Sunday, July 17, 2016

What Do We Do Now?

My husband just took my son to a pop-up position he has with the National Bar Association Conference taking place in downtown St. Louis.

Just yesterday evening, while taking this same son to his orientation, my daughters and I were two cars down from the stop light at 4th and the I-44/55 underpass in downtown St. Louis. We were met with a zooming stream of St. Louis Police Vans careening down the side street and making a circular beeline to the other side of downtown.

What was going on? My daughters and I wondered if it was something with NetRoots Nation, also happening near downtown, or was there a protest we didn't know about. What in the World?

We learned later that activists temporarily shut down I-40 downtown and disrupted flow to let visitors to the Arch Ground campus know that even in this, Black Lives Matter. This mirrored other protests around the country that are still happening after the murders of Alton Sterling (he was just buried  yesterday) and Philando Castile (St. Louis native who was just buried on Friday).

The commentary would ensue about why they did that, history repeating, Dr King did the same thing, and what good would it do. History again repeating, disrpution makes attention focus on the issues at hand, if people were risking their lives by standing in the middle of a busy highway that leads to a bridge overpass connecting two states, it is something seriously wrong with how we express life.

What do we do now?

Where does this movement take us? It is connected and disjointed, clashing of cultures and generations, yet coalescing around the tapestry that is black and brown life in America. We are in the middle of a great cultural shift and the status quo is reacting with fear and wonder.

The petrified who act out, whether that is a coward with a hate symbol on his body or one covered in blue, they react from their unmonitored imagination of what a majority black and brown nation would do. The assumption is that black and brown people would rape and maim their people the same way they did for four centuries.

Reality is that people simply want to live and have access, opportunity, and the equity to pursue their highest ideal.

Freedom, independence, liberty - those may express themselves in unique ways, as  unique as the tread that weaves us all together - is the dream, to simply be able to exist without the fear of an untimely demise because someone with a profession thinks that someone with melanin is a danger by breathing.

I am do not have the answers of what to do next, except to keep writing, keep speaking, keep teaching, keep running in my lane and protesting with my dollars.  Sometimes, things have to be inconvenient for real change to happen.

Inconveniencing things is what we do now.

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