Thank you. To everyone that marched and continues to march or walk out from coast to coast, especially in my home base of Minneapolis, thank you. To those that sing, chant, and scream in anger and pain of the murders of Michael Brown and Eric Garner (and Trayvon Martin, and the list that goes on for centuries), thank you. To those that have put themselves at risk and have been beaten, injured, or arrested pointing out that police brutality is only the tip of this historical iceberg and that black lives matter at the hands of a fascist police and justice system, thank you.
I am a man of color. I am sickened by the events that have happened over the past weeks and over the past decades of my life. Fortunately, I have not had the experiences of many men of color with the cops. I am, however, filled with pride at the nationwide response. A friend and I were discussing events and he mentioned the number of protests. I challenged him to think of these as more than just protests. When direct actions cross-country happen daily as they have been, it becomes a movement, or perhaps, a rebellion. Whatever it is, it has been brewing since the first Europeans decided to stay. All I can say to those involved is thank you.
My fatherly duties as a stay-at-home parent also working and doing other things in the evenings has made scheduling to get out on the street somewhat harder. That said, when I read the call for the convergence of the $15 dollars an hour fast food protest with the Garner non-indictment protest, I was thinking that after I picked up my oldest from school, we (my youngest also) could swing to where they were, not too far from home in greater South Mpls, and join for a bit. I was filled with awe and pride when I read via Twitter that they had moved on and were doing a die-in and blocking I 35 W. The Interstate. That is some hardcore action. The next thought was, “Well, not really family friendly anymore.” I’ve been known to be front and center at many acts of civil disobedience. I have my memories; I have a scar or two. But this isn’t about me; it’s about all of you.
Gratitude and thanks. The next generation can take lots of shit. I get it, we sure did. But to know that with my hands full with children, you all are not only leading the charge, but perhaps doing it better than we ever did (I’m new to Twitter, and damn is it powerful), is such a comfort. Indignities, injustices, atrocities, and other horrible things will continue to happen and be pushed as long as capitalism and the protecting (and serving) of capital remains. I hate being more of an armchair activist these days. That said, just look at all of this! The nation is a-fucking-wake! You all are holding it down
I recently had family from Brazil in town. You’ll recall Brazil’s enormous nationwide protests during the Confederations Cup last year in the name of “FIFA quality schools, healthcare, etc.” as politicians let billions go to white elephant stadiums for the World Cup. They had left before the Garner result, but they wondered if anyone outside of Ferguson would rise up to Michael Brown’s murder? Would people actually start talking about race (Brazil may be different, but has its own serious racial issues too)? They didn’t think the collective U.S. “we” had it in us. We would go back to Reality TV or sports and forget. Who could blame them? I also had my doubts. My cousin wrote me recently and basically said: “Wow. Touché. Nicely done.” Indeed.
“And tha riot be tha rhyme of tha unheard.” Fist in the air, punho no ar.