Updated: Aug 27
Gratitude to BLM principals for inciting global push back against racial segregation, discrimination, inequity, micro-aggression, marginalization;
and implicit, life-endangering bias in 21st century America.
There is no arguing that en masse demonstration has always been viable or driving social change. Having a clear plan for achieving that change is equally as critical.
Yet defining a plan can be daunting in an age in which successful action is measured principally by social media savvy. No doubt, without the ever present cell phone, the nation-world would not have been witness to the police savagery of George Floyd’s curbside “lynching” in Minneapolis, or tragic law enforcement murders of Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta and Elijah McClain in Aurora. The list goes on.
In the mattering of Black lives, it is also concerning that a good number of both young and old BLM advocates resist due processes of civic responsibility. More than a few dismiss the Constitutional stopgaps that ensure (theoretically) "We the People" the unalienable right to demand, pursue and effect systemic change.
Too many still believe their vote does not matter: “Black voter turnout declined for the first time in 20 years in a presidential election, falling to 59.6% in 2016 after reaching a record-high 66.6% in 2012,” according to pewresearch.com
Not surprising given the nation’s shady backstory and forked tongue Constitutional pronouncements of equal rights to “life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.”
Though slowly closing, the gap between palpable Black Lives Matter ideology and understanding the need for a readable roadmap to embedding that ideology into a system that dismisses it, threatens to render impotent the crucial importance of the movement. Marching and T-shirts and signs are good; but to protect its integrity and sustain forward movement, BLM champions must clamor now to access, adapt and wield lessons learned and strategies deployed by foot soldiers, freedom riders and iconic heroes of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement.
For that matter, at this point every U.S. national should revisit world history to assess the need for quick action to excise the deeper danger at the nation’s front door…
Not the police: the “secret police” -- with unmarked vans -- dispatched in July to Portland, Oregon by the federal government to stop “anarchists.”
An old colloquialism instructs “do the best you can with what you’ve got.” (The original saying is attributed to 26th U.S. president Theodore Roosevelt: “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”)
Right now – as it has been since Bloody Sunday in 1961 -- it looks like the best due process for mitigating infrastructure-real racial inequity and systemic not-mattering of Black lives is to vote on November 3 of this year… by every legal means necessary.
If Black People(s) do not -- the eloquence of the BLM movement notwithstanding and Covid-19 death demographics evidentiary-- Black lives in 21st century America over the next four years will matter a lot less than they do now.