Sunday, May 31, 2020

After the Riots, Do the Planning.

People across the country are marching to protest police violence following the murder of George Floyd, a Black man, in Minneapolis.  Millions more are following on TV.  My wife and I watched several hours of CNN reporting yesterday.

One interview resonated with me. It was Bakari Sellers who wrote a book titled My Vanishing Country. A Memoir.  

This Tweet captures the spirit of what I heard Mr. Sellers say about needing to do the planning after the riots.

Above you can find the link to Bakari Sellers' Twitter feed and read the posts yourself. It's one way to get informed. You can also order the book and read it yourself. I placed my order this morning.

Unfortunately these marches and protest riots are not new in America.  Below is a segment of an article I posted in April 2015.

From April 27, 2015 blog - read article

Included in that article was this graphic, pointing to the lack of solutions following the LA Riots in 1992.  This included a Chicago SunTimes article from 1993, talking about the lack of progress on reducing poverty in Chicago over the previous 20 years.

From April 27, 2015 blog - read article

In today's New York Times the map below shows that protest marches, and riots, were taking place in cities across the United States.

From May 31, 2020 New York Times

One piece of advice I am reading from many activist is that White people need to make the effort to educate themselves.  It's not the responsibility of Black people to do this for us.  I've been building a library of articles since the late 1990s to support that learning.  Open this concept map, then click on the nodes at the bottom of each category, and you are taken to a list of links.  Many of those I point to are libraries themselves, opening you to much deeper learning.

Use this map as door to a library of learning 
The concern of many is that after the marches and riots are over, nothing will change. Too many other issues will occupy people's attention. Too few will provide consistent encouragement to "do the learning".

Enough - educate yourself
I used the ENOUGH is ENOUGH statement to create this list of actions anyone can take.  I've used it since 2007, as you can see from these articles.

As my wife watched CNN last night she said "someone needs to create a really simple, inspiring, message that can be repeated over and over, to draw a growing number of people into needed actions.

She did not know what that message would be, who would create it, or what those actions would be, but I think she reflected the desire for simple solutions that many want for what I see as a complex problem that will require the involvement of many people, for many years to solve.

Leaders needed.
Yet, she's right. We need high profile leaders from every sector drawing attention to racism in America and this library of information and ideas, every day, in many ways, for many years.  I saw LaBron James provide leadership during the recent 2020 graduation event.  I've seen NFL quarterbacks post Tweets calling for action and involvement.  I've posted more than 30 sports related articles on this blog suggesting roles athletes and celebrities can take on a regular basis to get their fans involved.

This is not something that can be delegated just to high profile people. It's a role anyone can I am in writing this article, and many like it since 2005.

Below is a graphic I created in the 1990s to show how any person can be reaching to his or her network and pointing them to information they can use to become more informed, and involved, in providing solutions to poverty and racism in neighborhoods across America.   I started my blog in May 2005. In October 2005 I wrote this article about "doing the planning" after the marches.

Anyone can be the YOU in this graphic.
The only thing wrong with my graphic is that I highlight poverty areas on my map, showing where kids and families need extra help.  What we need to be thinking about is all those areas of the Chicago region that are NOT high poverty. It is in these areas that learning circles need to grow, showing more and more White people are digging into this information and learning the history of racial injustice in America, and the long list or laws that  have been enacted over the past 150 years to keep Black and Latino and Asian people from having equal opportunities and freedom from worry for the safety of their children or themselves every time they leave their home.

When I look at the New York Times map showing cities where protests & riots took place yesterday I ask "How can we connect these people to information, and to each other, and grow those connections into a deeper understanding along with a wide range of solutions that can be implemented across the country?"   

This graphic shows many of the tags that you can find on the left side of this blog. Many like After-the-Riots, Racism, Violence, open to more articles that I encourage you to read.

Get informed. Get involved. Stay involved. 

If you're in the streets today or tomorrow, stay safe. Be peaceful. If there are people bringing bricks, bats or even firearms to the protests, report them to the police. Don't let the protests turn into looting, burning and killing. That's not the solution.

If you're in law enforcement or the National Guard. Keep your cool. Don't escalate the anger and violence. Don't shoot. Lead the conversations and the research after the marches.

Let's end with this

and read this:

Update 6-2-2020 - Thanks to article by Heidi Stevens for these links:

* Read Jennifer White's thread on Twitter. 
* Read about William Lee's look at Chicago's 1919 riots in Chicago Tribune
* Read about the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre
* Read about the Freedom Riders in 1961

After the marches die down, do the planning.

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