from the world's big
8 powerful voices share what it's like to be black in America, and why white people must break the racist status quo.
- Black communities have been telling the nation, for more than a century, that they have been targeted, beaten, falsely accused and killed by the police and other institutions meant to protect them.
- They have not been believed until recently, when the rise in camera phones and social media finally enabled them show and disseminate proof.
- Even after the video of George Floyd's death on May 25, 2020, there remains defensiveness and denial among white Americans and institutions—a defensiveness that prevents change to the root of the problem: systemic racism. In this video, eight powerful voices share perspectives on being black in America, and why white inaction and white politeness must end.
It turns out big ideas don't always fit in sign-sized slogans.
- People are talking a lot about abolishing police lately, but what does that mean?
- We spoke with an expert on the subject, who reveals the nuance in the idea.
- Like any broad concept, there are a diversity of ideas expressed in the slogan.
An interview with Maira Khwaja<p>To learn more about this, I spoke with Maira Khwaja, the Engagement Director at the <a href="https://invisible.institute/" target="_blank">Invisible Institute</a> in Chicago. A lightly edited transcript of our interview appears below:</p><p><strong>How would you describe the idea of Police Abolition? </strong><br> <br> "Police and prison abolition is like a mindset of trying to imagine and work towards a society where police would not be necessary. It's not about 'we end police tomorrow.' It's about trying to create a world where we don't need police and prisons. For somebody just learning about it for the first time, I can imagine it would sound impossible. The point is about imagining what else we need to come up first."<br> <br> <strong>Why is this preferable to reform efforts?</strong></p><p>"Abolitionist reforms seek to take power from the police and put it elsewhere where it would reduce crime at its source. In Chicago, if somebody is struggling with homelessness, you have to go through the police in order to get any homeless services. This can make people too afraid to get the help they need. What if there was a different front door to access the services they need? An abolitionist reform might be to create an alternative first responder for dealing with homelessness in the city. Chicago has 'advanced' reforms. We need officers to record each time they pull a gun. Anecdotally, we can see this isn't happening."</p><p><strong>Is police abolition the same thing as "defund the police" that you see on so many protest signs these days?</strong></p><p>"Not the same, but defund the police is part of abolition. The critical thing is that defund the police doesn't go far enough. It must be defund and invest. We have to take the money from the police and put it into something that has been defunded a lot. In Chicago, this would be education and housing. 'Defund' sounds radical until you realize how many other social services have been defunded over the last few decades."<br> <strong><br> </strong><strong>In the mind of a supporter of police abolition, how do the police work? How does this impact the viewpoint?</strong></p><p>"Think of abolition as 'What if the police didn't exist at all? What would we have to do to deal with people's help and safety and crisis response?' We would have some group to fight crime. Pure abolitionists would say 'policing should not exist.'<br> <br> I say, I'm not entirely there yet on not having any system of policing. There would be crime and exploitation. I would like to see an alternative kind of first response when crimes are committed.<br> <br> Jaime Kalvin (also of the Invisible Institute<em>) </em>suggested that there is a core function of police, reacting to situations where people feel physically threatened. I would have police address that core function and leave everything else to other services and just have the police address the truest emergencies."</p>
Is that everything then?<p>Now, Maira Khwaja can only speak for their point of view, but they identify many key points in the <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Police_abolition_movement" target="_blank">abolitionist cause</a>. Namely, reducing the number of things the police are called in for, taking police funding and putting it into programs that prevent crime, and considering what alternative methods of dealing with crime and safety exist that don't involve the police force. </p>
Who else has written on this? What do they say?<div class="rm-shortcode" data-media_id="h9zLrcKs" data-player_id="FvQKszTI" data-rm-shortcode-id="ec8557ce07d3452c68d603c96f0042dc"> <div id="botr_h9zLrcKs_FvQKszTI_div" class="jwplayer-media" data-jwplayer-video-src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/h9zLrcKs-FvQKszTI.js"> <img src="https://cdn.jwplayer.com/thumbs/h9zLrcKs-1920.jpg" class="jwplayer-media-preview" /> </div> <script src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/h9zLrcKs-FvQKszTI.js"></script> </div> <p>The significant points behind the police abolition movement have been floating around for decades. Former vice presidential candidate and activist Dr. Angela Davis has been discussing the idea for years. Her work in the related concept of <a href="https://collectiveliberation.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Are_Prisons_Obsolete_Angela_Davis.pdf" target="_blank">prison abolition </a>does too. In one of her recent <a href="https://www.democracynow.org/2020/6/12/angela_davis_on_abolition_calls_to" target="_blank">interviews</a>, she further explains the idea:</p><p> "Defunding the police is not simply about withdrawing funding for law enforcement and doing nothing else. And it appears as if this is the rather superficial understanding that has caused Biden to move in the direction he's moving in. It's about shifting public funds to new services and new institutions — mental health counselors, who can respond to people who are in crisis without arms. It's about shifting funding to education, to housing, to recreation. All of these things help to create security and safety. It's about learning that safety, safeguarded by violence, is not really safety. And I would say that abolition is not primarily a negative strategy. It's not primarily about dismantling, getting rid of, but it's about reenvisioning. It's about building anew."</p><p>Mariame Kaba, the director of <a href="http://project-nia.org/" target="_blank">Project NIA</a>, has been involved in the prison abolition movement for a while and lays out their ideas in a <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/12/opinion/sunday/floyd-abolish-defund-police.html" target="_blank">New York Times OpEd</a> which argues that our current model of crime prevention is less effective than you think and that alternatives would not only reduce police brutality but prevent more crime in the long run. </p><p><a href="http://www.alex-vitale.info/" target="_blank">Professor Alex Vitale</a> of Brooklyn College explained his stances in an interview with <a href="https://jacobinmag.com/2020/06/alex-vitale-police-reform-defund-protests" target="_blank">Jacobin</a>, where he argues that police brutality is a feature of our current system which has endured despite decades of well-meaning people admitting the problem was real. He then argues that dramatic change is necessary to solve the problem. His ideas can also be found in his book "The End of Policing," which is <a href="https://www.versobooks.com/books/2426-the-end-of-policing" target="_blank">currently available by download for free.</a> </p><p>As Maira Khwaja said, the concept is broad, and there are many views within it. Some of these thinkers advance ideas that others would reject as too much or too little. Despite this, the fundamental concepts of reducing the number of issues we delegate to the police and taking the money this saves and putting it into things like education, healthcare, and social services remains. </p><p>Activists are not known for getting the phrasing of their demands reviewed by savvy media gurus who can make them inoffensive or grant them laser-like precision. While the phrase "abolish the police" is an inaccurate depiction of what many, but not all, activists want to do, it is a bold enough phrase to ignite the fires of debate –which is precisely what activism is supposed to do.</p><p>Given that you've just read an entire article considering what the idea is, it seems like the phrasing has worked wonders. </p>
A massive Dating.com study reveals just how important politics are in the dating world right now.
- According to a new survey from a popular dating website, 84 percent of people currently looking for a relationship through dating apps won't even consider dating someone with opposite political views.
- Additionally, 67 percent of the dating site's users have admitted to previously ending a relationship due to opposing political views.
- Licensed marriage therapist Dr. Gary Brown says that there is more "venom and animosity" now than there was during the Vietnam War.
Exploring the connections between romance and politics<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzM4OTA0Ni9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxMDEyNDU2N30.PtZ8GeZv4bc8U0wTTwP_zPcmzZq2oul73sSsqDW06Tk/img.jpg?width=980" id="4245b" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="6d5d17ac69c91176f0090f738a5badd5" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="vote pins concept of voter registration" />
Sex and politics have been closely linked for a long time.
Photo by 3dfoto on Shutterstock<p>From the <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/14/us/politics/george-and-kellyanne-conway.html" target="_blank">extremely public disagreements</a> between White House advisor Kellyanne Conway and her husband, to the tense argument you and your partner had on voting day, politics can be a breaking point for any relationship.</p><p>Sex and intimacy provide a strong driving force for humans that reaches far beyond the confines of the bedroom. Our personal relationships influence our behaviors, our thoughts, our motivations, and our even our political opinions, to some extent.</p><p><strong>If your sexual preferences align, your political values might, too. </strong></p><p><a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0191886916310364" target="_blank">According to this 2017 study</a>, traditional behaviors in the bedroom (what some might deem to be <a href="https://sofiagray.com/vanilla-sex-gets-a-bad-wrap-heres-why-its-actually-great/" target="_blank">"vanilla" sex</a>) can be closely related to more conservative orientations, whereas more adventurous sexual endeavors can suggest more liberal ideas. </p><p>Whether you're swiping right or scrolling through, it can be hard to find a match who's values and opinions are in line with yours. While some minor disagreements and conflicts can actually <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/conscious-communication/201703/why-conflict-is-healthy-relationships" target="_blank">be healthy in a relationship</a>, pairing up with someone who has opposing political views might just mean you have two very different sets of morals that may not bring out the best in each other.</p><p><strong>Defining dating expectations allows you to see how important political views are in the beginning of a relationship. </strong></p><p><a href="https://www.itsjustlunch.com/do-politics-and-dating-make-a-match" target="_blank">According to a study</a> released by It's Just Lunch, 50 percent of single men and women stated that dating someone with opposing political views was fine for short-term relationships but would not be ideal for long-term commitments. </p><p>If you're looking for something casual and fun, perhaps politics doesn't need to play as big of a role as it would if you were swiping right to find a long-term relationship. </p><p><strong>Navigating politics and relationships is more difficult now than ever before.</strong></p><p>That same study by It's Just Lunch has around 40 percent of men and women claiming they believe it's "too risky" to bring up politics on a first date. </p><p>It's not just dating website studies - therapists around the world are struggling to defuse politically-charged landmines in relationships. <a href="https://drgarybrowntherapy.com/" target="_blank">Gary Brown</a>, Ph.D. and licensed marriage therapist explains to <a href="https://www.womenshealthmag.com/life/a19943112/relationship-therapists-politics-advice/" target="_blank">Women's Health Magazine</a> that now more than ever we are living in such an intense political climate that it is undoubtedly causing tension not just in romantic relationships but in friendships and among colleagues as well. </p><p>"It's everywhere," Brown explains. "I can't remember a time, not even during the Vietnam war, where there was as much venom and animosity as there is now. Even people who deeply love each other are falling victim to the 'politics of personal destruction', where it's not enough to disagree with someone but you have to destroy them and everything they stand for in the process." </p>
How to (respectfully) broach the topic of politics with a potential match<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzM4OTA0NS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYwOTU4NjY2M30.aP7RVtnmbxWyR8TvF2X4KkAOPGQzyj_yH1vSz9irjV0/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C52%2C0%2C52&height=700" id="25b1e" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="4dee3450c09733a0f67664f4896e2621" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="man and women disagreeing arguing on couch" />
Polarizing political views can be a deal-breaker - here's how to navigate the topic of politics on a date.
Photo by fizkes on Shutterstock<p>"During a time where we are surrounded by politics, it is important to look at the impact that it has on the online dating industry," Vice President of Dating.com, Maria Sullivan, explains. "We have seen a huge increase in political terms being added to user profiles."</p><p>According to the study, 72 percent of singles would rather you flaunt that you voted at all (rather than who specifically you voted for) in your bio. More than half the participants surveyed said that bringing up a discussion about politics too early can be a huge turn-off.</p><p>So how do you make sure you make your view known while not being too pushy about the subject too early on? </p><p><strong>Use non-confrontational language and keep things vague in the beginning. </strong>If voting is important to you, make that known and suggest that you're open to talking politics with anyone who is interested. </p><p><strong>Choose the right time.</strong> Perhaps the first words you say shouldn't be an accusatory statement about who they voted for and why. Bringing up political views is an important test to see if the match is right, but choose the right time to insert politics into the conversation. </p><p><strong>Be open-minded (or respectful, at the very least).</strong> While you may have a hard stance on your political views (as many people do), being respectful of other people's opinions is often the best approach and the thing that might open the conversation up in a healthy way.</p>
Expert opinion is divided on how effective riots can be on causing social change. However, these five examples show they can do something.
- We often hear that riots are not an effective means towards social change, but what do the experts say?
- Experts are still working on it, but it is agreed that it is at least occasionally effective.
- We include five cases of when rioting clearly led to desired social change.
Stamp Act Riots<div class="rm-shortcode" data-media_id="d6Ik9KKW" data-player_id="FvQKszTI" data-rm-shortcode-id="2b28e9d9088a65b7dc9d23592c74bdbe"> <div id="botr_d6Ik9KKW_FvQKszTI_div" class="jwplayer-media" data-jwplayer-video-src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/d6Ik9KKW-FvQKszTI.js"> <img src="https://cdn.jwplayer.com/thumbs/d6Ik9KKW-1920.jpg" class="jwplayer-media-preview" /> </div> <script src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/d6Ik9KKW-FvQKszTI.js"></script> </div> <p>The Stamp Acts were the first attempt at directly taxing the American Colonies by the British Parliament. Like the later taxes that would directly lead to the American Revolution, these were imposed without the representation of the colonists. The act required that all printed materials in the colonies be on specially printed paper that carried a revenue <a href="https://www.massmoments.org/moment-details/boston-mob-protests-stamp-act.html" target="_blank">stamp</a>.</p><p>Shortly after the law passed, the protests and riots started. Street protests of unprecedented size broke out from New Hampshire to Georgia. In Boston, an effigy of the appointed tax collector Andrew Oliver, who didn't know he had been appointed to the role, was beheaded by an angry mob who then threw rocks at his house and raided his wine <a href="https://www.history.com/news/the-stamp-act-riots-250-years-ago" target="_blank">cellar</a>. A few weeks later, the same group stormed the mansion of the Lieutenant Governor and took everything not bolted down, including the slate roof. </p><p>Similar riots broke out in every colony. Ships bringing in the stamped paper were turned back at harbors. Every designated tax collector resigned within eight months of the law's passage. The act was repealed after only one year of existence and without having raised much money at all.</p><p>Groups that had organized to resist the act formed the <a href="https://constitutioncenter.org/blog/the-seeds-of-revolution-stamp-act-protests-in-boston" target="_blank">Sons of Liberty</a>, which would play a large part in the beginnings of the American Revolution. <br> <br></p>
The Dorr Rebellion<div class="rm-shortcode" data-media_id="XKp7qfki" data-player_id="FvQKszTI" data-rm-shortcode-id="ee40aa273a6fdb6b56c2bfb6e0113132"> <div id="botr_XKp7qfki_FvQKszTI_div" class="jwplayer-media" data-jwplayer-video-src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/XKp7qfki-FvQKszTI.js"> <img src="https://cdn.jwplayer.com/thumbs/XKp7qfki-1920.jpg" class="jwplayer-media-preview" /> </div> <script src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/XKp7qfki-FvQKszTI.js"></script> </div> <p>In 1660, when the colonial charter of Rhode Island was drawn up, it included an uncontroversial requirement that all voters own <a href="https://newengland.com/today/living/new-england-history/dorr-rebellion/" target="_blank">property</a>. After all, when they wrote it, most people were farmers who owned their land. Nearly two hundred years later, however, this situation was intolerable. Only 40% of the state's white male population could vote, and even this group was far more rural than the white male population as a whole. </p><p> Given that most other states had near-universal white male suffrage by 1840, the people of Rhode Island tried to peacefully replace the colonial charter with a more liberal state constitution. However, these attempts all failed at the hands of the misaligned state legislature. In 1841, having given up on working within the system, a group of supporters led by <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorr_Rebellion" target="_blank">Thomas Dorr</a> had a people's convention that drafted a liberal constitution granting universal white male suffrage, which was supported by considerable margins in a later referendum.</p><p>Both Dorr's supporters and the original government of Rhode Island held elections for governor the next year, with neither party recognizing the other. Predicting trouble, the old state government instituted martial law. Dorr's supporters later attempted a raid on the Providence Arsenal but were driven back. After the state militia was called out to battle a collection of armed Dorr supporters who gathered for another convention, Dorr dissolved his forces and fled the state.<br> <br> Shocked by the strength of Dorr's supporters, the old state legislature passed a new constitution that expanded suffrage even further than the one Dorr suggested. Dorr was arrested, given a harsh sentence, and then released after a public outcry. He is traditionally listed as a governor of Rhode Island in recognition of his popular support.</p>
The Lager Beer Riot<div class="rm-shortcode" data-media_id="ANVxwtyC" data-player_id="FvQKszTI" data-rm-shortcode-id="9be87e899047dd31a0f0554f80fdf17a"> <div id="botr_ANVxwtyC_FvQKszTI_div" class="jwplayer-media" data-jwplayer-video-src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/ANVxwtyC-FvQKszTI.js"> <img src="https://cdn.jwplayer.com/thumbs/ANVxwtyC-1920.jpg" class="jwplayer-media-preview" /> </div> <script src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/ANVxwtyC-FvQKszTI.js"></script> </div> <p>In 1855 as the temperance movement began to pick up steam, it was not uncommon for legislatures to limit which days alcohol could be purchased and who could sell it. In Chicago, under <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Know_Nothing" target="_blank">Know-Nothing</a> mayor Levi Boone, the city increased the price of liquor licenses from $50 to $300*. It also reduced their term of validity to three months, down from one year, in an attempt to reduce the number of saloons in the city. </p><p> This action had a distinctly anti-immigration tone to it, as the legislation most impacted German and Irish immigrants. They enjoyed a drink on their one day off at saloons in their own, often more impoverished neighborhoods. </p><p>Saloon owners ignored the law, and two hundred were quickly arrested. On the day of the first criminal trial related to the law, immigrants swarmed the downtown area. After several arrests, an armed group of German immigrants marched on the area from the North Side to rescue the prisoners. The bridges across the Chicago River were <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swing_bridge" target="_blank">swung</a> to prevent crossing and allowing the police time to gather. When the bridges were turned back, the immigrants charged and were fired upon, killing one.</p><p>As a result of the rioting, the licensing fee went back down to <a href="http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/703.html" target="_blank">$50</a>, residents of Chicago started to pay attention to who was running the city, and the Sunday law went back to infrequent enforcement. Those charged with violating the law were not released, but the rioters got off scot-free.</p>
The Detroit Riot/King Assassination Riots<div class="rm-shortcode" data-media_id="Pp0GgyYV" data-player_id="FvQKszTI" data-rm-shortcode-id="d0abe4734f5ed640cf5f10bb37ecd17b"> <div id="botr_Pp0GgyYV_FvQKszTI_div" class="jwplayer-media" data-jwplayer-video-src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/Pp0GgyYV-FvQKszTI.js"> <img src="https://cdn.jwplayer.com/thumbs/Pp0GgyYV-1920.jpg" class="jwplayer-media-preview" /> </div> <script src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/Pp0GgyYV-FvQKszTI.js"></script> </div> <p>Two riots separated by less than a year, which led to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1968.</p><p>Sparked by a police raid on a bar hosting a party to celebrate the return of two GI's from Vietnam, the <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1967_Detroit_riot" target="_blank">Detroit riot</a> soon spread all over the city. The national guard was quickly called in by Governor Romney. However, the guardsmen's lack of professionalism and experience led to several deaths and did little to stop the rioting. So many people were arrested that the Windsor, Canada police stepped in to help process fingerprints. Several <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algiers_Motel_incident" target="_blank">instances</a> of <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1967_Detroit_riot#Tuesday,_July_25" target="_blank">incredible</a> police <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1967_Detroit_riot#Deaths" target="_blank">brutality</a> took <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/retropolis/wp/2017/08/04/detroit-and-the-police-brutality-that-left-three-black-teens-dead-at-the-algiers-motel/" target="_blank">place</a>. This did nothing to help restore order- nearly 500 fires blazed on the second day of rioting.</p><p>Around midnight on the third day, President Johnson sent in federal troops. While the army proved more effective than the National Guard, it took another 48 hours for the riots to end. Dozens of people died, hundreds were wounded, more than a thousand buildings burned, several thousand people were arrested, and the images of tanks in the streets of a burning American city graced screens worldwide.<br> <br> While the riots were still ongoing, President Johnson formed the <a href="https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/1968-kerner-commission-got-it-right-nobody-listened-180968318/" target="_blank">Kerner Commission</a> to investigate the causes of the riots and suggest solutions. Their report found that African Americans did, in fact, endure problems related to what we would now call "systemic racism." It called for a variety of policy changes, including fair housing laws, job programs, and more public housing. As has been a theme in the American history of addressing racism, Johnson and Congress proceeded to ignore these suggestions.</p><p>One month after the release of that report, when Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was struck down, riots broke out in more than <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_assassination_riots" target="_blank">100 American cities</a>. President Lyndon Johnson pressured Congress to act. With the sound of rioting audible from within their smoke-filled meeting rooms, Congress found the votes to pass the previously stalled <a href="https://erlc.com/resource-library/articles/5-facts-about-the-civil-rights-act-of-1968" target="_blank">Civil Rights Act</a> in six days.</p>
Stonewall<div class="rm-shortcode" data-media_id="MuTBZMQj" data-player_id="FvQKszTI" data-rm-shortcode-id="c6c5d281069a0a484dc76425580d7671"> <div id="botr_MuTBZMQj_FvQKszTI_div" class="jwplayer-media" data-jwplayer-video-src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/MuTBZMQj-FvQKszTI.js"> <img src="https://cdn.jwplayer.com/thumbs/MuTBZMQj-1920.jpg" class="jwplayer-media-preview" /> </div> <script src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/MuTBZMQj-FvQKszTI.js"></script> </div> <p>The dawn of the LGTBQ+ rights movement, <a href="https://www.history.com/topics/gay-rights/the-stonewall-riots" target="_blank">Stonewall</a> was a standard police raid on yet another gay bar that went in a very different <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stonewall_riots" target="_blank">direction</a>.</p><p>At 1:20 on the morning of June 28, 1968, the police knocked down the door of a mafia owned gay bar in the Village without running water to clean glasses with. The patrons of the bar refused to cooperate with police demands for identification and verification of what sex they were, resulting in the decision to arrest them all. A crowd began to form outside the bar, which dramatically outnumbered the police.</p><p>After witnessing the police strike an unknown woman* with a baton, the crowd attacked the police vans, slashing the tires and helping the arrested escape. The police barricaded themselves inside the bar, which was then besieged by the assemblage with an impromptu battering ram. The officers who brought the paddy wagons fled.</p><p>Police reinforcements arrived, but the situation only deteriorated from there. Nightstick wielding officers attacked a singing kickline, police were chased down the street by the crowd, and the Stonewall Inn was laid waste. Rioting continued over the next few days before dissipating. </p><p>Unlike the other riots on this list, the immediate effects of Stonewall were oriented more towards psychological and activist outcomes rather than changes in the legal system. Raids on gay bars continued, but gay newspapers, organizations, and activist groups sprang up like flowers in the spring. Two years to the day of the riot, the first Pride parades took place. Gay rights activists Randy Wicker and Frank Kameny, who were both initially embarrassed by the riot, went on to claim that there was a definite psychological effect caused by the event, which "stirred an unexpected spirit among many homosexuals."</p><p>The results of that psychological change and the fruits of that post-riot organization are evident today in the robustness of the LGBTQ+ movement and its successes. </p>
Remaining silent is being complicit.
- Protests around the world are demanding an end to police discrimination and violence against black citizens in America.
- Author and activist Dax-Devlon Ross offers advice on how white people can help during this moment.
- Ross's suggestions include thinking and voting locally, supporting black-owned businesses, and practicing self-reflection.
EarthRise Podcast 89: An Honest Conversation About Race (with Dax-Devlon Ross)<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="df8a1046109cc2c6805707d2c808f656"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/lLW74j9fvFE?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><h3>Think locally</h3><p>Do you know your local sheriff? We focus on big-ticket races. Down-ballot candidates are often skipped; otherwise, people choose an incumbent without further investigation. Ross believes it's essential to know who's running your neighborhood. Do they have a history of abuse? (<a href="https://8cantwait.org/" target="_blank">This resource</a> could help you find out.) Researching candidates for sheriff, judges, and other regional offices is important for changing the narrative. </p><p>We must also hold regional leaders accountable. For example, Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti has taken a lot of heat this week. When he was voted into that office in 2017, only <a href="https://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-ln-los-angeles-mayor-election-turnout-20170321-story.html" target="_blank">20 percent</a> of the eligible population even bothered to cast a ballot. Today Garcetti <a href="https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-06-03/protests-demanding-racial-justice-gain-momentum-across-l-a" target="_blank">announced</a> that up to $250 million will be diverted from the police budget to address health care and education issues in the black community. That's a good sign, but we have to remain vigilant during its implementation, especially when considering the <a href="https://la.curbed.com/2020/1/7/21054171/measure-hhh-first-project-open-homeless-housing" target="_blank">ongoing failure</a> of the $1.2 billion homeless initiative passed in 2016. The effects of this week's protests need to be continually fought for until they're realized. </p><h3>Support black-owned businesses</h3><p>On his Netflix show, "Trigger Warning with Killer Mike," the rapper <a href="https://kulturehub.com/killer-mike-black-owned-business/" target="_blank">tries to support</a> only black-owned businesses for a day. It's not as easy as it sounds. Ross found the humor in the episode, but ultimately, "it was also tragic." </p><p>Earlier this week, the LA Times published <a href="https://www.latimes.com/food/story/2020-05-31/black-owned-restaurants-in-los-angeles" target="_blank">this list</a> of 85 black-owned food services and restaurants. Ross takes it a step further: Who's your financial advisor? Your banker? Lawyer? If you own a business, how does staff diversity look?</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Maybe add some folks of color to that list of people you want to talk to. Sometimes white people implicitly assume 'white is right.' And a lot times white people are right. I'm just asking them to break it up a little bit, and think, 'How can I support businesses that are POC-owned and -led?'"</p><p>Considering how disproportionally blacks are being harmed during this pandemic—<a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/01/business/economy/black-workers-inequality-economic-risks.html" target="_blank">skyrocketing unemployment rate</a>; higher death rates in the <a href="https://hbr.org/2020/05/the-disproportionate-impact-of-covid-19-on-black-health-care-workers-in-the-u-s" target="_blank">health care sector</a> and <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-04-14/covid-19-is-hurting-black-americans-more-in-almost-every-way" target="_blank">general population</a>—economic support is more important than ever. <a href="https://webuyblack.com/" target="_blank">We Buy Black</a> is a great resource. </p>
Demonstrators attend a "Sit Out the Curfew" protest against the death of George Floyd who died on May 25 in Minneapolis whilst in police custody, along a street in Oakland, California on June 3, 2020.
Photo by Philip Pacheco / AFP<h3>Do the inner work</h3><p>"What's coming up for you?" Ross requests that you investigate previous relationships, incidents, and mindsets around black people. Has one bad interaction colored your thinking on the race? If you've used isolated experiences to dictate beliefs, you need to rethink your biases. </p><p>Education is paramount. Ross mentions a white friend who recently learned about <a href="https://daily.jstor.org/the-devastation-of-black-wall-street/" target="_blank">Black Wall Street</a> while watching an episode of "Watchmen." At first, his friend thought it was fake. After researching the incident after he was furious over his ignorance. A century later, Human Rights Watch <a href="https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/09/12/us-how-abusive-biased-policing-destroys-lives" target="_blank">found</a> police abuse centralized in the exact same region of Tulsa. You can't change what you refuse to investigate. Change begins when you explore your implicit bias.</p><p>If this week has taught us anything, it's that we desperately need to change. And then keep going, and going, because America's horrific record—our tragic present—is on full display. Turning away any longer would be criminal. The can has been kicked far too long. </p><p>--</p><p><em>Stay in touch with Derek on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/derekberes" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/DerekBeresdotcom" target="_blank">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://derekberes.substack.com/" target="_blank">Substack</a>. His next book is</em> "<em>Hero's Dose: The Case For Psychedelics in Ritual and Therapy."</em></p>