Monday, June 1, 2020
And herein lies the complexity in the collective fight for social justice that leadership must honestly ask itself: Do we, as a country, truly want to get well? There is no debating that since the inception of slavery in this country, the United Stated has profited off of the disenfranchisement of others, and there is still great profit being gained today. And so the systems that many leaders complain about are the same systems keeping those leaders gainfully employed and repeatedly elected--and that, sadly, is not exclusive to non-minorities in leadership (as is said, "not all skinfolk are kinfolk"). It is past time leadership confronts and rectifies this inner conflict with itself, but black and brown America is done with cheap talk. And so in the meantime we must continue to make our demands known and move, whether it's taking to street in protest, joining a organization for social change, donating to a bail fund, contributing directly to those organizations that are already in the fight for equality, or even registering people to vote. There has been more than enough time given to leadership for talking about what needs to be done; there needs to be more doing that starts right now.
video went viral over the weekend of Genesee County Sheriff Christopher Swanson who did just that. Addressing a group of protesters in Flint Township on Saturday, Sheriff Swanson assured the group his officers were there only to protect their right to peacefully protest and that his officers were putting down their batons and helmets in solidarity. It was at that moment that the crowd held the officer to a higher level of accountability and began chanting for him to "walk with us." Sheriff Swanson briefly paused, considered the request, and then he did just that: an act that sparked law enforcement officers in other cities to follow suit marching, kneeling, and demonstrating to the communities they are entrusted with protecting that they are willing to "walk the talk" toward a better tomorrow. Now, we can spend time dissecting whether these officers' actions are indeed genuine or we can see it as a glimmer of hope of what it looks like when leadership stops talking about it and starts being about it.
Photo Credits: N/A
Instagram video courtesy of Hollywood Unlocked
Donation list courtesy of Rolling Stone