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Hot American summers seem to bring out some of the worst in our society. Anger erupts, violence happens, reactions escalate, and the reverberations in the news have hardly subsided before it happens again. The construct of race (which is not an actual biological thing) and the embedded history of white supremacy in America, inform our cultural scripting in ways that are both conscious and unconscious. Recent publicity about implicit bias is at least bringing some of that to the fore. 

Those who want to be idealists may dream of a society that is not burdened with the products of white supremacy; i.e.,white privilege, income inequality, marginalization of people by color, nationality, gender, and economic status, etc. I hope that people reading this blog aspire to that ideal and recognize where and how we need to face up to current reality.

Some people respond to the Black Lives Matter movement as it if it is part of the problem. It certainly highlights their discomfort with the historical truth. 

I received this quotation from a friend: 

“Perfect analogy for how critics of ‘Black Lives Matter’ get it wrong. Like suggesting anyone promoting ‘Breast Cancer Awareness’ thinks other cancers are not worthy of attention.”

The idea that supporting Black Lives Matter means that you hate police or wish them ill is way off the mark. Anger that is not managed on either side is just a descent into spirals of craziness, bringing out exactly the opposite of what is needed. 

OK-OK communication within communities can prevent many of these problems, though breaking up cultural scripts isn’t done overnight. But after centuries, people? 

I saw a report that today would have been the 75th birthday of Emmett Till. If you don’t know who he was, look it up. Just as the videos of today tell their stories, the pictures of Emmett Till after he was tortured and killed galvanized the country. We need to be galvanized now, to be honest about the uneven distribution of power in our communities. 

I say, idealists, people who promote I’m OK – You’re OK thinking, please honor those who rightly stand up for people whose lives have been treated as if they matter less. 

For an informative very short video on this subject, check this out: 

https://www.facebook.com/OccupyDemocrats/videos/1182822125144173/

Respectfully submitted,

Lucy Freedman, CTA