This was a great week for America
AUTHOR’S NOTE: This was written Friday, June 5th, but not published until today.
I am probably the only one saying it was a great week, but look at what is happening as a result of the chaos and destruction we all suffered through this week:
People are protesting peacefully in cities large and small across the country in all fifty states. Never has there been such widespread momentum and support for police reform.
The protests are working! Negotiations for police reform are happening. Changes are already being implemented. In Minneapolis, the city council voted unanimously to ban choke holds. In Seattle, the police agreed to stop using tear gas against our own citizens. The mayor is proposing an independent prosecutor to review police-related incidents without conflict of interest. Those are just a few from across the country.
Our community has come together in support of the protesters. Small businesses shuttered by COVID-19 are now open and operating as aid supply for for protesters. They have tons of free supplies that were donated, nurses on hand, and restrooms. People are using live streams to communicate and work together and protect one another while peacefully protesting.
Black people are finally being heard. They are giving speeches at the protests and teaching people about compassion and empathy, something so many in this country have lost. They are speaking out online and we are finally starting to listen.
Police brutality videos are coming out of the woodwork and being given national exposure, increasing white support for this cause and in some cases finally drawing attention to cases that were being ignored.
People are finally talking about race and white privilege. Talk show hosts are bringing black people on to share and learn together. I had my first deep conversation about race with my mom and it was great. Same with grandma, who “felt isolated” from the riots in the 60s because they didn’t affect her (is that you today?). My friend’s conversation with her mom led to the shocking discovery she has no black peoples in her life so how can she possibly “support” Black people or even know what their lives are like? People are waking up. If you haven’t, the hard part is starting — just start.
Companies are being very introspective about their own composition and lack of opportunities for Black people. They are having meetings about race. No one ever talks about race at work. They are donating large amounts of money to organizations that help the cause and are matching employee donations. They are also realizing they are missing out on revenue from Black audiences since they can’t design for Black people if they don’t employ any that know what’s appealing.
People are coming out of the woodwork to denounce the horrific act of Mr. Trump who unleashed a military force on peaceful protesters in broad daylight to clear the square so he could go take a photoshoot with a bible after blatantly lying that he supports said protesters the preceding speech. #ResignNowTrump
Washington DC is standing up to Mr. Trump. They painted BLACK LIVES MATTER in huge writing on the street for blocks leading up to the White House. They renamed a square after black lives matter.
King County finally moved to COVID-19 phase 1.5 and restaurants added outdoor seating and we can get haircuts finally.
Seattle finally got a free testing site. It’s open now and you just have to make an appointment. The city is encouraging all protesters to get tested.
The riots sucked. I hate seeing my city destroyed and boarded up, especially since it was already boarded up due to COVID-19 and impacted businesses were already suffering. But they got my attention. They got everyone’s attention and now shit is getting done.
Please don’t wish it would go back to normal, we’ve come too far to go back now. Normal was shitty and we get to invent the new normal. Come along, it’ll be a fun!
I am now focused on what I can do to help keep the momentum going. And my primary initial goal right now is getting you to take action.
I reached a new level of understanding and empathy for Black people this week. I am now working together with the only Black person from my high school and she is one of the leaders of this fight in Eugene, Oregon. We talk on the phone and she is incredible. She asked me to call her and I found out the reason was so that she could check on ME! She wanted to make sure I was doing ok newly in this fight 💗 If you told me last Friday I would be working with her today I would not have believed you.
For this to succeed, we all need to begin taking action. I know you support the cause since you’re in my social circle. But supporting the cause is not enough.
I know it’s really hard to deal with all of this right now and we are all tired and overwhelmed from COVID-19.
But it’s not hard to get started. It’s starts by looking inward. Ask yourself, Who are my Black friends?
It will help you start to look inside yourself and start to examine your relationship with Black people. If you support Black people, you owe them this. It also includes 8 easy things you can do to get started.
If you pivot your perspective like I have, you get to see all of these:
They replace all the stuff you are worrying about.
The news has the wrong angle. In trying to be balanced it’s missing the point.
These protests are the beginning of a healing process for America.
Start talking to each other about this.
Stop talking about how awful it is and start talking about how wonderful it is.
For all of this progress we owe a great debt and gratitude to all of the Black lives that have been lost. The George Floyd funeral was held this week with many tears and motivating anger aimed at reforming the police system.
Friday was Breonna Taylor’s Birthday. She was an EMT and would have been helping the protesters but she was murdered by police officers.
I think it’s important to see her face and look in her eyes. She was a real person. Robbed of a life.
According to NPR, her family remembers her most for her love of her healthcare job, how she enjoyed playing cards with her aunts and how she would fall asleep during movies.
Help remember here at https://msha.ke/30flirtyfilm/ #BirthdayForBreonna
Thank you Breonna Taylor 😇
Thank you George Floyd 😇