August 18, 2014 2 Comments

I tend to believe that nonviolent direct action is a more effective strategy for attaining justice than asymmetrical warfare.  That being said, it seems ludicrous to stand on the sidelines and ask the people who are most directly impacted by injustice to calm down, be patient and be peaceful.


Image credit: US Uncut 

If you believe that nonviolent direct action is the path to justice in places like Ferguson, Missouri then you take nonviolent direct action in solidarity with the people of Ferguson.  Please don’t stand on the sidelines and ask people to calm down when government-sanctioned authorities are shooting their children.

My senior paper in high school was titled “The LA Revolution,” it was about the so called LA Riots.  As a teenager of color I was all too familiar with police harassment.  How often have you been questioned for walking down the street of your own neighborhood?   Have you ever been stopped and frisked?

Do you know what looting is?  Looting is turning dreams into chips in a casino economy.  It’s called a mortgage crisis, and it is way more violent than expressing your rage at the local Walmart.  It destroys lives by the thousands.

The clearest tweet I’ve seen so far:  “We ask you to stop shooting black people, you tell us to stop making it about race.”

Do me a favor, take the Implicit Association Test, the one on skin color, and then consider who the looter is.   The real looters have bought your politicians.  Your leaders spend 70% of their time reaching out to looters, trying hard to please the big time looters.

I came across this piece by Mia McKenzie – Things To Stop Being Distracted By When A Black Person Gets Murdered By Police – she says it all way better than I could.

There is something truly perverse about what’s going on.  It’s not just about Ferguson, we are talking about a pattern of oppression.  The way you choose to look at it, your ability to step into the context of history, your capacity to empathize with the experience of injustice – that is where the change begins.


  • Cynthia Silva Parker says:

    Well said! I agree that Mia McKenzie says some important things too. As people counsel patience in Ferguson, I’m reminded of another Sweet Honey in the Rock song that simply asks “How long? How much more long? How long?” How long will people of color die for no good reason?!

    • GibranX says:

      Thank you so much for continually bringing the music into this conversation – how else could we have gotten this far? How else will we be able to move forward? We must sing our song.

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