but for Sandra Bland, for Kayla Moore, for Yvette Smith, for Kajieme Powell, for Dontre Hamilton, for Taneisha Anderson, for Vonderrit Myers and for far too many more.

We invite you to join us in St. Louis for the Anniversary Weekend. We have a huge variety of events planned including mass meetings, rallies, concerts and protests. If you can’t join us, we ask that you plan solidarity actions in your own communities. We ask that groups honor Michael Brown Jr by participating in a four and a half minute National Moment of Silence on Sunday, August 9th at 11:55AM CST.

About a year ago: see this post

Why this Blog?

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Cross-racial Conversations

I am reading a helpful book called  
Waking Up White and Finding Myself in the Story of Race by Debby Irving. 

It is giving me information I need to know about white privilege and more.  I recently read below in this book:

Cross-racial relationships are essential to racial healing.  The kind of contact and connection they engender is indeed the antidote to the centuries-old pattern of segregation and avoidance.  But it doesn't work without understanding and braving the Zap factor, an important step in the process of building trust. (page 81)

Irving describes the "Zap factor" in chapter 14 as the uncomfortableness we feel when doing something outside of our comfort zone. She named it after the zap a collared dog gets when it goes near the boundaries of its electric fence. Due to the "Zap" we receive when talking outside of our comfortable boundaries, we don't bother to do it...such as talk with people about race.  Especially those of another race.

She explains
...white people's casual ignorance about skin color privilege has insulted and alienated people of color. Part of the power differential is that white people have the choice, the power, to ignore race and racism. I can choose not to have a single cross-racial relationship. I can choose not to talk about race. And I can choose not to learn the beliefs, customs, traditions, and values of racial groups other than my own.

Not so for people of color, who can't escape knowing what life looks like in White Land. White life is everywhere... For survival purposes people of color must learn the dominant culture, the white culture, in order to survive.  Knowing how to essential. (page 79, I did some clipping to shorten, please read the book!)

I can appreciate what Irving is talking about. I am trying to talk about race more even though it is difficult and I feel the uncomfortableness, the Zap

I would like to be a part of a mixed-racial group discussing race. Want to join me? 

Why this Blog?