April 20 , 2021 /

RACISM REDUX

I have been brooding over this piece for some time, actually for a long time when I consider my earlier experiences with white supremacy, racism and those opposed to diversity, equity and inclusion.  Recent events in the past few years have elevated A more conscious awareness on the part of many people through publicity, in both social media and Main Stream Media print and TV.

In July 2013, a movement began with the use of the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter on social media after the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of African-American teen Trayvon Martin in February 2012. The movement became nationally recognized for street demonstrations following the 2014 deaths of two African Americans, that of Michael Brown—resulting in protests and unrest in Ferguson, Missouri.—and Eric Garner in New York City.   Since the Ferguson protests, participants in the movement have demonstrated against the deaths of numerous other African Americans by police actions or while in police custody. The originators of the hashtag and call to action, Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi expanded their project into a national network of over 30 local chapters between 2014 and 2016.  The overall Black Lives Matter movement is a decentralized network of activists with no formal hierarchy.

The movement returned to national headlines and gained further international attention during the global George Floyd protests on 2020 following the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.   An estimated 15 million to 26 million people participated in the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests in the United States, making it one of the largest movements in the country’s history. The movement comprises many views and a broad array of demands but they center on criminal justice reform.  (courtesy of Wiki)

The roots of white supremacy in this country can are grounded in slavery and this is well documented by Dr. Gerald Horne in “The Apocalypse of Settler Colonialism: The Roots of Slavery, White Supremacy, and Capitalism in 17th Century North America and the Caribbean” (Monthly Review Press, 2017).  There are some who disagree with Horne’s views and interpretations but as an historical record it’s hard to dispute or deny.  That doesn’t stop those who feel threatened by a new dawning of “liberty and justice for all.”

I have written previously about some of my own personal experiences with racism and rather than repeat them here, I will reference three blogs for your review should you be interested.

UNDERSTANDING RACISM

And these two:

https://garygruber.com/mlk-and-me/

https://garygruber.com/beliefs-values-actions/

As I write and think about these issues, the jury is beginning the second day of deliberations in the trial of of Derek Chauvin. I thought about waiting until the end of the trial, but the outcome will inevitably have detractors on whatever the jury decides. That has been the nature of a polarized and divided country on not only the issues of race but also on other social issues affecting the lives of the entire population. The list is long and arduous. Besides race and the pandemic, there are deep concerns about health care including mental health, gun control, the climate crisis, LGBTQ issues, economic concerns, education and immigration to name a few.

Wherever you stand on these issues will be a reflection of your own personal values and beliefs just as my position is based on my values and beliefs.  Mine are grounded in a family of love and compassion for others, in serving what I believe is for the common good and welfare of all.  I am reminded of the quote by Etienne de Grellet: ““I shall pass this way but once; any good that I can do or any kindness I can show to any human being; let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”  (My editor said, “That’s debatable.”  She meant the last seven words. She agrees with the rest!)

Please share your thoughts and opinions