Saturday, December 6, 2014


Watching live coverage on CNN of the protests last night I noticed an upscale looking "white" woman in a red coat carrying a shopping bag passing protesters lying in the street (I don't even know which city it was in). She stopped for a moment and then walked to where they were spread out on the pavement and got down in her pristine long red cloth coat, obviously getting it soiled and obviously not caring as she too laid down on her back for the last few minutes of that moment of protest.

I'm heartened by the diversity of the crowds taking part in the protests and by the discipline of the organizers at keeping them peaceful yet still active and committed to letting the world know there is a movement to challenge the different standards applied to crimes by different groups, i.e.—and mostly, though not exclusively—"white" and "black."

For decades every time something happened that the media noticed and involved incidents different groups saw differently—the O.J. case, George Zimmerman killing Trayvon Martin et. al.—the TV talking heads would bring up how it was time for a national "conversation about race" etc. which wasn't what happened, rather it was a national "he said she said" conversation in which one "race" was "he" and another was "she"...

...but this time actually does seem different, what with the hash tag about "criming while white" and other indications that finally it's not just one "race" that understands the racism so prevalent in policing in the USA (my "white" sons have certainly been around or involved in petty victimless crimes at some points in their lives that ended up with no or very little consequences that my "black" sons, if I had them, may very well have entered "the system" for and ended up even doing some jail or prison time for).

It is especially heartening to see so many young people, who have been accused of sitting on their butts playing with their smart phones and other devices while their world deteriorates around them, not just getting off their butts to protest injustice and demand changes but using their smart phones and other devices to coordinate their protests and give them fluidity and creative nonviolent actions for shifting locations that keep the media paying attention not just the day after a demonstration but going on several days now.

It makes me feel it's too late to put this genie back in the lantern—or this jack back in the box or whatever metaphor works for you—to indicate there's no turning back this time. Fingers crossed.


TC said...


This is that subject nobody wants to talk about until their commute is messed with -- and then, hell to pay.

The past four nights here have been a chaotic marathon of buzzing helicopters with searchlights, sirens everywhere, people ranging from high school kids to exhausted old folks wandering the streets with more anger than direction and more confusion than anger, tear gas, shut-down freeways and Bart stations, broken windows, arrests, cleanup in the morning, start again, were do we go from here.

Tonight will be different, however, thanks to climate change, doing that good crowd control work even the darth vader cop armies haven't been able to manage.

Which is a darn shame, because there is no fantasy we here on the freeway feeder, conquered and oppressed and vulnerable and helpless, enjoy more than the dream of a closed freeway, like the dream of going to heaven when you die.

Lally said...

that's a poem right there Tom...