Black Lives and Violence

June 1st marks the beginning of the global pride month. I would wish everyone a happy pride month, but unfortunately, this month we continue to feel injustice in the world in our bones, making it a rather ill-fated month. As the world battles the new wars – COVID-19, Hurricanes, and economic crises – some age-old wars still keep going. Racism, poverty, sexism; the list is endless. In fighting for so much, we are repeatedly seeing a certain set of people say that violence is not the answer. I would like to definitively take a stand here and say that they are wrong. I am not saying violence is good, in fact, it’s a very bad thing – but that does not mean that peace and calm have gotten humanity forward.

The necessity of violence is far worse than the violence itself. 

I am going to name some of the people who have been killed by american police brutality.

Eric Garner, John Crawford III, Micheal Brown, Ezell Ford, Dante Parker, Michelle Cusseaux, Laquan McDonald, George Mann, Tanisha Anderson, Akai Gurley, Tamir Rice, Rumain Brisbon, Jerame Reid, Matthew Ajibade, Frank Smart, Natasha McKenna, Tony Robinson, Anthony Hill Mya Hall, Philip White, Eric Harris, Walter Scott, William Chapman II, Alexia Christian, Brendon Glenn, Victor Manuel Larosa, Jonathan Sanders, Freddie Blue, Joseph Mann, Salvado Ellswood, Sandra Bland, Albert Joseph Davis, Darrius Stewart, Billy Ray DavisSamuel Dubose, Micheal Sabbie, Brian Keith Day, Christian Taylor, Troy Robinson, Asshams Pharoah Manley, Felix Kumi, Keith Harrison Mcleod, Junior Prosper, Lamontez Jones, Patterson Brown, Dominic Hutchinson, Anthony Ashford, Alonzo Smith, Tyree Crawford, India kager, La’vante Biggs, Micheal Lee Marshall, Jamar Clark, Richard Perkins, Nathaniel harris Picket, Benni Lee Tignor, Miguel Espinal, Micheal Noel, Kevin Matthews, Betties Jones, Quintonio Legrier, Keith Childless Jr. Janet Wilson, Randy Nelson, Antronie Scott, Wendell Celestine, David Joseph, Calin Roquemore, Dyzhawn Perkins, Christopher Davis, Marco Loud, Peter Gaines, Torrey Robinson, Darius Robinson, Kevin Hicks, Mary Truxillo, Demarcus Semer, Willie Tillman, Terrill Thomas, Sylville Smith, Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, Terrence Crutcher, Paul O’Neal, Alteria Woods, Jordan Edwards, Aaron Bailey, Ronel Foster, Stephon Clark, Antwon Rose II, Bothan Jean, Pamela Turner, Dominique Clayton, Atatiana Jefforson, Christopher Whitfield, Christopher Mccorvey, Eric Reason, Micheal Lorenzo Dean, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd.

Names of black lives lost to police brutality on a plackard during a protest

America and Racism

President of the United States tweeted – ”Media Falsely Claimed Violent Riots Were Peaceful And That Tear Gas Was Used Against Rioters”. This tweet came from the protection of his Whitehouse bunker where all reality is being fed in through sources that seem to be untrustworthy. I say this because these protests were live-streamed. They had media coverage and that police used tear gas was seen and recorded on camera. For someone to say something like this is equivalent to saying that they only listen to people that praise them. They have stopped taking any form or shape of criticism. As the leader of a government, world superpower, and a democracy – spreading information like this is actively putting people at risk.

You can also read about how america has made it worse for students to report sexual assault safely here.

We are living through a major historic event and within decades we will see chapters on the year 2020 in history books. With organizations who are responsible for protecting people turning backs on those most impacted – nay – being the organization that is behind this massive impact on the underprivileged, is the world’s form of oppression. We are seeing systematic racism and oppression actively happen and people still fail to recognize this as blatant racism. I know people who tried making excuses for police brutality. Being in India, I have repeatedly heard absolutely clueless people say that the crimes are caused by black people in majority. Let’s run some facts for you to tell someone the next time you hear this being said.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, of the 3.5 Million violent crimes committed against white people, 62% of them were committed by other white people. After taking the exact numbers – this accounts for 2.2 Million violent crimes done by white people. On the other hand, black people account for 15% of these crimes, and yet they are between 2 to 3 times more likely to be arrested. Note how this is the crime statistic against white people. Excluding black people, crime statistics show that in violent crimes against every other race, white people are the largest perpetrators of crime. (Source: https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/cv18.pdf)

So now let’s talk about violence and anger. People understand that life isn’t fair and that it hurts everybody. That has not stopped people from attempting to make the world a better, more equitable place. That brings me to violence, injustice, and harm. Black people who are only 12% of the population of the United States (in 2018) account for 40% of the people in prison even though the crimes are committed by a majority of white people. Does that not give people the right to be angry. And I use the word angry very liberally, there is truly no word that can encompass the emotions of a race of people. After years of slavery, denied human rights, and still seeing people killed or put to prison, to say that violence will not solve anything, I say peace has not been able to solve anything either. To see radical change, radical steps need to be taken and there are no two ways about it. 

History of Violence and Human Rights

If you are still not convinced that this form of protesting and rebellion is very-well warranted – let’s look at history. 

Exhibit A – Stonewall Riots (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stonewall_riots)

Police raids were a routine at Gay Bars in the 1960s. In 1969, these riots began as violent protests against the police because people were sick and tired of the kind of discrimination they faced. Because of this, today America has a comparatively more accepting system towards the LGBTQ community. 

Exhibit B – The Fights against the British For Indian Independence

As the British Raj ruled India for over 200 years, they kept promising people that they would equip India to self govern. They arrived in India as the East India Company and told the Indian people that they would offer them a better-civilized way to live. After systematically making India its cash cow for 2 centuries, it took the deaths of millions of people to push out a country that was milking India like a blood-sucking tick.

If the Jallianwala Bagh massacre and the re-telling of it tells us something, when a governing body uses it’s militia – police or otherwise against its unarmed citizens to force them into following orders, the government is no longer working for the people. It is exclusively existing to further provide power and protection to the rich and already empowered while actively harming the low-income and displaced communities. With the riots in Minneapolis, in a state of violence, an Indian restaurant – Gandhi Mahal – was damaged. The statement put out by the owner of the establishment goes to show that even with the loss of property and personal stake – the blame is still of the officers and the incompetent governing body.

Black Lives and Violence | Image on the blog

Conclusion

With facts and figures showing us the reality of the world, there are still so many that choose to ignore the injustice happening to fellow humans. They either say something that supports a governing body at fault or say nothing and these two are equally bad. Just as law books people for aiding and abetting crime as well as the criminals, staying quiet and not using your voice for standing something important is as good as supporting it. 

See something, say something was an anti-terrorist motto for the US government, well now that we are seeing something and saying something, do not send the police with their rubber bullets and tear gas to stop us from saying it. 

BLACK LIVES MATTER.

Here are some ways you can help support the black community in the time of need.

Donate to:

  • **Al Maa’uun –  Al Maa’uun is a nonprofit with deep roots in North Minneapolis, serving thousands of households each year with food and critical supplies.
  • Black Immigrant CollectiveThe Black Immigrant Collective amplifies and makes visible the voices of Black immigrants in Minnesota.
  • Black Table Arts Gathering Black communities through the arts, towards better black futures.
  • **Black Women SpeakGathering Black Women in Minnesota to share our experiences in order to heal, find joy and move toward liberation on our own terms!
  • Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en LuchaCTUL is a worker-led organization where workers organize, educate and empower each other to fight for a voice in their workplaces and in their communities.
  • **Division of Indian Work – Division of Indian Work’s mission is to support and strengthen urban American Indian people through culturally-based education, traditional healing approaches, and leadership development. We provide many services to the community but the most relevant one right now is our food shelf. 
  • Du Nord Riot Recovery FundDu Nord Craft Spirits is a Black-owned distillery with a building that was damaged. They’ve “received a tidal wave of love and support from across the nation and many have asked how they can help… Therefore, Du Nord is establishing this fund to support black and brown companies affected by the riots.”
  • Femme Empowerment Project- Venmo @femmeempowermentproject. Skill shares and discussions led by and for QTIIBPOC femmes in the twin cities. Creating space for cultural resiliency, healing and ancestral wisdom. Currently organizing supplies and medic trainings. 
  • IsuroonIsuroon is a grassroots nonprofit organization working to promote the well-being and empowerment of Somali women in Minnesota and beyond.
  • **Joyce Preschool – emergency fund for families who had to evacuate their homes near Lake Street last week, and who are now coming back to a devastated neighborhood with no grocery stores within walking distance. 
  • **Latino Community on Lake Street –  fundraiser for Latinx owned businesses on Lake Street. 
  • Little Earth Residents AssociationFood and safety needs for residents of Little Earth of United Tribes.
  • Migizi CommunicationsMIGIZI Communications advances a message of success, well-being and justice for the American Indian community. Support them rebuilding after fire.
  • Minnesota Healing Justice NetworkWe provide a supportive professional community and mutual aid network for wellness and healing justice practitioners who also identify as IBPOC (indigenous, black, or people of color).
  • Northside business supportsupport businesses on Minneapolis’s Northside that have been impacted by recent demonstrations.
  • Pimento Relief FundWe’re partnering with Pimento to provide black business without insurance relief after white supremacists set them on fire during the protests. 
  • **PPNA – Renters Support Fundoperated by the Minneapolis Renters’ Coalition, a group of residents, community organizations, and neighborhood organizations committed to supporting renters in our community. 
  • Southside Harm ReductionSouthside Harm Reduction Services works within a harm reduction framework to promote the human rights to health, safety, autonomy, and agency among people who use substances. 
  • Spiral CollectiveA volunteer full-spectrum reproductive options and support group comprised of doulas, birth-workers, and passionate reproductive justice advocates. based in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota, occupied Dakhóta territories.
  • **TC Care Collective – South-Minneapolis based rad worker-owned childcare co-op working to provide easy access childcare by and for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) and queer organizers and families.
  • **West Broadway Business and Area CoalitionWBC in partnership with Northside Funders Group will direct all donations to support Northside businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19 and the recent uprising.  
  • Women for Political ChangeHolistically investing in the leadership and political power of young women and trans & non-binary individuals throughout Minnesota.
  • Unicorn Riot A decentralized media organization that has been live-streaming uprisings 

Sign these petitions:

Educate yourself

Support local businesses owned by black people.

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