Sign in

Momentum
A blog from Medium about the fight against anti-Black racism.

Let’s Unpack This

When cops donate money to anti-Black murderers, the system is clearly broken

The American policing system appears to be at a crossroads. While many still view police officers as heroes who protect and serve the community, a growing contingent of activists and lawmakers are using the recent increased media attention on state-sanctioned violence to try and effect change. Whether one thinks the police should be abolished, reformed, or defunded, there’s likely never been a time in the history of this country where police officers have been under such intense scrutiny by the general public. And with good reason.

It’s not often we see police officials disagreeing publicly regarding the actions of a…


Black Lives Matter protesters couldn’t get away with this

Nearly 1,000 White college students gathered to party in Columbus, Ohio. They came to celebrate the “Chitt Fest,” a series of spring block parties. But this year, their brand of fun included damaging property and flipping seven cars. When the police responded, the revelers seem unfazed and unbothered. Flipping cars without a care is the apex of White privilege.

The officers responded to the event from a distance. Using a megaphone, they said, “They’ll come down when it’s safe for them.” When it comes to confronting Black protesters, police seem to have the will of fire. Yet, when it comes…


This Week in Racism

That and more this week in race and racism

There’s been plenty of racial/racism news on the front pages this week, with a conviction in one police killing at almost the exact same time as another was taking place. We learned that ex-officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murdering George Floyd in Minneapolis, and as we were all processing what that meant, we found out police in Columbus, Ohio, had fatally shot teenager Ma’Khia Bryant.

But here’s some other important news that you also need to know.

Not at rest: Why the hell are the bones of two children killed in the notorious Philadelphia MOVE bombing in 1985…


Convicted ex-cop Derek Chauvin seemed genuinely stunned to learn he actually will be held responsible for the murder of a Black man

For an instant, Black America and Derek Chauvin aligned in a singular emotion: disbelief. It flashed in Chauvin’s eyes just as the weight of decades of unjust acquittals was shifted from our shoulders onto the murderer’s, where it had always belonged. The convicted killer cop couldn’t conceive that a jury would dare hold him accountable.

Neither could many of us. Chauvin will now wait eight weeks for sentencing but relief was much briefer. The verdict hadn’t even been read before a Columbus, Ohio, cop killed Ma’Khia Bryant, a 16-year-old Black girl, in front of her own house. Police said Bryant…


A guilty verdict does not always equal appropriate consequences

When Judge Peter Cahill read off three guilty verdicts in the trial of Derek Chauvin on Tuesday, much of the world took a collective exhale.

The former Minneapolis police officer — now guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter for the murder of George Floyd — is the first officer in Minnesota to be held accountable for killing a Black man, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.

It had been a long year since a video of Chauvin pressing his knee into Floyd’s neck for eight minutes overtook the news of the pandemic and pushed crowds into…


Click or bang. Black people never know how their encounter with the police will end.

I saw a movie once called The Deer Hunter. Robert De Niro and Christopher Walken starred as childhood friends who end up as prisoners of war during the Vietnam War. Russian roulette was one of the forms of torture used by their captors.

In the film, the Viet Cong forced their prisoners to play the game against one another, making them spin the barrel of a pistol, hold it to their temples, and pull the trigger. Their captors gambled as the prisoners played until, finally, a “bang” replaced the “click” of the empty chamber. …


Derek Chauvin was found guilty on three counts and the nation is stunned

Across the nation, people hollered, wept, and honked horns. They stopped what they were doing to observe and to tune in to any television, livestream, or social media around 5 p.m. EST— all to hear the verdict in the case of Derek Chauvin, the ex-police officer charged with the murder of George Floyd.

Minneapolis braced for violence, its very leadership used to the legal backlash that happens when police officers hardly ever pay any significant price for the murder of Black and Brown people. Truth be told, nearly every major city braced — fully expecting a not guilty verdict as…


Chicago police killed 13-year-old Adam Toledo, and some media responded by questioning Toledo’s character. Black and Brown kids deserve better.

The public has now seen the troubling video of a Chicago police officer shooting and killing Adam Toledo, a 13-year-old Latino boy who lived in the city’s Little Village neighborhood.

For Chicagoans, especially for those in Black and Brown communities, the shooting feels like another likely injustice in a long line of cases in which police have killed young Black people — the police killing and subsequent cover-up of the death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald offers a high-profile example.

But just seven days after the murder of the child, popular Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn wrote that the public should…


That and more this week In Race and Racism

The racial nonsense was thick this past week. From an adjustable hate speech slider for gamers to the racist roots of the District of Columbia’s federal disenfranchisement, here’s some of the race and racism news you might have missed.

“Computer: Decrease racism shields by 17 percent.”

How much White nationalism, body shaming and sexism would you prefer to experience today? Apparently Intel thought that answers other than “none” were acceptable, because it recently previewed a service that would allow video gamers to choose the degree of racism, misogyny or hate speech that comes in through their headsets from other players…


Giving the police the benefit of the doubt undermines the victims

Protesters took to the streets after hearing the news. A Brooklyn Center officer shot and killed 20-year-old Daunte Wright. Many wondered how this could happen again. Another unarmed Black man lost his life from a police encounter. Wright died a few miles away from Minneapolis, where George Floyd’s death played on repeat. The jury has yet to deliberate Derek Chauvin’s guilt, though that day will soon arrive. The physical and thematic proximity of these cases shocked an already grieving community. Kim Potter, a 26-year-old veteran of the force, and the police chief have since resigned from their positions. But, before…

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store