Grand Jury Announcement: Which side are you on?

The Grand Jury Announcement could come any day now
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“Die-in” in The Loop, Delmar Blvd., University City, MO

I haven’t been blogging as frequently because I’ve been so busy with life. I HATE it when that happens! I’ve been wondering something though. Have I become one of those relatives the other family members are loathe to talk to at family gatherings? Am I so entrenched with my position regarding what is happening in Ferguson lately that I am a broken record? Has my world become so myopic that I can’t see someone else’s point of view? Right. I didn’t think so. Still, it’s worth exploring. I don’t want my world, even if it’s expanding, to be mired down by a singular point of view. I am not any one thing. I stand for freedom of (peaceful) expression. If the KKK is threatening to disrupt something I’m part of, I must be doing something very right.

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I’ve been sending out tweets lately related to my activities as a Legal Observer with the National Lawyers Guild. Some of those tweets go to my Facebook newsfeed. The response I’ve been getting is off-putting. It’s like I’m tweeting to myself. I wonder if friends have deemed my views “too radical” to put up with and are blocking me? I’m glad I don’t know. Probably they are engrossed with their own lives and don’t rightly give a shit about what’s going on in mine. Still, I can’t shake the uneasy feeling of being in such a different place from people I know. Granted, Facebook is hardly populated with only my close friends at this point, but it makes me uneasy.

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Preparing for the Grand Jury Announcement

I attended a Direct Action training in Ferguson on Saturday which was infiltrated by an animated member of The Tea Party. His body language was a complete tell-all, very closed off and defensive. At one point in the presentation an African American facilitator made a comment about taking The Movement to Clayton “because there are people there who don’t look like me [read: white].” This did not set well with the Gentleman Tea Party representative. He asked the facilitator why it wasn’t racist to call out a particular community because of their race. “Why do you have to make it about race?” he repeated.

We don’t have to make it about race. It already IS about race. Perhaps the young woman misspoke. What she should have said was that they wanted to take The Movement to Clayton because that’s where the county government and the power reside. And those people happen to be mostly white. Mr. Tea Party rejected the logic of her argument. To him, The Movement was targeting white people. It was reversely racist. There is really no reconciling this view with any other view, so she quit trying. If he doesn’t understand now that it’s not “us” against “them”, he likely never will. Regardless, I do not give up hope that there are points of commonality upon which we can build. To believe otherwise is too depressing.

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Sunday some protesters organized a “die-in” in close proximity to where I live in University City. Up to this point, the actual protest marches and demonstrations have not bled over into my part of town. I felt very exposed and self-conscious standing at the busy corner of Washington University so near my neighborhood. “What if neighbors see me out here? Will they think I’m a race betrayer?” Ultimately, I don’t care what they think because I believe in what I’m doing, but it was illuminating to me about myself. It also underscored the rationale of taking The Movement outside Ferguson where other parts of the community can’t stick their head in the sand and pretend racism isn’t happening. It’s only when confronted with a group of people willing to pretend to be dead, to “die” on a busy thoroughfare on the wet, frigid ground that they can no longer ignore what is happening, even if it’s just having to turn your car around because your route has been blocked.

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