[Los Angeles, CA – Day 18] It has been eighteen days since George Floyd was murdered. Depending on one’s perspective or life’s experiences, sides have been drawn. Just about everyone agrees ex-officer Chauvin as well as the other three arresting ex-officers used excessive and unnecessary force.
The Floyd incident has morphed from a moment to a movement based on what we are witnessing in cities around the globe. As expected, there are those who proclaim the reaction is over-blown. They go further to suggest it is some type of Democratic funded operation to smear our system. I guess they feel because Floyd was African-American and the majority of them vote in favor of Democratic candidates, surely the party must be behind their antics? They quietly dismiss the notion that deciding which political party to support boils down to which one MOSTLY supports your issues? It appears to be a sound-bite that some accept based on which media they consume?
One side sees a need for justice. The other side sees a need to stop disrespecting civility. Another critical analysis those in opposition can’t explain, as history may be the final arbiter is why folk from various ethnicities, age groups and other demographics have joined the movement? To further justify their belief the reaction is fueled by a political party, they voice opposition via social media suggesting those who support the reaction to Floyd are ill-informed or have they been induced into some cult?
Most have forgotten the Black Lives Matter has been around. Just in 2016, through media it was vilified as a revolutionary group you should be scared to associate with. That’s why this time is different. As mentioned, folk from all walks of life have changed their social consciousness and now proudly proclaim the Black Lives Matter moniker.
There is one more critical point about protesting which those in opposition somehow find difficult to accept or understand. Protesting is a public gesture to create awareness of the issue. Following must be a series of actions which make the reason for protesting a serious action. As an example most people never heard or knew of Emmett Till, Jimmie Lee Jackson or more contemporary examples such as Alton Sterling, Trayvon Martin, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner or even George Floyd. It was the type of tragic death they suffered which made them household names. Therein lays a prime reason for the public outrage we are experiencing. It is bigger than any specific named person. It has to do with a system that minimizes their life merely because they were black. It has very little to do with their past as a seed of racism makes it okay to marginalize those who are deemed less than. Unfortunately, many buy into this paradigm while defining themselves as wholesome american folk.
Protest is a basic right. How long people take to the streets is anybody’s guess? What we are hearing by documenting daily events is it will continue until November 3rd! While Black Lives Matter is the main organization leading the protest, many splinter groups have joined and that has helped fuel the energy to sustain the reaction.
Revolutionary Communist Party known as RevCom was one group which led the Los Angeles Protest – Day 18. Just like when Black Lives Matter hit the scene, their name probably scares the hell out of people. The long and short, they are a social-action group. One of their main tenets is trying to unite “Brown & Black.” Speakers did a very good job in communicating how racism has been used to divide the groups. Unfortunately many in the affected groups have bought into the notion of distrusting the other. As an example one of the passionate Latina leaders expressed how many from Mexico and other Latin American countries have been raised to feel African-Americans are lazy, untrustworthy, criminal and otherwise the type of people you need to stay away from.
Like many rallies, the participation builds as it weaves through the streets to their final destination. They started across the street from City Hall, facing Grant Park. Headed south on Spring street, the spirited group marched to 7th Street and headed west until they reached Mac Arthur Park which is several miles away in the Westlake community. There were no incidents or negative reaction. As a matter of fact, many who were driving stopped their cars to show support. A few actually joined the marchers. Folk came out of restaurants and bars to show support. The Los Angeles Police picked up the rear to undergird the marchers progress as they went through the streets.