Time To Speak Out

gafftaper

Senior Team
Senior Team
Fight Leukemia
As I’ve watched the pain unfolding around us since the murder of George Floyd, I’ve done what I always do in difficult times, I stopped to listen to the people who are hurting the most. I want to understand the path they are walking and understand their pain. I have been doing my best to speak kind words of support to people around me, but I didn’t feel it was my place to speak yet. Let’s face it, there are too many white people talking already. So I felt it was best to just listen and let others speak. Then last night my heart was crushed when I saw the video below posted in my Facebook Feed by one of my dearest old friends Liz. I hadn’t considered how important it would be for my friends of color to hear me speak up for them. Liz, I have thought constantly about you and your family this whole time and love you so much. I owe so much of my understanding of what it means to live the African American life to your family, especially your mom. Seeing your post, I realized how important it was for me to stand up and speak so that all my wonderful friends of color would know how much they mean to me. I don’t claim to understand, but I do want to draw a line and be clear that I have your back in this fight. So, for all my friends of color, from my dear old friends like Liz and Kim to new friends like Emily and Raheel, this is for all of you.

America was stolen from Native Americans, built on the backs of African slaves, and expanded through the oppression of Asian and Latino immigrants. We formally got rid of slavery and Jim Crow laws, but we left many subtle aspects of discrimination deep in the fabric of the country. We never apologized for how we got here. We taught our children to fear people who look different. We created social myths to make people of color scary and not to be trusted. We structured all the modern aspects of society so they are easy for white people to navigate, without considering the effects on people of color.

There are so many issues in the American system that need to be addressed to make it fair for everyone. We need health care for everyone. We need equal opportunities to afford a good education for everyone. We need the rich to actually pay their fair share. We need to reform the criminal justice system. We need to end voter suppression. We need to get rid of the electoral college. We need term limits. We need campaign finance reform. We need to create community oversight of the police by elected community supervisory boards who have the power to investigate and fire anyone in the police force (including the chief). We need strict new rules requiring ALL police to have body cams and dash cams and turning them off should result in immediate firing… and that’s just a short list of things off the top of my head. I know there are many other issues that I don’t see. So again, it’s time to listen.

To my white friends, commit to using your white privilege for good. Get out your camera when you see a black man being pulled over. Make it your business to see that he is treated fairly and is able to go home to see his children. If you see a person of color being mistreated by the police, get involved. We all know how great white people are at calling the management and the police… well do it to help someone for a change! I wonder what would have happened if a couple of the white people would have pulled out their phones, dialed 911 and gone full Amy Cooper on Derek Chauvin and the other three as they were witnessing the assault and murder of Mr. Floyd. Could this have been prevented if white people had gotten involved demanding names and badge numbers while it was going on?

Fear and Hate grow when you don’t know someone. So make a point to get to know the people of color around you. Attend a Filipino 1st Birthday party, a Quinceañera, an Arangetram, or go to a Black church. People of color, invite white people into your lives. I will never forget when Liz’s mom took Lanette and I to church in D.C. I found myself to be one of 5 white people in a church of at least 1,000 black people. I was shocked at how it felt to be the extreme minority in the room and yet I was surrounded by people who offered me welcome, love, and acceptance. That experience made a permanent mark on my life and I will always cherish the memory.

Finally, to all my white friends who haven’t been speaking out, I challenge you to watch the video below and ask yourself who is waiting to see if you will stand up for them. Join me.
 

RonHebbard

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
As I’ve watched the pain unfolding around us since the murder of George Floyd, I’ve done what I always do in difficult times, I stopped to listen to the people who are hurting the most. I want to understand the path they are walking and understand their pain. I have been doing my best to speak kind words of support to people around me, but I didn’t feel it was my place to speak yet. Let’s face it, there are too many white people talking already. So I felt it was best to just listen and let others speak. Then last night my heart was crushed when I saw the video below posted in my Facebook Feed by one of my dearest old friends Liz. I hadn’t considered how important it would be for my friends of color to hear me speak up for them. Liz, I have thought constantly about you and your family this whole time and love you so much. I owe so much of my understanding of what it means to live the African American life to your family, especially your mom. Seeing your post, I realized how important it was for me to stand up and speak so that all my wonderful friends of color would know how much they mean to me. I don’t claim to understand, but I do want to draw a line and be clear that I have your back in this fight. So, for all my friends of color, from my dear old friends like Liz and Kim to new friends like Emily and Raheel, this is for all of you.

America was stolen from Native Americans, built on the backs of African slaves, and expanded through the oppression of Asian and Latino immigrants. We formally got rid of slavery and Jim Crow laws, but we left many subtle aspects of discrimination deep in the fabric of the country. We never apologized for how we got here. We taught our children to fear people who look different. We created social myths to make people of color scary and not to be trusted. We structured all the modern aspects of society so they are easy for white people to navigate, without considering the effects on people of color.

There are so many issues in the American system that need to be addressed to make it fair for everyone. We need health care for everyone. We need equal opportunities to afford a good education for everyone. We need the rich to actually pay their fair share. We need to reform the criminal justice system. We need to end voter suppression. We need to get rid of the electoral college. We need term limits. We need campaign finance reform. We need to create community oversight of the police by elected community supervisory boards who have the power to investigate and fire anyone in the police force (including the chief). We need strict new rules requiring ALL police to have body cams and dash cams and turning them off should result in immediate firing… and that’s just a short list of things off the top of my head. I know there are many other issues that I don’t see. So again, it’s time to listen.

To my white friends, commit to using your white privilege for good. Get out your camera when you see a black man being pulled over. Make it your business to see that he is treated fairly and is able to go home to see his children. If you see a person of color being mistreated by the police, get involved. We all know how great white people are at calling the management and the police… well do it to help someone for a change! I wonder what would have happened if a couple of the white people would have pulled out their phones, dialed 911 and gone full Amy Cooper on Derek Chauvin and the other three as they were witnessing the assault and murder of Mr. Floyd. Could this have been prevented if white people had gotten involved demanding names and badge numbers while it was going on?

Fear and Hate grow when you don’t know someone. So make a point to get to know the people of color around you. Attend a Filipino 1st Birthday party, a Quinceañera, an Arangetram, or go to a Black church. People of color, invite white people into your lives. I will never forget when Liz’s mom took Lanette and I to church in D.C. I found myself to be one of 5 white people in a church of at least 1,000 black people. I was shocked at how it felt to be the extreme minority in the room and yet I was surrounded by people who offered me welcome, love, and acceptance. That experience made a permanent mark on my life and I will always cherish the memory.

Finally, to all my white friends who haven’t been speaking out, I challenge you to watch the video below and ask yourself who is waiting to see if you will stand up for them. Join me.
@gafftaper:
LOVED your post; video unavailable in Canada.?
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
 

MRW Lights

Well-Known Member
Thank you for sharing this. I've been struggling greatly with how to express a voice. I don't know how to help and I don't know how to lend a voice. Ironically while I greatly enjoy being involved in conversation on this forum, I typically don't participate in social media beyond food and cats, which I feel like makes me part of the problem. The recent discussions have opened my thinking to see that while I have not considered people of color as different than me, including people I consider to be very close friends, that is my privaledge to not have an understanding and not be faced with having to understand and feel what they feel. I am struggling to speak up, but to anyone here on CB or in your lives that experience the unneccessary and unwarranted problems that are brought on by being a person of color please know that I HEAR YOU, I SEE YOU. I am learning and I want to do better. Be Safe, Stand up, Be heard.
 
For those of you, like me, who didn't know what to do, how to help, or the things to say. This resource was a pretty good start for me: http://bit.ly/ANTIRACISMRESOURCES. There are books, articles, videos, podcasts, films, TV shows; all the types of media are there. Take some time (read one less ControlBooth thread today and one more article). The only way to make change is to start changing.

EDIT: Here's a good take on the issues, especially in regards to protests and rioting.
 
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TimMc

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
IOW, if you're not part of the solution, you're likely part of the problem.

Post-script thoughts:
America was stolen from Native Americans, built on the backs of African slaves, and expanded through the oppression of Asian and Latino immigrants. We formally got rid of slavery and Jim Crow laws, but we left many subtle aspects of discrimination deep in the fabric of the country. We never apologized for how we got here. We taught our children to fear people who look different. We created social myths to make people of color scary and not to be trusted. We structured all the modern aspects of society so they are easy for white people to navigate, without considering the effects on people of color.

That should make some folks really, really uncomfortable, mostly because it's not the history as taught in school. The euphemisms used by historians to "explain" the conduct of governance is very much the result of privilege and is intended to maintain that privilege. If the populace doesn't grok that Manifest Destiny was a land grab and subjugation of indigenous peoples, or that giving smallpox-infected blankets to Natives wasn't meant to be charity, well, that's on them, right? Eh... not really. History is supposed to be taught in a non-judgmental way but instead it's being taught in the way most flattering to the authors. Anyone unfamiliar with how 'murica shafted the Natives? Dee Brown's Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee is an accessible place to start.

John Oliver addresses the origin of current policing in his June 5 show:


America has been happy to exploit the minds and backs of "minorities" of all types but never genuinely treated them as equals. After Chinese immigrants finished building the transcontinental railroad, they were ghettoized, discriminated against, and marginalized. What a lovely thank you gesture! :wall: /dripping sarc

I don't think America is yet ready for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission because once that door is opened, there will be a long line of marginalized races and groups to present grievances and most of the privileged majority will be overwhelmed by the prospect of redress, let alone making whole those who have suffered systemic injury... but until our nation can face up to the wrongs of its past, we should not sit idly by and be complacent as fellow Americans are murdered by the very persons charged with protecting them. WE should be outraged that our taxes are used to harass, injure and kill those with darker skin. WE should be outraged that our own government is committing what would amount to war crimes if done off US soil. WE should be outraged that statute law has been written to directly or indirectly criminalize or exclude people based not on their character or behavior, but the color of their skin. And we need to express that rage to those who keep our fellow Americans bound, let our fellow Americans know that we're trying to better understand, and we want to act in ways that will help bring change.
 
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gafftaper

Senior Team
Senior Team
Fight Leukemia
i appreciate this thoughtful post and the subsequent links others have posted. It has opened my eyes to some actions that I can pursue going forward.
Thanks buddy! That means a lot coming from you. I've come to believe that the best thing we can all be doing right now is just talking and listening to each other.
 

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