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maise posted 6/7/2020 10:26 AM

To add more...

My wife is black. My best friend, my brother, I live in a community where the majority of us are POC. When my wife, my children and I go into predominantly white neighborhoods, we’ve experienced the awkward stares. Cause we’re lesbian? POC? Who really knows, but the energy is glaring.

Seeing police brutality brings me to tears, the first thing I think of is my brother, my sons friend, my nephew, so many people that I hold dear to my heart and it could have easily been them...because they’re black. My nephew has to be taught how to behave when pulled over because he is a 6’5 black man. Sweetest soul ever, brilliant, a full ride scholarship to an amazing college, but because society sees him as “less than” or “threatening” he has to be taught to conform and change how he behaves to appease others and “make sure they don’t feel threatened by his presence” seriously? He’s a human being.

An entire population of people speak of their experiences and mistreatment and have been speaking to police brutality for decades...they should have never been dismissed in the first place. They have to be ok losing life after life, watching the legal system acquit the murderes involved and then watching the country not listen. Not care. Not educate themselves. So now they have more protests on the same matter. Risking their health during a pandemic when studies show our POC are disproportionately effected by this virus. Yet another mark on our circumstances. Poverty and lack of access to healthy foods create illness...now our underlying illnesses during a pandemic kill us off. Go figure.

Next time a news report wants to take a way from a protest by discussing the riots, which aren’t even the protesters sometimes, remember that the protest is about LIVES, a riot is on material. One can be replaced, one cant.

Black people in this country experienced slavery, that lives and hurts their communities thru generational trauma. On top of this very unaddressed generational trauma, they experience all the inequalities they have of today in daily life. Sometimes hurt comes out in anger, violence...society uses this as a mark against black people, instead of seeing the hurt they are really suffering. Instead of compassion, understanding, helping.

To think that slavery’s harm just “disappeared” among an entire group of people is ignorant. We look at one another here and when we discuss FOO, we look to the parents...but then we have to show compassion and understand they did the best at they could with the tools they were given, so we look to their parents, and their parents and so on...if you’re Black in America, then you can trace back your FOO to eventually find an ancestor that was enslaved. What did they teach the slaves? To be muted, that they’re nobody, to fear, to abuse to assert power, control, to not feel...

Now we have an entire community of people that never had these emotional traumas addressed, that were sent off into the world after slavery and essentially told to figure it out. Now we had them pass this trauma down thru their generations. And we dare to judge, dare to scold, dare to minimize their pain. Mental health is EVERYTHING. Showing up in educating yourself on what is happening in this country and what is happening to an entire group of people is crucial. See the person. Hold compassion. Stand up when there’s wrongs, help when you can, if people speak to their experience, listen. Don’t discount their voice.

Black is beautiful. Every color, every human, beautiful in their own ways. If you find yourself thinking things that mean “some hold superiority” than others, then you should take the time to assess why you think this, and work through it. So that you don’t pass it to your children, to others in society.

Carissima posted 6/8/2020 08:51 AM

a riot is on material

I'm sorry I have to disagree, riots are about intimidation, fear, anarchy, injury and in some cases death.
I do agree that riots are instigated by outsiders, troublemakers who go to protests with the aim of causing trouble, unfortunately they have proven to be extremely effective.

Loukas posted 6/8/2020 09:23 AM

remember that the protest is about LIVES, a riot is on material. One can be replaced, one cant.

Do these officers lives matter? Do they deserve to be minimized? What good is accomplished by ignoring the truth?
BBC News (UK) - 27 police officers injured during largely peaceful anti-racism protests in London.

maise posted 6/8/2020 11:03 AM

If a loved one of yours was murdered and you responded in anger it would be an understandable emotion to your grievance. Will it get you to your healing to take that anger out recklessly? No. Absolutely not. But are your feelings valid? Yes, and it would not diminish how horrible what you experienced was. Sure you can learn to channel that anger, but one doesn’t take away from the experience of the other. No I don’t agree with riots, obviously, but to take away from the issue at hand bc of them is to diminish the experience of what is really happening.

And for you to move this over to police lives matter? “Police lives matter” “all lives matter” ...police and all lives don’t experience what the black community is going through at the numbers that they do, and at the levels of which it’s done...otherwise we wouldn’t be saying BLACK LIVES MATTER. Not to mention police *choose* this job. "To serve and protect the community" right? What is being protested is what's not serving the community. The dangers that cops face are by choice. They choose this profession knowing the risks and dangers. You don’t *have to be a cop*, but you do *have to be black*. Being black isn’t a choice. It’s not a chosen profession that someone opted into knowing there is a disproportionate risk involved.

Police have been shooting rubber bullets taking out peaceful protestors eyes and teargassing them. The vast majority of protests have been non-violent. There are reports being unveiled of police departments hiding the truth of what happens to make themselves look better when they are being BRUTAL. There is case after case after case, and video recordings. To assume I'm saying it’s “all police” would be ignorant, but I’ll go ahead and say, no, it’s not “all police" again the issue is still prevalent enough and large enough to effect many people time and time again. So they’re asking for it to stop. For change. Why that needs to be debated is beyond me. Explaining to others that brutally harming and killing people bc of the color of their skin is a beyond horrible act that needs to stop shouldn’t be this hard.

“All lives can’t matter until black lives do.”

And to everything else I said before. It stands. And continues to make my point to this. It was completely negated in your responses as you focus on *one* thing and ignore everything else. Compassion, love, understanding, educating, empathy. A community of people that this country has treated like less than shit. They deserve more. They always have.

I’ll add just a few more things. Taking black men to jail and holding them accountable if they attack a cop or a white person is not a problem. Black men being convicted and serving time in prison is done, easily, yet another disproportion.

For a white person to claim fear as a reason like the woman at central park did is ridiculous, who's the person in real danger in that situation? The white woman that calls the cops for being asked to leash her dog and then uses her privilege to contact the police knowing the police will believe her? Or the black man that was having the cops called on him knowing they wouldn't believe him and he would likely be imprisoned therefore ruining his life, or murdered therefore taking his life?

It's pretty evident to me who should *really* be in fear in that situation...

The current system largely supports one over the other.

I will not engage in back and forth from here. I’m not changing *my* perspective, and in the words of my amazing and intelligent black brother, "We can talk and try to educate until we are exasperated, and yet still be met with ignorance. With these discussions becoming more common, people, especially white people, aren't able to turn a blind eye without compromising their characters, and good thing for it."

[This message edited by maise at 11:47 AM, June 8th (Monday)]

maise posted 6/8/2020 11:14 AM

*no need for two posts*

[This message edited by maise at 11:39 AM, June 8th (Monday)]

Loukas posted 6/8/2020 12:14 PM

I’m not changing *my* perspective
Yet you are asking for others to change theirs? There in lies the problem. The message doesn't work. Exchanging racism for racism doesn't help achieve change. Harming folks while calling for the abolishment of harming folks is hypocritical. Telling folks to judge a person by their character and not their skin colour while grouping white people under tropes of privilege and ignorance is still racism.

At the end of the day, extremism will only breed more extremism. Most folks live within the grey areas of life, where extremism is seen as nothing more than it is.

Bigger posted 6/8/2020 12:21 PM

As a (relatively) affluent white middle-aged man I have been thinking of if I have ever experienced anything close to racism on my skin (pun intended). I have been wondering what it’s like to be viewed instantly as a negative – as a threat or something to be careful about.

Two events come to mind:
Every now and then I walk my dog past a pre-school. My friendly lab gets interest from the kids and they bunch around the fence asking his name and to pet him. Every time that happens I see the teachers look at me and then head towards the fence. After all – a middle-aged man with a dog enticing the kids…

Some years ago, I was in a food-court when I noticed a 4-5 year-old kid that was alone and clearly distressed. Tears swelling up in the eyes and looking around searching for mom. My instincts were to go help the kid, call out for the mom and maybe take it to the nearest cop or the info-center. But I didn’t. I didn’t dare. If I – a middle aged man – approached the kid what would be the perceived scenario?
I settled for watching the kid while looking around for the parents or a cop. As back-up I had decided to approach a woman at the next table and ask her to deal with the issue. But me – the middle-aged man – no. I didn’t dare. Fortunately, the mom came after a few minutes. In her happiness at finding her kid safe she gave it a firm slap on its bottom (go figure).

Then I wonder: If I feel sad about these two events that really don’t create lasting or enduring negative effects on my life then how would I feel if they became a dominant, even daily factor. If I was refused a job because I was a white male and therefore more likely to molest kids. If cops would stop me at random walking my dog because I was a white male and therefore more likely to molest kids. If I had to constantly show documentation that the kids in my vehicle were mine.
If nothing else, then this weak comparison gives me some indication of what black people have to endure. I guess I should be grateful pre-school teachers aren’t armed.

maise posted 6/8/2020 12:22 PM

"We can talk and try to educate until we are exasperated, and yet still be met with ignorance. With these discussions becoming more common, people, especially white people, aren't able to turn a blind eye without compromising their characters, and good thing for it."

[This message edited by maise at 12:22 PM, June 8th (Monday)]

maise posted 6/8/2020 12:25 PM


[This message edited by maise at 12:30 PM, June 8th (Monday)]

Loukas posted 6/8/2020 12:30 PM

Exactly, maise, your character is on display, for all to see. As is mine.

maise posted 6/8/2020 12:31 PM

I'm not ashamed.

number4 posted 6/8/2020 14:11 PM

maise and Bigger - thank you so much for your responses!

BraveSirRobin posted 6/8/2020 14:30 PM

Bigger, your post reminds me of something I thought about several years ago. I don't know if anyone remembers the abduction of a little girl named Jocelyn Rojas. She abruptly vanished from outside her house in central Pennsylvania, and a panicked manhunt was launched. A black teenager named Temar Boggs was out riding his bike with a friend. They saw a car cruise up a hill and abruptly turn around when it came in view of the police. Temar looked in the car as it passed by him and saw a little blonde girl sitting in the side seat. He was pretty sure it was Jocelyn, so he and his friend decided to chase the car.

The driver wound through a few back streets, apparently trying to determine if he could get away from them. Then he pulled over, shoved the little girl out, and took off. They ran over to her, and she cried and asked them for her mom. So Temar picked her up, the friend walked both bikes, and they went to figure out where her mother was.

The story had a happy ending. The mother was overjoyed, and the boys were lauded as heroes. But this was just a few days after George Zimmerman was acquitted in the Trayvon Martin case, and I found myself thinking about how differently things could have gone if a vigilante had seen them and misinterpreted the situation. Here are two black teenage boys pursuing an old white man. Or, here are two black teenage boys with the missing little girl, carrying her while she cries for her mother. What if someone though they were dangerous instead of heroic? If I were Temar Bogg's mother, I would have been so proud of him -- and also, I would have been so terrified and furious at the risks he took. That night, I was glad that all three kids made it home safely.

I have a son and a nephew who share several personality traits. They are both irresponsible goofballs who wouldn't hurt a fly. They're both 5'10 and muscular. But one is white, and the other is black, and I am well aware that when they are out in the world, that is the first thing the world sees. I worry for my nephew, even though he knows the score. I worry for all the black boys.

WalkinOnEggshelz posted 6/8/2020 16:58 PM

On the subject of Black Lives Matter, I think that Keegan-Michael Key summed it up beautifully.

Saying "All Lives Matter" as a response to "Black Lives Matter" is like saying the fire department should spray down all houses in a neighborhood, even if only one house is on fire, because all the houses matter,' he said. 'And yes, your house does matter. One hundred per cent. But your house is not on fire.'

Historically speaking, change often takes drastic action. I believe that this may be the time for necessary change.

Loukas, I feel the intent of this thread is for people to share their experiences with racism. Not to argue about rioting and tactics. I see people sharing their experiences. Dialogue is how we learn to empathize and grow.

sisoon posted 6/8/2020 17:45 PM

We did some good for civil rights for all in the '50s and '60s, but we missed police brutality, police lies, police murders. Just think of the 75 year old man who was pushed and fell in Buffalo - the police initially said he fell on his own.

Think of Laquan McDonald in Chicago. The killer swore he felt threatened. The other officers on site backed him up. The video shows McDonald did not approach the killer.

Think about the mass incarceration of African-American men. Does anyone really believe believe 10% of 30-something African-American men deserve to be in jail when so many fewer 'white' and Hispanic men are in jail?

According to the Washington Post, African Americans make up 12% of the US population but 26+% of the people killed by police from 2015-2019.

There's a lot of evidence that there's a policing problem in the US. It may not all be due to racist policies and attitudes, but it sure looks like some of it is.

According to Wikipedia, from 2010 to 2018, the Officer Down Memorial Page list something like 1431 officers killed in the line of duty; the FBI reports a smaller number of police killed in the line of duty. Over 9,000 people were killed by police.

My heart goes out to the families of the police who got killed. My heart goes out to the police who got killed. But 1400 to 9000 - I can't help thinking that cutting down on police murders will reduce the number of murdered police.

ETA: Oh, yeah, I was just reminded that Chicago budgeted $153,000,000 for this year for settlements for police misconduct.

[This message edited by sisoon at 7:54 PM, June 8th (Monday)]

Amilliondreams posted 6/8/2020 18:31 PM

Thank you to all the thought provoking questions and to the majority of peaceful and rational responses. And yes the nail was hit right on the head, this was to show that the preconceived notion of racism is inaccurate. I do believe that anyone can have bias. But its how we individually can understand that about ourselves is in my opinion the only way this society as a whole can move forward. If we can all look inside ourselves as to find a moment we felt slighted/less than we will be able to understand a small iota of what our black counterparts experience as a part of life. Someone asked early on, what can we do? Thats a huge part of it. Find your commonality. BIGGER was amazing in how he was able to find a bridge to relate. The second part is, we all know this is uncomfortable. But push through that discomfort and stand, figuratively/metaphorically/literally against any outside force you feel is pushing for status quo. The majority of my family is very white and I see how they believe/hope that this is just a phase in our life and something we need to wait out until things go back to "normal". That's so dangerous and it inherently means any who think this way is assisting to the problem.
Those who are immediately defensive to this attack on what they've know their whole life to be, need to ask themselves why. Not attack others. Being closed off to hearing of a problem is the problem.

Amilliondreams posted 6/8/2020 18:49 PM

There was an episode of Oprah done a long time ago that separated the audience into brown eyes and blued people. They didn't tell them. They just sifted them at the door, handing blue eyed people collars and telling them to wait to the side as they just let all brown eyed in first, refreshments etc.
It became volatile. I encourage anyone to look it up. As blue eyes are a distinct Caucasian trait it became obvious none from this group had ever felt discrimination and were incredulous. When the point of the show became clear, some of the extreme reactions from the blue eyed section calmed down. They knew it was real. Some just plain refused to play along. At the end of the day they could just take off their collar and leave, African Americans cannot.

maise posted 6/8/2020 20:18 PM

I wasn’t going to comment anymore, however My younger brother shared something so beautifully, and said it with such grace and eloquence, that I felt it should be shared. So here it is for those interested:

“ Whenever there's a group of people demanding equality, whether it be race, gender, sexual orientation, it seems that some of the privileged on the opposite perspective view it as a demand for preferential treatment. Those that undertake this thought process fail to see past their bubble: in this narrow view life is cast through a lens of the self and how they've experienced or encountered little to no racism. Not to mention there is a vast majority that believe in a just world, meaning, good will get good and bad will get bad.

However, if we lack empathy for our fellow people crying out for help, then we become susceptible to hypocrisy and moral disingenuous by way of the preferential treatment that was so "coveted" and "demanded" by oppressed groups. This privileged view is difficult to move past for both sides, but we can't allow narrow minded-ness and ignorance to win. Those of us living within our bliss bubbles with distorted views, please don't allow your self experience muffle and diminish the plight and struggle of our fellow humans. Black, white, brown, etc. Gay, straight, bi, Trans, cis. Whatever religion or don't we follow, we are all humans deserving of love and care and life. All lives are important, yes, and we are practicing that belief by championing for our black community in solidarity.

Our history is tainted with black lives and was not ever properly addressed. There is a disparity in equality because of this and now we as a people must address it. We have to address it, otherwise black lives are at risk and if one group is at risk and we choose to be oblivious, then we are saying the opposite of all lives matter. Black lives matter is not a movement seeking preferential treatment, to the contrary, it's a movement about inclusivity and unity.”

Loukas posted 6/8/2020 20:30 PM

Loukas, I feel the intent of this thread is for people to share their experiences with racism. Not to argue about rioting and tactics. I see people sharing their experiences. Dialogue is how we learn to empathize and grow.
Offering solutions to a problem is dialogue, WOES. I wasn't arguing, instead bringing up problems with the approach and offering solutions to it. Because if the goal is change, then stepping out of the echo chamber is the only place that can happen. Writing off those outside of the echo chamber does nothing for anyone's cause. That's probably the most important thing to remember as anyone responds to differing views.

LadyG posted 6/8/2020 21:52 PM


I suffer from Fair Skinned Privilege.

Where I live, the shade of your skin will determine how Police will treat you.

Darker the skin the more frequently you will be stopped and questioned by Police. Even if you are completely innocent, our Police will treat you as Guilty of Something.

My brother has full Government Security Clearance. He has several forms of identification with him at all times. Yet Police deem it necessary to run his name through their database looking for outstanding warrants. He has absolutely No criminal record.

It’s is humiliating. It is dehumanising.

Our children grow up fearing Police. Terrified that a case of mistaken identity could get you killed.

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