I hate it when a peaceful protest goes violent. I can see it coming. You know what happens next – those looking to delegitimize a movement sit back and say “You see.. the Black Lives Matter movement is violent”.. and there goes the wide brush painting everyone in the broadest stroke possible.
Then I get mad at myself – whites don’t have to answer for the most obnoxious, hateful or violent among them? Nobody said after the Charleston church shooting “You see.. they’re all like that…”
Last night – 15 minutes from my home – a city erupted. A peaceful assembly turned violent. Different accounts say different things. The National Guard was called in. One civilian was shot. The former reporter in me knows the truth is in the middle somewhere – and sadly fiction travels faster than fact. I want to be there – as a mediator getting different sides to understand different things; but I’m a mother to two small children and now my service lies here to them first. So I live in a safe North Mecklenburg suburb near downtown Davidson. I gave a few black gentleman a nod today on a quick trip to Northlake Mall and they seemed overly happy to get it – like the world was judging them all because of the actions of a few and they were relieved a light-skinned brown woman pushing a stroller was not afraid of them.
Yesterday morning at the dentist’s office – while I waited for the novocaine to settle in – I overheard my dentist (a petite blond) telling another patient, “Well, if the cop says stop then stop.” Do I correct her and set the record straight? Is she even going to listen to me? I don’t say anything – she’s about to get up in my mouth with sharp tools – and there really isn’t changing anyone who doesn’t want to be challenged.
Sometimes I blame myself for remaining silent. Years ago when I was still on TV I was asked to speak to a Girl Scout group. An 8-year-old asked me, “Are you Christian?” I said, “No, my parents immigrated from India, I’m Hindu.” She said, “But you’re so nice!” In an effort to avoid awkward conversations I, like most people of color, steer away from discomfort and maybe that’s been a mistake. Often times I find myself having an angry monologue after leaving those conversations. All the things I should have said…
I did reach out to the leadership at my gym, the local YMCA. I normally would not suggest a dialogue on such a divisive issue – because the people that need to really hear my point of view and the point of view of so many others won’t show up anyway – but I did. I told them that the nation is at a tipping point – we need to get together as people. People are sick of staying silent because they don’t want to have awkward conversations with white people. Two Charlotte area YMCA’s had to shut down early because of the protests. They agreed, we’re meeting next week to discuss a community forum.
I am never suggesting violence. My great uncle fought along side Gandhi against the British in India. And many times I find myself thinking of this MLK quote to calm myself down: “Violence as a way of achieving racial justice is both impractical and immoral… It is impractical because it is descending spiral ending in destruction for all… It is immoral because it seeks to humiliate the opponent rather than win his understanding; it seeks to annihilate rather than to convert. Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love. It leaves society in monologue rather than dialogue.”
I fully expect the usual suspects to show up to my forum at the Y – brown folks – black folks and the same white folks who know we have an issue. There are the white folks that need to hear it they and won’t be there. They live in a bubble – they don’t want to be challenged – they ain’t gonna hear and they ain’t never gonna get it. Meanwhile our country is in the middle of real growing pains. I’ve told myself it’s okay. I know me and my folks will be at this forum standing for love and creating dialogue instead of monologue.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The daily protests outside a clinic in Charlotte that offers abortion services now are the subject of a documentary. The clinic, A Preferred Women's Health Center, is reportedly the busiest clinic of its kind in the state, where employees and patients alike are subject to loud and…
Rural Richmond County NC, already an epicenter of environmental Injustice, faces its newest threat from wood pellet plant, Enviva. Stand with the people of Concern Citizens of Richmond County to stop this facility from being built! A victory in Richmond County is a victory for the South, for the forests, and for all the communities in the South who face environmental injustice. ACT NOW: www.dogwoodalliance.org/rise-up
Three years ago today, 43-year-old Eric Garner died after he was put in a chokehold by a New York City police officer, who was arresting him on suspicion of selling cigarettes. "I can't breathe" were his final words.
At Garner's memorial service yesterday, his mother Gwen Carr said, "I will not give up until justice is served."
[espanol abajo] On July 12, 2017, Governor Cooper signed S615, rejecting requests from labor and immigrant rights organizations and other social justice NGOs for a veto. The bill was sponsored by farmers elected to the General Assembly and aimed at stopping migrant farmworkers from joining FLOC, the state’s only agricultural union, and winning improved working conditions through union agreements.
On Tuesday, July 18, Farmworkers will be joined by supporters from the Labor, Religious, and Faith leaders to publicize this disgraceful act of the NC government. Please show your support for farmworkers by joining us for a press conference and petition delivery to Gov. Cooper's office.
**We will be meeting outside the Old State Capitol on Morgan St!
El 12 de julio de 2017, el gobernado Cooper firmo S615, negando peticiones de organizaciones laborales y en defensa de inmigrantes y otras organizaciones de justicia social para un paro. La ley fue patrocinada por rancheros elegidos a la Asamblea General y fue dirigida a detener la afiliacion a FLOC de lxs trabajadores del campo, el unico sindical agricola, y el logro de mejores condiciones laborales por acuerdos sindicales.
El martes, 18 de julio, trabajadores del campo se van a juntar con lideres del movimiento laboral y de la comunidad de fe para publicar la verguenza de esta ley hecha por del gobierno de NC. Por favor, muestra su solidaridad con lxs trabajadores del campo y unense con nosotros para una conferencia de prensa y entrega de peticion a la oficina del gobernador Cooper.
**Nos vamos a juntar fuera del Old State Capitol en la calle Morgan!