I find that today, I’m unable to pull together a coherent post. I am a stream of thoughts, observations, and emotions.
I’ve been to Kenosha, Wisconsin.
It’s a town of no more than 100,000 people on the shores of Lake Michigan.
A college friend of mine got married there.
Not that that matters.
Jacob Blake was shot 7 times in the back in front of his children there.
Miraculously, he didn’t die. But he will be forever paralyzed.
Those steps we saw him take, walking around his car? Those were his last.
Video soon emerged showing incidences of the same police force in Kenosha being threatened by white men and NOT being shot by the policemen.
Understandably, protests broke out in Kenosha.
Black lives matter.
Last night, a 17 year old with an AR-15 drove from Illinois into Kenosha.
During the evening protests, he shot at protestors. Killed two of them. Seriously injured a third.
There were cops standing nearby. They did not do anything to the shooter.
Even when protestors went up to the cops and pointed in the direction of the shooter, they did not do anything.
The shooter didn’t get arrested that night. It took another 12 hours, so not until Wednesday morning, for the police to arrest the shooter. This is someone who killed two people the night before.
Later that same day, the Milwaukee Bucks, who are in the basketball playoffs, announced that they were boycotting the game. A playoff game.
This is from their somber statement: “When we take the court and represent Milwaukee and Wisconsin, we are expected to play at a high level, give maximum effort and hold each other accountable. We hold ourselves to that standard, and in this moment, we are demanding the same from lawmakers and law enforcement.”
The team they were supposed to play announced they, too, would boycott the game in solidarity.
Then the other NBA teams playing in games that night pulled out of their games. The players, as a group, are demanding that owners take action.
Then the same thing happened in baseball, which hasn’t been quite as vocal about activism and racial justice as the basketball leagues. The Milwaukee Brewers pulled out of their game, and several other teams did the same.
Then the Women’s basketball league pulled out.
So did Major League Soccer teams.
And at least one tennis player in a tournament as of this writing.
Which brings me to this moment.
Please act. Don’t be a bystander.
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Categories: Articles, Take Action
Ugh. Just devastating. Just finished Ibrahm X. Kendi’s “How to be an Antiracist” and he argues persuasively that the most anti-racist thing we can do is fight to pass anti-racist policy and legislation. So I will call my representatives about bills on both a federal and state level that are included in that description today. For starters.
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It’s an excellent book. Thank you for taking action!
Like you, I am having trouble finding focus … there is so much happening that it overwhelms. I am encouraged, however, by the sports teams taking a stand, using their voice to stand up against the forces of racist police brutality. Colin Kaepernick had the right idea, and these teams are taking it a step further. Thumbs up to them!
Yes, what the athletes did yesterday felt seismic to me. Getting to the playoffs is not easy, and to give up one of those games is incredible. Then to have such incredible solidarity sweep through multiple leagues, was amazing.