Scot Nakagawa: I can attest to there being racism everywhere, but my travels have led me to the conclusion that Portland is the most smugly racist major city in the country among the ones I’ve visited, and I’ve been to most.
Larry Aubry: Cries for racial neutrality in a nation still anchored in racism only serve to obscure the causal factors and delay sorely needed concrete solutions.
Tom Hastings: Most black people who shoot at cops do not live to be tried and when they are they are almost invariably convicted. Most cops who kill black people, armed or unarmed, have utter confidence that they will never be charged
Peter Laarman: We could accomplish so much if even a fraction of what we now spend on policing and incarceration were spent instead on meeting human needs.
Corinne Fletcher: A more honest and accurate way to talk about racism – which requires both prejudice and systemic or institutional power over others – is to call it what it is: white supremacy.
Robert Koehler: When people are armed and outraged, the world so easily collapses into us vs. them. All complexity vanishes. People’s life purpose clarifies into a simplistic certainty: Kill the enemy.
Laura Finley: I know that I personally cannot end gun violence, terrorism or any of these major problems. But I will not pretend that I there is nothing I can do, that even my simple daily actions have no impact on the world.
Sikivu Hutchinson: Jones’ murder last spring marked the flowering of the #Sayhername campaign, the national call for justice in resistance to the terrorist victimization of black women under state violence.
Peter Laarman: It’s not pretty to see these old “liberal” institutions, all of which were built with what Lincoln called the “wealth piled up by 250 years of the bondsman’s unrequited toil,” sucking up to the new oppressors for additional gilding.
Walter Moss: Today, as in April 1968, our country is divided between those who worsen racial relations and block taking constructive measures against violence and those, in the King-Kennedy mold, who encourage more racial understanding and nonviolence.
Erin Aubry Kaplan: The criticisms of BLM, especially accusations of racism, are not new. But the Dallas shootings instantly moved such criticism from the background to the fore.
In a society where racism is resurgent (and unacknowledged), the police really serve, without anyone admitting it (or even consciously knowing it), as an occupation force.
Larry Aubry: Understanding the genesis and continuing reality of Black rage is crucial for developing sustainable alternatives to the intractable second-class status of Black people in this country.