This is an email from Up to Speed, a newsletter by Momentum.
Up to Speed is a biweekly newsletter brought to you by Momentum, a Medium blog dedicated to the fight against anti-Black racism. Every other week, we bring you a collection of stories to consider as we all learn, evolve, and fight for racial justice and true equality. We’re going to keep the conversation going because we’re in it for the long haul.
Hey Momentum fans,
Maybe you saw the video and shared it. Hopefully you didn’t (because Black trauma is not entertainment). Regardless, the story of Jacob Blake, a father of six shot in the back seven times by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, is going to have societal reverberations for a very long time to come. Just like George Floyd, just like Breonna Taylor, just like Ahmaud Arbury, the list of Black deaths at the hands of White men shows no sign of slowing down.
Momentum is covering the aftermath and the history of these issues. We know we have to keep watch. We know that the fight for a more just system and society never slows. We know the marches never stopped — not even for one day. The polarizing story behind Blake’s massive injuries also heightens the ongoing social media and IRL discussion on intention versus impact, especially as it concerns people who you consider to be your friends.
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The Milwaukee Bucks, L.A. Lakers, and L.A. Clippers all initially refused to walk on court for the NBA Playoffs out of solidarity with Blake. Other athletes are following suit. That’s a powerful move on many levels. Do you, your friends, co-workers, and family members personally stan for social justice in such a real way? Is it possible to remain friends with someone who remains silent on issues that might, literally, kill you? Writer Brianna Holt examines that question with a story on friend relationships during this heightened time. She is, quite frankly, suggesting a total overhaul.
“While I’m not impressed by White people deciding to take action in the fight for social justice,” she writes, “I was disturbed by my White friends doing little to nothing, especially since celebrities who never displayed their views before started to showcase them so openly.”
Inaction is a decision. As Blake’s sister so eloquently said: She’s not sad; she’s angry. It’s time to stop talking and start doing.
George Floyd’s family is angry too. They are working with attorney L. Chris Stewart on a civil case against the Minneapolis Police Department: a dangerous job, to be sure. That’s why he hires protection. You can read more about why police departments hate to see him coming and why he travels with armed guards in this profile written by Keith Nelson Jr.
The struggle must be discussed. Let’s plot and plan for a better future.
Adrienne Samuels Gibbs
More stories to keep in the conversation
In other stay woke news, let’s stop saying Black-on-Black crime, ’k? Studies have shown that people overwhelmingly commit crimes where they live; that’s why White people kill White people too, yet we don’t say White-on-White crime. Funny how that works, eh? And while we’re pondering why that self-hating, racist phrase needs to be trashed, read up on why and how willful ignorance keeps plantation tourism in business. Also, voting for a racist does make you a racist, so if you are serious about social justice, adjust yourself accordingly. Then, examine why Stone Mountain — a mountain-sized Confederate monument — continues to stand just outside of Atlanta, one of the Blackest cities in America. It’s a system; hence systemic racism.