Yesterday, I read a post from a friend, who is a POC stating that she was standing in her apartment crying; that is how stressful, fear inducing and overwhelming it is to be Black in America right now.
I can’t imagine how terrifying it is to be: a person of color, Jewish, trans, gay, or a member of any other marginalized group right now. I’m sad, angry, depressed, frustrated, despondent, furious, disillusioned, overwhelmed and losing hope myself, and I don’t have to fear for my life/safety when I leave the house.
I am calling out racism and bigotry everywhere I see it, from one on one conversations with fellow white people in hopes of making them understand that silence is violence, to writing/calling my congress critters, to donating money to organizations fighting for justice.
For every person who is able to express how scared they are, how many more are suffering in silence?
How many people who are just trying to live their lives feel this way and aren’t comfortable sharing it out?
How can we as a nation allow this shit to continue?
We MUST stand up against hate, we MUST stand up against discrimination. We as white people with privilege MUST use that privilege to dismantle the system that allows not only the overt displays of hatred and bigotry, but the underlying issues that cultivate it.
The KKK, neo-Nazis, any group that is based in hate and superiority is a CANCER that has no place in the body of this country.
Anyone or group that supports or makes excuses for these people, up to, including and especially the current occupant of the White House need to be shut down. No, there aren’t “many sides”. There are two sides, “right” and “wrong”.
For those of you who “don’t want to be political”. That’s privilege right there because it doesn’t affect you personally.
You want to respect/let people have their views because you’ve known them since 2nd grade? You’re part of the problem.
You want to get out of taking action by claiming to support “free speech”? The first amendment does not protect speech that incites people to violence/to commit illegal acts.
You need to SPEAK UP! To your friends, racist uncle, neighbors, and political representatives. Those who support hate need to be shunned. They need to know that they have no place in a civilized society and that we won’t suffer their attitudes/actions.
Your silence allows this shit to continue, unchecked.
Your silence is violence.
Which brings me back to the beginning of this little missive.
We all have friends who are hurting, scared, disenfranchised and who are being targeted by the hate that the current occupant of the White House has emboldened and empowered.
While we need to keep fighting the big fight on all levels, we must not forget those who are suffering the most.
Check in with them, tell them you love them, tell them you will fight for them. Don’t expect them to tell you how to do that, but listen if they do.
Because of everyone’s increasing vigilance and demands that the city pay attention, listen to us and take action, we now have a temporary stop gap in place with TPD SET patrols. They’ve been coming back at dark and clearing out the park.
The first night, there were confrontations and some attempted to goad the officers. They responded with humor and grace.
Last night a crowd started gathering in the park in the late afternoon. A bit after sunset, TPD arrived and about half of the really bad players skulked off.
Initially the rest just set up camp on the corner and it looked like another long night with 40+ people blocking the intersection, yelling, fighting, dealing drugs racing cars and spinning brodies in the intersection, but they finally wandered off
I caught a bit of cell phone FB live feed… It’s public for now, but I’ll set it back to friends only once anyone who wants to look at it and/or save it has the chance.
Typical night at Ferry Park. (not really typical, this is a much smaller crowd than usual)TPD came and ran them out of the park, but it appears they're going to hang out on the street corner and the numbers will grow, often to 40+ shit goes on until the wee hours of the morning… blocking the intersection and not letting people drive through. Also open drug dealing, fights and asshats spinning brodies in the intersection and racing up and down the streets.
you can actually save FB Live Feed videos by copying the url into a browser window, then changing the www into a m (for mobile) so the first part of the address would look like https://m.facebook.com
Once you do that you have to play the video before right clicking to get the option to “save video as”. If you don’t hit play, you’ll only get the “save as” option and it won’t save in video format.
It looks like the temporary measures are breaking the cycle, but we need a permanent plan.
Lt. Standifer of TPD sector one has been instructed by his superiors to reach out and meet the community to talk about long term solutions. (something his predecessor Rob Jepson did regularly, he was awesome)
A meeting will be scheduled very soon.
He has asked for email addresses for those who would be interested in meeting about this issue and coming up with a long term plan.
You can email your address to him and let him know you want to be at the meeting and/or receive notifications at LStandif@ci.tacoma.wa.us
I am hoping that this means he will be better about listening to and working with community members.
The area on S 14th Street from MLK to Cushman is the current hot spot for narcotic trafficking, illegal explosives (can’t very well call this stuff fireworks) blocking the streets, fights and harassing people.
Cars are regularly racing and spinning brodies in the street.
This goes on well into the wee hours of the morning.
For the last several weeks, one can not even drive down Sheridan Ave past S 14th St because the street is blocked by large crowds of people.
I saw a group of young males literally chase a woman who was asking them to quiet down back into her house, sexually harassing her and telling her to “fucking get used to it.”
This element now OWNS these streets and Ferry Park.
The know they own it.
If and when TPD shows up (they have been trying a little bit more lately once you can get past the people at South Sound 911) they are ineffective.
They either just drive by, stop their cars without getting out, or contact one or two people and then leave with the problem still going on.
Last night they left Ferry Park with 20 people still blocking the street, yelling, fighting, blasting music and drug dealing.
On the rare occasion they actually break up a crowd, they never come back. These crowds know this and they return in greater numbers, bolder than before.
We have been advised by our TPD CLO Martin Price to dial 911 because these narcotics trafficking groups were displaced from the Stop Mart.
The reason for calling 911 is because it is a crime (usually multiple crimes) in progress and that’s the only way it gets recorded for statistical purposes. The folks at LESA/South Sound 911 are getting a bit better about taking the calls and not just blind transferring to the non-emergency number but it’s still a great exercise in frustration to try to deal with them (I sure they don’t like it any more than we do right now because we are freaked out and angry when we call and don’t have the details they want from us – Seriously, there are 40 people in the middle of the street, there is a fight, do you really think I’m going out there to get details as to who is doing what? Have the officers look for the huge, loud violent group of people in the middle of the street, it’s quite obvious from blocks away.
The point is.
This is being allowed to continue.
It is getting worse not better.
We are not getting any help (or sleep, or peace or feeling of safety in our own homes)
Something needs to be done.
It needs to be done NOW!
Those of you who have lived here any length of time remember the beating death of Eric Towes.
It’s only a matter of time before the drive by shootings increase again and/or someone is beaten to death, again.
We must hold TPD and our alleged city leaders accountable.
So here’s what we can do.
Dial 911, tell them that CLO Martin Price has instructed that this be a 911 call and that these groups are known narcotics traffickers.
Call every time. They won’t have documentation that it is a problem without the calls no matter how frustrating and time wasting they are.
I am sad for those who are disenfranchised, discriminated against and have no hope for justice.
I am sad for those who lack the compassion to understand the realities of people with other life circumstances.
I am sad for those who live in fear.
I am sad for those who choose to hate.
I am sad for those communities who are now labeled “those people who bring it on themselves” because outside agitators, anarchists and others looking for an excuse to commit violent and criminal acts used their tragedy to do so.
I am sad for public servants whose profession has been tainted and whose jobs have become much more dangerous due the actions of those who use the job to have power over rather than serve others.
I am sad for local businesses and hardworking people who have suffered damage and loss.
I am sad for the families, friends and loved ones of those who have been hurt and killed.
I am sad that I am seen by some as the enemy.
I am sad that I am not likely to see a post racial United States in my lifetime.
I am sad that this, is the legacy we are passing on to our children 50 years after the Civil Rights Act was enacted.
It was pretty difficult (OK, impossible) not to know that there was a “big game” going on yesterday afternoon for anyone who is plugged in to social media (or who left their home)
Over the course of the day (well, the short amount of time I was either at home or plugged in on my smart phone) I saw many internet memes regarding it…
While I don’t care to waste my time/energy by acknowledging things I have no interest in and actually have disdain for, I did think a couple similar to this were cute and posted one (cute owls and a play on words, what’s not to love)…
I was tempted to post this one, but didn’t feel like expending all that much negative energy since several football fan friends of mine were getting quite upset at the “posers/intellectuals/pretentious folks” posting anti-football rhetoric online.
But to be honest, it’s pretty much the way I felt.
I wasn’t going to speak of said spectacle because I’d prefer to spend my time and energy thinking/talking about other things, but I’ve been seeing a lot of interesting things online today.
In addition to the advertising (much of it extremely sexist if not downright misogynistic) I discovered that Super Bowl Sunday is the number day for sex trafficking; I’m not talking about prostitution here between consenting adults making a business transaction, I’m talking about the sex slave trade including minors. You can read about sex trafficking and the superbowl here
While that sort of horrific thing is going on, I’m reading posts from people who want to boycott GoDaddy.com and have their ads banned because the are “offensive”.
Really? Are those ads as offensive as selling 12 and 14 year old girls as sex slaves?
Even if some of the ads are so offensive as to make banning them and boycotting advertisers something worth doing, the issue runs much deeper than that.
The problem my friends, is not any one advertiser; it’s the culture that surrounds this event.
This is a primitive, testosterone laden ritual where badly behaved “men” are paid obscene amounts of money to play a game and held up as heroes.
Hey, here’s an idea, lets pay/hold up as heroes those who are actually deserving of such praise such as teachers, emergency workers, etc…).
This stuff starts in college, when boys are given scholarships to colleges, don’t do the work and instead get passing grades handed to them because they can throw a football.
What does that tell the kid who is working hard to get an education and be a contributing member of society whose place/scholarships if they need it are being used on someone who could care less about an education?
Even worse, those who engage in criminal activity are often excused from having to pay the price because it’s so much more important to throw that ball around and make the team owners big bucks.
What on earth kind of message does this send to our next generation? Crime pays? You can harm anyone anything you want as long as you can throw a ball?
Not only are these guys paid obscene amounts of money to play a game and often be a bad example, but have you seen the price of advertising? 3.8 million dollars for a 30-second spot.
Imagine if all that money was put towards job creation or social structure…
Women of course, are relegated to prancing around in costumes that are barely there for the pleasure of the men both on the field and in the advertising. (great message to send to your daughters guys… “go fetch daddy another beer sweetie and don’t worry about picking up your dignity or self esteem on your way to the kitchen.”
Did you know that due to the combination of testosterone, aggression and alcohol, this day has one of the highest rates for domestic violence calls to local EMS agencies?
I cringed when some acquaintances tried to get me to join their “Women Who Love Football” group (which was pretty much just an excuse to drink) I had to explain to them (and the multitude of friends who invite me to Super Bowl parties every year) that not only do I not “love football” that being in a room full of alcohol fueled fanatics with a too loud big screen TV, eating crap food, glorifying these guys is kind of my idea of hell. I’ve been told by this specific “the women who love football” group, it’s not about loving football, it’s about meeting men and looking at cute butts. (which I can better find on any given day on a man who is out running, cycling, hiking, etc…)
I am perhaps most amused/perplexed by “the women who love football” group in order to “be cool and meet men” is that what they are supporting in an effort to attract men/get men to like them is so incredibly sexist. (and really, I’d rather attract a man who is out doing something healthy instead of one whose idea of a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon is sitting on his butt getting fat and drunk watching a game)
With that said, those who are on my side of the fence in thinking this is ridiculous and who have better things to do (and who have the audacity to defy social convention and say so), are also regularly accused of thinking we are “too cool” and being called “judgmental” (among other things). [edit-I have received more passionate/angry responses to a blog about not liking football, than I have to all the blogs I’ve posted about religion, politics, war, drugs, abuse, gun control and other hot topics, which pretty much makes my point about priorities in our culture]
As a woman, my disdain for the event can be written off as “Oh, the poor little girl just doesn’t understand the game (now go bring me another beer sweetie).”
It’s even harder for the men who don’t care for it, because face it. In this football crazed culture if you don’t want to get all testosteroney and root for your team, you are not considered a “real man” (oh, that man who doesn’t sit around watching sports on TV and is instead out doing something? that’s MY idea of a “real man”).
It does make me wonder how many people feel the same way I do, but are afraid to speak out, lest they be labeled “un-American”, “not a real man”, etc…
At the risk of sounding “pretentious”, I chose to spend my day with my trail running group (actually participating in a sport rather than watching), then working with youth on a community project and finally enjoying dinner and good conversation with a friend.
I refuse to pretend to like something that I actually hold in such disdain because it is primitive, sexist, misogynistic and sending all of the wrong messages to our youth.
If it’s your thing, enjoy… just please leave me out it, and don’t talk to me as if there is something wrong with me for refusing to waste my valuable time and energy on it when I have so much else I could be doing.
If you don’t like any one aspect of it, perhaps it’s time that you take a look at the entire culture surrounding it and decide if your support is part of a larger problem.