I plan to walk more in January, despite icy sidewalks. I plan to read more and have a stack of poetry and novels and nonfiction to tackle. I plan to write more, too — on a variety of topics, personal and political, local and global. That includes recycling contracts in St. Paul, Glendale public housing in Minneapolis, solar greenhouses and winter gardens across Minnesota, and bad bus stops in my neighborhood. Continue reading
Tag Archives: Black Lives Matter
Sometimes it seems like I’m talking – and writing – about Black Lives Matter all the time. Let me explain why.
Back in 1903, W.E.B. DuBois wrote The Souls of Black Folk. He began the book with these lines:
“HEREIN lie buried many things which if read with patience may show the strange meaning of being black here in the dawning of the Twentieth Century. This meaning is not without interest to you, Gentle Reader; for the problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of the color-line.”
Today, despite all of the organizing, all of the marching, all of the blood shed and people martyred in the civil rights movement of the 20th century, the problem of the color line is still the problem of our time, the problem of the 21st century, in the United States and around the world. And today, Black Lives Matter embodies the challenge of the new civil rights movement. Continue reading
First, the city council refused to allow public testimony about the police shooting of Jamar Clark. Then, without notice to protesters and their supporters, a council committee voted to open its meeting to immediate public testimony about the Fourth Precinct protests. The people present and ready to testify? Opponents of the protest, of course, including Police Federation head Bob Kroll. This is not what democracy looks like. Continue reading
The day after Mayor Betsy Hodges, Congressmember Keith Ellison, City Council members Barbara Johnson and Blong Yang, and an assorted group of “community leaders” called for an end to the protest on Plymouth Avenue, the protesters are staying strong. Continue reading
I love the Minnesota State Fair. But dang it all — Black Lives Matter is right about structural/institutional racism at the Fair and in the state. So I went to the fair today, and I also plan to go to the #BlackFair march on Saturday. I agree with Julie Blaha, who wrote in a letter to the editor to the Strib:
“I love the State Fair with a passion that borders on obsession … [but] I have no problem with disruption for a good cause.
“If I’m willing to wait half an hour for deep-fried pickles, I can spend a little time on something as important as ending racism. Fairgoers, the least we can do for our neighbors suffering injustice is to put down the mini doughnuts for a bit and listen.”