It’s time to add systemic change to your symbolic actions.

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It seems no one wants to be caught dead without a protest selfie amidst this global wave of antiracist protests. People don’t just want to make sure they were among the marchers, they want you to see that they were there.

This is probably because, organizer Jonathan Smucker explains, many people participate in activism in a similar way that people engage in fashion: namely, many people are more interested in signaling their values to their peers than in obtaining a tangible political objective.

They want you to see them saying ‘Black Lives Matter’ so that you’ll know what type of people they are — that they’re on the “right side of history,” that they’re not racists. I don’t say these things as criticism but as observation. …


Why the use of force in response to the murder of George Floyd could be a productive part of the movement for Black Lives.

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Photo: Flavio Gasperini/Unsplash

There’s a white American proverb about violent protests that goes something like this: “What good will it do?”

As surely as the sun will rise, viral footage of any violent protest concerning race will inevitably lead to some virtue signaling about nonviolence. …


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“I can’t breathe,” he pleaded. For several minutes, George Floyd lie handcuffed and pinned to the ground by a white Minneapolis police officer kneeling on his neck.

“Please,” he begged. The officer wouldn’t relent. By the time an ambulance arrived at the scene, Floyd was unresponsive.

As much of the nation erupts in outrage about these latest episodes of anti-Black violence, many are asking “what do I do?” They want to know how to make the killings stop.

But the truth is that murders like Floyd’s will never truly become a relic of the past until the U.S. …

About

Writer, speaker, & musician contending for a world without racism.

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