Monday, December 1, 2014

first and foremost

Like many of us, I've been riveted to the news unfolding around Mike Brown's murder; Ferguson, Missouri; and the non-indictment of the grand jury. I click links and read until I feel too angry, or sad, or sick to keep going.

Over the weekend my family and I had long talks about what we'd read. We talked about what a mess everything was. What this said about the state of race relations in our country. Whether we'd made any progress as a nation since the civil rights movement of the 50s and 60s. How devastatingly far we still have to go.

But I haven't participated in this conversation online at all. Not a peep. Mostly, I use social media feeds as a reader, as places to consume, not create.

That now seems insufficient. It devastates me to think that, on a matter that so preoccupies me, this silence could be read as apathy. Our country is crumbling. We are all at stake. There is, to me, no more important conversation being had.

So here we are, in this little attic, a place where I sometimes fling my odds and ends so I can return to them later to rifle through, hold things to the light. And in the spirit of this tiny corner, here are scraps of what I've been reading. If you're looking to learn or commiserate or challenge yourself, these might be good places to start:

on waking up and smelling the water. how to argue eloquently about Ferguson. how to address the riot shamers. riots as a 'language of the unheard'. riots as 'exactly what’s supposed to happen when an injustice is happening in your community'. MLK Jr. on the stumbling block of the white moderate more concerned with 'order' than with justice. #IfTheyGunnedMeDown. Last Words. 12 things white people can do because Ferguson. and, closer to home, the demonization of Gary, Indiana.

only a fraction of the preponderance of important, thoughtful things being said right now, buy it's a start.

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