The past few days, I have been keeping up with the news on the mass protests from different U.S. cities. The “Justice for George Floyd” protests first started in Minneapolis and then over the course of just a few short days, many cities in the U.S. held their own peaceful protests to stand in solidarity for justice for George Floyd, protest against police brutality, and to demand change over systemic racism.
For the most part, many of the protests have been peaceful, but it has been reported in the news some demonstrators became violent and vandalized police vehicles, businesses, and other property. There has been much discussion about whether or not those individuals involved were part of the protests or protest agitators.
I read many articles and real-time Twitter updates from journalists and other protestors who said they believe some of this violence and destruction is actually coming from “outside agitators” who were not part of the peaceful protests.
I read this article from the Daily Beast that focused on African American organizers pleading with white protest agitators to “deescalate tense situations.”
In Oakland, protesters filmed a group of white men smashing their way into businesses. In Detroit, black activists described attempts to “purposely infiltrate” peaceful protests. Videos circulated on Saturday, appearing to show white protesters being asked to stop defacing statues in Denver, and African-American organizers in Minneapolis putting out fires started by white protesters and asking white allies to calm down.
“I’m upset, enraged because once again, white people are co-opting a movement that’s built by black folks,” Mike Griffin, a senior organizer for Community Change Action in Minneapolis, told The Daily Beast.Quote excerpt from the article: “Black Organizers ‘Enraged’ by White Agitators ‘Here to F*ck Shit Up'” by Justin Glawe, Rachel Olding, and Hunter Woodall
Comedian and The Daily Show Host Trevor Noah on protest agitators:
“We’ve seen this in South AFrica before. Beware of agitators and instigators who use legitimate protest to ignite chaos between protestors and police.”Trevor Noah, @Trevornoah on Twitter
We’ve seen this in South Africa before. Beware of agitators and instigators who use legitimate protests to ignite chaos between protestors and police.
— Trevor Noah (@Trevornoah) May 30, 2020
10 QUOTES TO ENCOURAGE US TO STAND UP AGAINST RACISM
For today’s Monday Motivation, I wanted to share a few quotes I came across on social media and discovered through my weekend reading. These quotes have encouraged me in some way or really helped me to think about how, as an African American, I can continue to stand up against racism.
We can all do our part to stand up against racism. Whether you are able to participate in a peaceful protest, volunteer your time, or make a monetary donation to an organization like the NAACP or Black Lives Matter, you are helping raise awareness about the social justice issues occurring in our nation.
Over the weekend, I wasn’t physically able to participate in a peaceful protest (and I really wanted to!) because of my current health condition, but I did make a couple of monetary donations because I want to do my part.
On Friday’s post, I shared a list of a few organizations you can make a donation to if you haven’t already. There are, of course, many more organizations out there that you can support, and if you know of any that I missed on my list, then please let me know so I can help spread the word, too!
This is a fight that will not be resolved in a day, week, or even a month. It is going to take some time to make positive changes to institutional racism and our justice system. But that’s why we have to continue to use our voices to demand change.
HERE ARE THE TEN QUOTES I WANT TO SHARE WITH YOU.
“Radical simply means grasping things at the root.” Angela Davis
“Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced.” James Baldwin
“I believe in human beings, and that all human beings should be respected as such, regardless of their color”― Malcolm X
“If you’re exhausted, if you’re angry, if you’re in pain, please know that you’re not wrong. You’re human. What we want to do is think about the ways we can harness this pain into powerful tools for addressing our unjust criminal punishment system.” Melissa Harris-Perry (quote shared on Color of Change’s Twitter)
“Brave doesn’t mean you’re not scared. It means you go on even though you’re scared.” Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give
“There comes a time when silence is betrayal.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Black people are fighting two pandemics. Black people don’t have the luxury of just worrying about the impact of the coronavirus on our lives. We are fighting just to exist. Don’t tell me about us being in this together. We are in the same storm but not the same boat.” Hannah Drake (Activist and Writer) from her tweet here.
Black people are fighting two pandemics. Black people don’t have the luxury of just worrying about the impact of the coronavirus on our lives. We are fighting just to exist. Don’t tell me about us being in this together. We are in the same storm but not the same boat.
— Hannah Drake (@HannahDrake628) May 26, 2020
“Don’t give up the fight. Stand up for your rights.” Bob Marley, “Get Up Stand Up”
“Martin Luther King Jr. called for us to be lovestruck with each other, not colorblind toward each other. To be lovestruck is to care, to have deep compassion, and to be concerned for each and every individual, including the poor and vulnerable.”― Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow
“It is your duty not to burn your own house down for anger with an enemy. It is your duty to fortify your own house so that you may be a house of refuge in times of organization, and now is the time to plot, plan, strategize, organize, and mobilize. It is time to beat up prosecutors you don’t like at the voting booth. It is time to hold mayoral officers accountable, chiefs and deputy chiefs.” Killer Mike, Activist and Atlanta Rapper
What inspiring words have you recently heard or read that are encouraging you right now?
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Feature image courtesy of Maria Oswalt, (Atlanta, Georgia).