Like a raisin in the sun

Ibram X. Kendi, author of Stamped from the Beginning, says clearly on his Facebook page what I think needs to be said about what’s going on in the USA: 

“I want to make some things plain. Police violence has historically been the source of the violent rebellions of Black people and their allies. Police violence begets violent resistance. If you want to end the violent resistance, then end the police violence.

“It is coldblooded to expect any group of people who are being constantly terrorized, brutalized, and killed by police officers to never react in violent rage. It is coldblooded to demonize violent protesters and not the violent source of their rage.

“However, let’s not equate violence against property to violence against people. These demonstrators primarily engaged in violence against property. By contrast, officers around the country have been primarily engaged in violence against people.

“And don't call for non-violent demonstrations if you aren't calling for non-violent police. Then again, when has U.S. policing ever been non-violent? A history of violent and lawless policing has caused people to fear cops and their defense attorneys (i.e. prosecutors). That's why people want to abolish the police.”

Rallies, vigils, and protests are happening all over this country, and I am not out making photographs of them, in part because of Covid-19, and in part because police are using photographs taken at protests as a way to identify, target, and persecute (not prosecute) the protesters. Today we had three events in Portland, and I was being screened (temperature, and a list of questions) so I could get a second injection of hyaluronic acid in my right knee. The first shot lasted a year and four months, and I hope I’ll soon be walking with energy again. Will I be making photographs? I wonder. In Minneapolis, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Brooklyn, Chicago, and even small places like San Jose and Portland, the injustice that is racism is exploding. 

A wise young woman named Catherine Imani writes that she loves that people are looting stores. Go on, she says. “Steal toys to calm the children who are traumatized, first by the global pandemic, then by the murder, then by their family’s fear, and now from living through a war zone. May their tiny lungs recover from the tear gassed induced scarring and may they not contract coronavirus and die. May the new toys bring them comfort during these scary times.”

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