Thinking out loud about black men

There’s been A LOT of commentary and punditry, and several peaceful demonstrations, since The Verdict was announced Saturday night. I have heard and read a little of the coverage, but I prefer to focus on what change we as individuals, and as a country, can do to protect our children, ALL our children.

It occurred to me in the still dark hours this morning while I listened to NPR (my husband got up extra early to start on a project at work) that we really need to make our streets and communities safe for black men of every age, and to get to the heart of the matter, all men of color. While we’re at it, let’s make the streets safe for gay and transgendered men of all colors.

Then I thought about how unsafe our streets, homes, schools, Armed Forces, and businesses areĀ for women.

Maybe I should have had a second cup of coffee, but next my mind frog-leaped to the fact that as long as we compartmentalize our calls for justice based on the most recent murder, mass shooting, movie, or state legislature vote, we are not setting the lens wide enough to see the whole picture.

I’m not suggesting that we can come up with an overnight “one size fits all” solution to the injustices and inequalities in our country. Unfortunately, as the Supreme Court’s Voting Rights Act ruling shows, change can take generations. It’s just that I don’t think Treyvon Martin’s generation can, or should have to, wait any longer.

About Katherine Helms Cummings

During the day I am a social and environmental activist whose professional work has been in the nonprofit world for the last 12 years. Most nights and weekends I am an artisan making accessories with upcycled cashmere and woven textiles. My handmade items are available at The Sassy Gal http://thesassygal.org
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6 Responses to Thinking out loud about black men

  1. Jerry Livingston says:

    Why didn’t you just say that we need to make the streets safe for every person? Your statement sounds very racist to me. Hey, I have an idea. Let’s make the streets safe for white people.

  2. This is so true. Deep in my heart, I think the last revolution was fueled by pissed off women and pissed off black men, back in the 60’s. I think its time has come back around.

    • Katherine Helms Cummings says:

      I am going to return to reading Nixonland, which my friend recommended. It focuses on the 1960s social and political climates, and how that led to Nixon’s election.

      More thinking out loud-do Face Book and Twitter encourage a mindset that if we “liked and shared” or reTweeted, that our work is done? I think too often social media lets us be pretend activists. I understand that the Texas legislature wouldn’t have been filled to overflowing when Wendy Davis filibustered without social media going viral on it. But showing up is what stopped that legislation in the wee hours.

      • Good point. My problem is BEING there. Physically, not emotionally. I think that is the problem with a lot of people right now, we might be feeling it, but we can’t get there. It does make me feel pretty good when I see the crowds in Raleigh for Moral Mondays. But, again, I’m just feeling it. It’s hard to afford to be an activist, much less run for office and change our own corner of the world.