Empathy: Withdrawing Ego (Beyond 28)

from JFREJ in NYC May 2

from JFREJ in NYC May 2

“withdrawing the ego to make room for another”

A key element in cross-racial, and every other kind of, understanding is the focus of this week’s omer journey.

Hod” [literally: “glory”] is understood as representing empathy in the system of thought that relates an attribute/energy of God with each week of the omer. For example, The Holistic Haggadah offers this explanation:

Hod is the attribute of empathy, of withdrawing the ego to make room for another. Aaron was the High Priest, the one that stepped out of the way to let the Divine blessing flow through to the people. He was the peace-maker, the mediator, the mouthpiece for his brother Moses….Hannah, the mother of Samuel, prayed for a child and then withdrew her own desires by giving the boy up to the High Priest for Divine Service.

So how is your Divine service? How well do you listen to others? Do you know when to follow rather than lead?
— Michael L. Kagan, The Holistic Haggadah (Jerusalem: Urim, 2004)

We counted 28 on the evening of May 1. Tonight, we count….

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Endurance and Leadership (beyond 27)

The close of the Netzach [“Endurance” or “Leadership”] week of the omer journey seems an auspicious moment to share some resources for leading conversations and action within the Jewish community.

Are communities in which you’re active having the necessary conversations? It takes many forms of leadership to get discussion started in ways that allow everyone to listen and be heard. And it takes endurance and additional leadership to keep it going for the long-haul.

The omer count below is for Friday night. This post is scheduled to go out early on Friday in case anyone wants to share resources with their congregations this Shabbat.

Conversation and Sermon Sparks

“We are, as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote, in the midst of ‘the fierce urgency of now,’ write leaders of Jews United for Justice, introducing a set of resources meant for rabbis, but applicable to anyone who teaches or otherwise leads Jews. “Our partners in the Black community tell us that one of the most important things you can do…is to begin or deepen a conversation with your community about racism, police brutality, and inequality in Baltimore and beyond.” To that end, you’ll find background material, some texts, and sermon starters.

T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights offers serman sparks on mass incarceration, a Prayer for Ferguson, and a number of other useful materials. They also issued a statement standing with Baltimore.

Resolutions: Then and Now

The Union for Reform Judaism adopted a Resolution on the Crisis of Racial and Structural Inequality in the United States in December; action items include two particularly relevant to congregations:

Encourage our congregations to establish and sustain relationships with diverse racial, ethnic and economic sectors of their communities, participate in community-based dialogues pertaining to race and community-police relations, and work to enhance violence prevention and conflict resolution procedures.

When appropriate to the size of a community and in cases of a clear, ongoing pattern of excessive police violence in general or against specific segments of the community, consider the efficacy of establishing a representative police review board with subpoena powers.

The 2014 resolution makes reference to a 1969 resolution, noting with sadness that it “rings as true today– if not more so”:

“Race and the U.S. Criminal Justice System”
50th General Assembly
October 1969
Miami Beach, FL

The current demands made by the American black community painfully remind us of the appalling hurt done by our nation to a long oppressed multitude. Certainly we in the Reform Jewish community cannot allow our country to ignore the plight of America’s impoverished millions. Jewish imperatives require that we be ever sensitive to the aspirations and just demands of our country’s minorities.

WE, THEREFORE, URGE our congregations to redouble their efforts in support of those who have been exploited by our society. Synagogue programs supportive of oppressed peoples, the raising of funds for minority group use, pressure upon our government for massive action, are vehicles that we must employ to heal the deep wounds inflicted.

More

The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism has materials about Selma and Civil Rights and related topics.

Israeli struggles with race, class, and color are not identical to those in the U.S. but are mutually illuminating. A recent article on 972mag [on on-line publication named for Israel’s telephone code] asks Jews of Central European background to understand the struggles of Syrian and other Jews of Middle Eastern descent:

In a world where skin color has consequences for the future of your children, colorblindness is not a virtue, it’s a serious problem.

Thanks to Michele Sumka for sharing the 972mag article.

Links, suggestions, and guest postings welcome.

We counted 27 on the evening of April 30. Tonight, we count…. Continue Reading

Consequences, part 2 (beyond 26)

We passed the mid-point in the omer journey away from oppression, this week, at the same time that Freddie Gray’s death at the hands of Baltimore police evoked response all across the U.S., inspiring the message: #BlackSpring has begun.

BlackSpring-HiRes-476x500
There is still much for privileged and oppressed people to learn about how the system works to keep some people down and what it will take to undo that system. And we are still weeks away from Revelation at the holiday of Shavuot. But this seems a moment of turnaround. And I think perhaps we can find a pivot point in considering language — as both a potential stumbling block before (all of us) blind and as a tool for finding a new path.

One of my favorite teachers on Jewish prayer, Max Kadushin, offers some hints for a way forward.

Larger Self, Collapsed Time

Kadushin describes Jewish prayer, particularly recitation of a blessing, as “an element in a moral experience,” one that engages an individual’s “larger self.” He notes that many Jewish prayers are in the first person plural, even though the pray-er may not, depending on time and circumstances, have the need expressed in the prayer:

How is it that the individual can regard common needs as “his needs,” even when they are not at the same time his own needs at all?

[In recitation of a blessing] not an actual experience, but the sheer knowledge of a common need of man is now the occasion for an individual’s petition and he regards the common need as his need.

The larger self allows an individual to be aware, poignantly aware, that there are others [for example] who are sick; the awareness is so strong that he associates himself with them, though at the same time retaining his self-identity….Self-identity is retained and material circumstances of the individual have not changed; nevertheless, the self has become larger, more inclusive: large enough to include indefinite others and a consciousness of their needs.
— Max Kadushin, Worship and Ethics: A Study in Rabbinic Judaism. (NY: Bloch, 1963), p.108-109

Kadushin also speaks of prayer collapsing time, so that the travails and delights of the past and a future of blessings we have not yet experienced coalesce in the present. It is in this prayer experience, heavily influenced by language, that the seeds of change are nourished.

We counted 26 on the evening of April 29. Tonight, we count…. Continue Reading

Stumbling Blocks: Consequences, part 1 (beyond 25)

A few resources for further consideration about the stumbling blocks of language:

Coded Racist Language is Still Racist

This satiric piece goes a long way to illustrate how deeply embedded is racist reporting and language and reporting

“If you watched that segment and thought that is a ridiculous premise and an absolutely terrible way to talk millions of about people who share nothing — nothing! — but broad pigmentation,” Chris Hayes concludes, “you are right.”

This essay breaks down some key points.

This frustrated Baltimore official tells CNN to just go ahead and call young people “niggers” if she’s going to insist on using “thugs.”

Racist Language Kills (Really)

from "Association between...Area Racism and Black Mortality"Recent research links racism — studied through a “search-based proxy of area racism” (based on vocabulary) — to Black mortality. Racist language has deadly — actual human health, not metaphor — results.

In this way and so many others, allowing the use of racist language to go unchallenged “gives the means, or prepares the way for wrong” (see yesterday’s post).

We counted 25 on the evening of April 28. Tonight, we count…. Continue Reading

Stumbling Blocks Before Us All

“Do not put a stumbling-block before the blind.” This commandment prohibits anything that “gives the means, or prepares the way for wrong,” according to Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch (see Carmi Wisemon’s essay at My Jewish Learning).

There are so many ways in which language can “give the means, or prepare the way for wrong.” And changes to our usage can mean big differences in the way we think and act.

Many of us have seen changes in our lifetime in some of the harmful ways language was employed in early decades. For example, we no longer use “he” to stand for “one” (of any gender) and rarely see locutions like “lady-doctor.” This has helped to address some forms of sexism. But there are many ways in which our language continues to place stumbling blocks in front of us all, including in acceptance of varieties in gender expression. And this is no mere “semantics” issue. How language views certain groups of people translates into rights, respect, and basic safety issues.

The questions raised in yesterday’s post are primarily ones of language: When does language include people and when does it elide over difference? Usage can contribute to acceptance or promote danger for various groups.

Are we experiencing an “uprising” in Baltimore, finally after decades of oppression, or are some random “thugs” rioting? (Just one piece to consider)

Was the Boston Tea Party about revolution or property damage?

Vocabulary in such cases is everything and can mean, ultimately, a difference between life and death.

[Back in 2015, when this blog was running a series counting the Omer, this post closed with the previous night’s count and exact blessing for the date of the post; in an attempt to avoid confusion, the exact info is removed, but the general sentiments about using the Omer to learn and address oppression remains.]

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Prayers on the Makeshift (Beyond 23)

In his masterpiece of prose poetry, Chicago: City on the Make, Nelson Algren wrote:

…All the creeds that persecution harassed out of Europe find sanctuary on this [Chicago] ground, where no racial prejudice is permitted to stand up.

We insist that it go at a fast crawl, the long way around.

The Negro is not seriously confronted here with a stand-up and head-on hatred, but with something psychologically worse: a soft and protean awareness of white superiority everywhere, in everything, the more infuriating because it is as polite as it is impalpable. Nobody even thought such a thing, my dear.
— in “Love is for Barflies,”
p.45 60th Anniversary Edition (Chicago: Univ. of Chgo Press, 1951)

Algren’s brilliant expression — “No racial prejudice is permitted to stand up. We insist that it go at a fast crawl, the long way around.” — remains all too apt, across much of the U.S.

Does the persistence of this reality have implications for our prayers?

(This post was edited and amended after initial publication.)

Algren’s Chicago, 1951 and 1961

In 1951, Algren quotes Big Bill Broonzy’s “Black, Brown, and White” — “If you’re white, awright…if you’re black, step back” — and continues, telling Black Chicagoans to expect higher rents, and warning:

from Wikipedia page

from Wikipedia;
cover photo from 1951 edition

And no one will ever name the restaurants you mustn’t eat in nor the bars you mustn’t drink at….Make your own little list. Of the streets you mustn’t live on, the hotels where you can’t register, the office you can’t work in and the unions you can never join.
— ibid, p.46

Major Chicago reviewers at the time said the work exhibited a “distorted, partial, unenviable slant” and demanded “revocation of the author’s poetic license.” But ten years later Algren only marveled at others’ failure to recognize what he saw, in 1951 and 1961. In the 1961, he wrote:

One cannot help but wonder what the reaction might have been had the book cut in closer to what the lives of multitudes are really like on the city’s South and West sides. This book didn’t begin to tell that story a decade ago; and the story is fully as terrible today as then.
— ibid, pp.95-97
(Google Books offers a substantial preview)

Bilhah and Zilpah, Text and Prayer

At the start of the week (see “Beyond 21“), we began to explore the idea of including Bilhah and Zilpah, the concubines of Jacob and mothers of four of the twelve tribes, in the opening blessing of the Standing Prayer.

Most prayer books used in non-orthodox congregations have included the four Matriarchs (Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah) along with the three Patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) in the blessing that calls on God who “remembers the love of our fathers (and mothers),” at least as an option, for many years. But most prayer books do not include the maids at this point:

  • Does listing all six mothers foster a sense of inclusion?
  • Or does it serve to gloss over difference, given that backgrounds of Bilhah and Zilpah are not addressed in the biblical text?
  • Does including Bilhah and Zilpah in the blessing raise their status and our awareness of their contributions?
  • Or does it make their inferior legal and social status invisible?
  • Is adding Bilhah and Zilpah an act against allowing prejudice to stand?
  • Or is it asking it to “go at a fast crawl, the long way around”?


A few thoughts to further consideration —

Orthodox prayer books do not include any of the mothers in the Amidah, retaining ancient language and often noting that the phrase “God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob” is biblical (Ex. 3:6) and so not to be amended. Chabad notes, in addition, that Bilhah and Zilpah had souls “not as lofty as the Matriarchs” and act as “agents of Rachel and Leah” when they bear children.

Congregation Beth Simchat Torah (CBST) is a NY community that “attracts and welcomes gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender, ‎queer and straight individuals and families who share common values. Their Siddur B’chol L’vav’cha, With All Your Heart, includes Bilhah and Zilpah, “recognizing all of our mothers, not just the ‘legally married ones.'”

The Movement for Reform Judaism (UK) points out that the addition has been controversial, adding a note from a classical source:

A powerful rabbinic midrash asks the question why the children of Israel had to endure slavery in Egypt. It answers that the sons of Rachel and Leah dismissed the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah on the grounds that they were the children of slaves and of less worth. By experiencing slavery in Egypt all the descendants of Jacob were made equal in this regard.
“Prayer Book in the Making”
[cited page from Movement for Reform Judaism now (2020) missing]

What, if anything, does including Bilhah and Zilpah say about our understanding of oppression and how to move beyond it?

More to come.

We counted 23 on the evening of April 26. Tonight, we count….

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“Only to the whole world” (Beyond 22)

Is the call “No Justice, No Peace” a threat or a prayer? “encapsulation of the lex talionis, an eye for an eye,” as Pat Buchanan says? a a statement of fact?

 By OsamaK (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (Creative Commons)], via Wikimedia Commons


By OsamaK (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (Creative Commons)], via Wikimedia Commons

This commentary on the Sim Shalom, the closing blessing and prayer for peace, at the end of the Amidah [Standing Prayer] discusses the Barcheinu Avinu verse: “Bless all of us as one, through the light of Your Presence.”

teaching from Shlomo Carlebach on “Sim Shalom

found on the Album “Songs of Peace” (recorded: 1973)
[Begins singing “Barcheinu Avinu,”
verse near the beginning of “Sim Shalom,”
then pauses for this teaching]
If I ask God: “Please give me, give me money, give me health” —
it is possible that I should be healthy,
but, God forbid, the rest of the world should not be.
I could be rich,
but the whole world, God forbid, can be poor.

But there is one precious thing I cannot ask God
just give it to me and not to the rest of the world,
and that is peace.
For it’s for the whole world or it isn’t there at all.
Because peace comes from such a high place in heaven,
it is only given to the whole world.
It’s not given to individuals, because it’s God Himself.

And now the thing is, there are a lot of lights in the world.
If I ask God: “Please put light into my soul, put light into my life,”
the question is: Where is this light coming from?
If I’m just asking for myself,
then the light comes from a very low place.

Everybody knows, everybody knows,
when we davven [pray] Shemona Esrei [“18”/Amidah]
three times a day, we ask all our needs.
But at the end we say: “Please, Almighty, Sim Shalom
– Let there be peace.”
And then we say: “Barcheinu avinu – please bless me**,”
but “kulanu ki echad – all of us like one
b’or panecha – with Your light.”
Because the light of God is only for the whole world:
it’s the light of peace, the light of love, the light of shabbes [sabbath].

So join me….
[Returns to singing again “Barcheinu Avinu”]
** more grammatically:
“bless us, Our Father [or Parent]”

Recalling Psalms 85:11 —
 חֶסֶד-וֶאֱמֶת נִפְגָּשׁוּ;    צֶדֶק וְשָׁלוֹם נָשָׁקוּ.
“Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other”

— what does Shlomo’s teaching tell us about the call “No Justice, No Peace”?

We counted 22 on the evening of April 25. Tonight, we count….

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Heavy Heart in Hand (Beyond 21)

A story is the easiest, and, I hope, clearest, way for me to convey this thought to open the week of Netzach [“eternity,” also leadership] in the omer journey away from oppression. (apologies for length)

At this morning’s worship service, Temple Micah‘s Rabbi Zemel pointed participants’ attention to the following note, a kavanah [focusing intention] before the Standing Prayer:

Rabbi Ammi taught: A person’s prayer is not acceptable unless one’s heart is in one’s hands. (Taanit 8a)
Mishkan T’filah, p.243

I attempted to approach the Amidah’s opening blessing in that spirit.

The opening blessing calls on God who “remembers the love of our fathers and mothers” and “brings redemption to their children’s children for the sake of the Divine Name.” Mishkan T’filah includes the matriarchs — “God of Sarah, …Rivkah, …Rachel, and God of Leah” — here. But it does not mention Bilhah and Zilpah, concubines to Jacob and mothers of four of the twelve tribes of Israel.

A Heavy Heart

For some years, I included the names of Bilhah and Zilpah myself in an effort to honor them and the many “fathers and mothers,” Jews or non-Jews, who contribute to the community over the centuries. But a few years ago I stopped on the theory that this, however inadvertently, led to erasing the history of oppression.

Ignoring race or underdog status in an attempt at inclusiveness, I reasoned, can have a negative impact, allowing those of more powerful or privileged status to forget that the underdog/slave still carries effects of that (former?) status.

Nowadays, instead of including the six mothers as equals in the list, I’ve taken to pausing after calling on “God of Abraham…God of Leah,” to specifically call on “God of the Ancestors of all with whom we’ve traveled.”

A note from Judith Z. Abrams on the opening blessing explains

The content of this prayer has to do with the merit of our ancestors. This is traditionally conceived of as a sort of bank account into which the Patriarchs and Matriarchs deposited funds of righteousness that were so great that they covered all future generations.
Mishkan T’filah, p.244

And, if we’re to invoke the merit of all the ancestors, there are some debts owing as well. So, this morning, I found that my heart, in hand, grew heavy as I invoked the God of all the Ancestors.

By the time I reached Sim Shalom, the closing blessing and prayer for peace, I could hear the wails of so many oppressed descendants of those Ancestors calling on God to “bless all of us as one, through the light of Your Presence” that I wondered how others seemed (apparently) unaware of the din filling the sanctuary.

Open Fingers

In many prayerbooks (outside the Reform Movement), the prayer for peace includes the ancient priestly blessing:

May GOD bless you and keep you.
May GOD shine his face toward you and treat you graciously.
May GOD lift his face toward you and grant you peace (from Numbers 6:26).

Hands-Blessing164Priests — and in some communities, all the participants — accompany this blessing with an open-fingered gesture. (See right>>>) And so I got to thinking after the service about open fingers and hearts in hand.

I decided to look up Rabbi Ammi’s teaching in the Babylonian Talmud:

R. Ammi said: A man’s prayer is only answered if he takes his heart into his hand, as it is said, “Let us lift up our heart with our hands” (Lam 3:41). [But a teaching of Samuel asks: Do we not also read] “…For their heart was not steadfast with Him, neither were they faithful in His covenant; and yet, But He being full of compassion, forgiveth iniquity etc.” (Psalms 78:36-38)? — This is no contradiction. The one refers to the individual, and the other to the community.
— Soncino translation, from Halakhah.com
[I added quotation marks for the biblical verses; see also note below]

Samuel uses Psalm 78 to suggest that a community can be answered, even when its collective heart is not steadfast — which seems a great mercy.

Loving-Kindness in Leadership

Today is the day of Chesed in Netzach, loving-kindness in eternity or leadership. And in the spirit of this day, I ask:

  • What is the relationship of heart in hands and an open-fingered prayer?
  • Can individuals — priests or, in some understandings, all of us — bring blessings on the whole community if our own hearts are in our own hands? Are our own hearts impediments? or an aid to opening our fingers?
  • What does it mean that Rabbi Ammi’s proof-text is in the plural “lift up our heart with our hands”? Is there, somehow a collective communal heart and an individual one?
  • And, finally: Who else finds the heart they bring to prayer a heavy one these days? And how can we work together to help bring blessing with, or in spite of, that weight?

We counted 21 on the evening of April 24. Tonight, we count….

NOTES:

Lamentations 3:41 —

נִשָּׂא לְבָבֵנוּ אֶל-כַּפָּיִם, אֶל-אֵל בַּשָּׁמָיִם.
Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens.

The bracketed material above:

[But it is not so. Surely]18 Samuel appointed an amora19 to
act for him and his exposition ran thus:

with these notes —

(18) So Bomberg ed. and inserted in cur. edd. in square brackets, p. 33 n. 1.
(19) Same as Meturgeman. V. supra p. 12, n. 4.

And the supra note on “meturgeman” —

The translator or interpreter. The function of this official in Talmudic times was to interpret to the audience in the Synagogue in a popular manner and to enlarge upon the theme of the rabbi lecturing. Rashi, feeling that in our passage no such official could be referred to, explains that here the lecturing rabbi and interpreter are one and the same person, he who lectures on the first day of Passover, and that he included in his address a prayer for rain. V. however, the commentary of R. Hananel ad loc.

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A Prayer and “A Small Needful Fact” (Beyond 20)

To close out this week of Tiferet [“beauty”], the balancing of Chesed [“loving-kindness”] with Gevurah [“strength” or “boundaries”], a few words of prayer and meditation from the early morning service (Koren Saks translation; meditation [mine]) —

May Your loving-kindness be greatly upon me, and in Your might may my enemies and those who rise against me be subdued.
I pray in the spirit of the Talmudic great, Beruriah, who scolded her husband, Rabbi Meir, for praying that “sinners be no more,” insisting instead that he should instead pray that the sins that should be no more. (See Berakhot 10a; Midrash Psalms 118)
— from “Prayers for a Change

— and a thought from Ross Gay on “Split this Rock,” a national network of socially engaged poets:

by Zachary Lynch, mixed media/sgraffito board

by Zachary Lynch, mixed media/sgraffito board

A Small Needful Fact
Is that Eric Garner worked
for some time for the Parks and Rec.
Horticultural Department, which means,
perhaps, that with his very large hands,
perhaps, in all likelihood,
he put gently into the earth
some plants which, most likely,
some of them, in all likelihood,
continue to grow, continue
to do what such plants do, like house
and feed small and necessary creatures,
like being pleasant to touch and smell,
like converting sunlight
into food, like making it easier
for us to breathe.

***
Used with permission.

***Ross Gay is a gardener and teacher living in Bloomington, Indiana. His book, Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude, is available from University of Pittsburgh Press, 2015.

***
Please feel free to share Split This Rock Poem of the Week widely. We just ask you to include all of the information in this post, including this request. Thanks! If you are interested in reading past poems of the week, feel free to visit the blog archive.

Shabbat Shalom.

We counted 20 on the evening of April 23. Tonight, we count….
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How Systemic is Our Awareness? (Beyond 19)

What would it mean for reports about Dante Servin, armed off-duty Chicago police officer, and Rekia Boyd, the unarmed 22-year-old citizen he shot to death in March 2012, “to be systemically aware” (see yesterday’s post)?

  • Should we be focusing on a judicial system that let Servin off on a technicality this past Monday (4/20/15)?
  • Should we be focusing on the invisibility of women in the discussion of police killings?
  • Should we be talking about racism in state violence more generally?
  • Or should be we consider the even more fundamental issue of fear?

Rekia Boyd’s story is not a straightforward example of the “unarmed suspect shot” scenario: Servin was not attempting to arrest Rekia Boyd. He appears to have been reacting to belief that her boyfriend was armed (he wasn’t), complicating any discussion of police response to Black women. Servin defends his actions by invoking police protocol, claiming: “Any police officer especially would have reacted in the exact same manner” (see video in ABC7Chicago story linked above). But he was off-duty, and he shot Rekia Boyd following a complaint about noise because he “feared for his life.” So, really, it comes down to fear….

The badges and guns belong to us

John Domen, 12/8/14,  CBS Local story

John Domen, 12/8/14,
CBS Local story

I symbolically embodied Rekia Boyd during a demonstration at the U.S. Capitol followed by a 4-1/2 hour die-in at the Department of Justice on Human Rights Day, December 8, 2014. I chose her name because she was female (like me) and from Chicago (like me). And while I had already left the city by the time I was 22, I feel some connection with a young woman out with friends on her own streets, maybe forgetting that it was late and time to keep the noise down or maybe just forgetting — as my friends and I did often enough — that there were other people around.

During those long, cold hours on the ground outside the Department of Justice, the following passage — one that has stuck in my brain since I first read it — returned to me again and again:

“…Them shootin’ me wasn’t no accident. You don’t take no scared white boys can’t tell the difference between one black man and another, give ’em guns, and let ’em run around the streets of Harlem and then say it was an accident when they one day shoot down an innocent man….”
— Tempest Landry, speaking post-death in Walter Mosley’s Tempest Tales. (NY: Washington Square Press, 2008.)
see also “Declarations of Independence…”

And, while some sectors, particularly Black media, have certainly addressed the topic many times for decades upon decades, mainstream media is still not asking the most fundamental question:


Why do we allow armed police to roam in areas where they fear the residents?

As Collette Flannigan, mother of Clinton Allen (age 25; killed by Dallas TX police), told “Voices of Grief and Struggle” last December:

 

“Those badges and guns belong to us.

Every time they kill they kill in our name.”

That’s a level of systemic awareness I rarely see and believe we must develop, soon.

We counted 19 on the evening of April 22. Tonight, we count….
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