Protest for Black Lives Matter – Friday

by beth on June 30, 2020

Black Lives Matter signRight: Southborough teens will be holding up their homemade protest signs for Black Lives Matter at the downtown lights on Friday.

This Friday, July 3rd, a group of Southborough teens are holding a peaceful protest for Black Lives Matter.

Demonstrators are planning to hold up signs at the intersection of Routes 30 & 85. The teens will be standing on sidewalks near the lights, holding signs to show continuing support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

It won’t be the first time this summer that area residents have held up signs at the lights. This time, the event is organized by recent 8th grade graduates.

The middle schoolers and some high schoolers are scheduled to gather at 3:00 pm on Friday. They invite others to join them.

All participants are asked to wear masks, maintain physical distance and stay on sidewalks and off the roadways. (The area of the intersection has been under construction, so participants are also asked to be careful about where they walk and stand.)

Protesters are encouraged to bring their own signs.

[Editor’s Note: The forecast is spotty for Friday. If the event ends up being postponed, I’ll update readers.]

Update (6/30/20 3:07 pm): Organizers have now announced that the protest will be rain or shine. So you may want to bring an umbrella, in case. If severe weather changes that, I’ll update readers.

{ 48 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Peter June 30, 2020 at 10:53 PM

Please indicate who are the leaders/organizers of the event.

Thank you.

It’s nice to see our students involved.

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2 beth July 1, 2020 at 10:49 AM

Because of their ages, I don’t feel comfortable posting their names.

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3 demonstrate for - protest against July 1, 2020 at 9:24 AM

A protest is a public expression of objection, disapproval or dissent towards an idea or action, typically a political one. Protests can take many different forms, from individual statements to mass demonstrations.

What is it about BLM these students are PROTESTING “for”?

They may be DEMONSTRATING support FOR BLM, however one might guess they’re not PROTESTING “for” anything. Maybe they’re PROTESTING AGAINST something?

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4 northsider July 1, 2020 at 12:53 PM

They are protesting FOR equality. Pretty cut and dry.

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5 demonstrate for - protest against July 1, 2020 at 1:17 PM

You STILL don’t get it…

One does NOT protest FOR anything – by definition (read above where the definition of PROTEST is provided). It’s an expression of: objection, disapproval or dissent.

To what are these children objecting, disapproving or dissenting? Recall, this is being presented as a PROTEST.

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6 beth July 1, 2020 at 1:24 PM

To rephrase northsider’s words – against inequality (and injustice).

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7 northsider July 1, 2020 at 3:53 PM

Ok I will clarify. They are supporting BLM, in which people protest the rampant police brutality and inequality we see for our BIPOC. That work for you?

It’s sad to see someone so against some kids who are trying to do good in the world.

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8 Dean Dairy July 1, 2020 at 12:37 PM

Is this a “protest” against something or a demonstration in support of a specific agenda or organization?

It’s unclear what exactly these children are being asked to “protest” or whose agenda they’re being asked to publicly endorse.

Conflation of messaging is dicey anytime, but particularly dangerous when children are involved. Kids can be imprinted at a stage of development where they don’t possess the independent critical thinking skills needed to discern those ambiguities and the motives behind such exhortations. Minds can close and precious years of free inquiry can be lost in the wake of such pressure to conform intellectually.

A week ago, I warned the adults who attended the candlelight vigil to not allow their legitimate voices to be exploited by those with an extremist agenda.

http://www.mysouthborough.com/2020/06/19/video-of-candlelight-vigil-for-peace-and-racial-justice/

Now I’m cautioning don’t let your children be exploited.

Notice the direction this is headed in.

A good idea could be for parents to ask their children to write an essay explaining their participation before attending, as a point of departure for a balanced family discussion.

Now ask yourself: how many parents might prefer to avoid such an exercise altogether for fear that any critical thoughts they offered would eventually end up in the classroom, not in an open debate of the merits, but as grounds for investigation, hysterical opprobrium or worse?

Will we allow this dynamic to become the new normal? Make no mistake, some well-funded activists are literally organizing around a strategy making the public classroom and curriculum the next ideological battlefield in their extremist agenda.

Don’t allow your children to become their cannon fodder.

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9 beth July 1, 2020 at 1:09 PM

I think it is pretty clear what the children are “being asked”. They are asking each other to make a public demonstration of support for Black Lives Matter.

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10 Dean Dairy July 1, 2020 at 2:13 PM

Would that be a public demonstration of support for the principle that black lives matter, or endorsement the formal organization and its leadership, along with the “Demands” like “#DefundThePolice – See the demands. Sign the petition. #DefundThePolice.”

https://blacklivesmatter.com/

If the former, why the capitalizations?

The cultish ambiguity that equates the two is what’s disturbing, especially when children are brought into the mix.

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11 beth July 1, 2020 at 2:52 PM

I really object to your continued statements that people who have a different viewpoint than you have been somehow co-opted into some kind of cultish movement.

This is group of teens in town supporting a national movement. I can’t speak for what each of them wants to see change. But I’m guessing that if each gave you a list, or an essay, it wouldn’t pass muster with you.

They are allowed to have differing opinions from you on what is needed in this country without automatically being considered exploited by groups you disagree with. I don’t feel it’s appropriate given their ages to ask them to explain themselves to you on this forum. And I don’t want to put words in their mouths. They can let their signs speak on Friday.

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12 southsider July 1, 2020 at 3:48 PM

well said, Beth… I was becoming pretty uncomfortable with the reference to these teens as “children” and the implication that this entire “demonstration” was somehow organized by “well funded activists ” with an “extreme agenda”.
Heaven forbid that these teens be acting on their own!

13 Anonymous July 1, 2020 at 4:11 PM

As a representative of the organizers of the protest, I’d like to say that we are doing this because we are infuriated towards the injustice against the people of this nation. The wrongdoing of the powerful over the last four centuries has had lasting effects on communities. As the rising generation, we want to change that. This is not a political matter, this is a human rights matter. If we don’t get our voices heard, nothing will change and the oppression won’t end. We are showing our support to the Black Lives Matter movement and the African American communities of the nation, we are not being told to do any of this.

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14 Dean Dairy July 1, 2020 at 10:20 PM

I appreciate hearing directly your point of view. I was young once and, truth be told, even started my academic career steeped in radical Marxist thought during high school senior year in the late 1970s. As president of the Forum Club, I remember being censored by my school for wanting to produce forums on prisoner rights and keeping minority ESL classes segregated in the basement of the school (what I had observed became a mainstream educational critique years later). Most of the other programs I proposed did squeak-by. The headmaster dreaded me and longed for the simple juvenile delinquent he was warned about coming from the junior high!

I look back at it as important part of a larger intellectual awakening in the world of ideas, with no real regrets, in part because I came to eventually recognize by sophomore year in college that philosophic approach was an intellectual dead end. It’s also why I take such a keen interest in countering — not censoring — what I view as propaganda aimed at kids.

Thinking about how to impart that, I offer the following video of Dr. Thomas Sowell who turned 90 yesterday. Listen to him tell his story of growing up in Harlem in the 1930-40s, especially what has improved and gotten worse in the time since. And why he thinks that’s the case. He started out a Marxist, stayed with it through graduate school (amazingly even the U if Chicago economics department), but only changed his mind after actually working for the government (an experience that was part of my evolution as well). Trust me, it’s as valuable and engaging as any Ivy League lecture you could attend.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mS5WYp5xmvI

I urge you to watch the whole interview, but think about the following question particularly in terms of Sowell’s Conflict of Visions (“Constrained” and “Unconstrained”) @9:30, and the Retrogression he describes @16:50.

Here’s the question: BLM the organization “Demands” #Defunding the Police? Easy to say from a place like Southborough, but what are the real world implications of such an “Unconstrained” vision for the lives and futures of the people who actually live in urban communities?

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15 Eileen July 2, 2020 at 4:08 PM

Thank you for doing this.

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16 Southern Breeze July 3, 2020 at 6:38 PM

That is an excellent video. Thanks so much for sharing.

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17 Eileen July 6, 2020 at 9:51 AM

I was meaning to thank “Anonymous”, and all the other young people who protested on July 3rd. And yes, it is a human rights matter. Thank you.

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18 Dean Dairy July 1, 2020 at 8:02 PM

So many strawmen…

Southsider, I never implied “that this entire ‘demonstration’ was somehow organized by ‘well funded activists’ with an ‘extreme agenda’.” In context, what you grafted was from a separate discussion of “well-funded activists are literally organizing around a strategy making the public classroom and curriculum the next ideological battlefield in their extremist agenda.” I wrote that before I read Superintendent Martineau quoting Angela Davis. You can ask those two about that trend.

Moreover, I never questioned 8th graders going to the demonstration, whether it was of their own volition for deeply felt reasons, just to hang out with their peers or being “asked” by “organizers” to come and to follow certain protocols (Beth’s words). What I did say was “[i]t’s unclear what exactly these children are being asked to “protest” or whose agenda they’re being asked to publicly endorse.”

Notice, a prior commenter made a similar point, only to be rebuked by two adults who told him or her exactly what the kids believe they are protesting. Yep.

Beth, I’ve never suggested that “people who have a different viewpoint than [me] have been somehow co-opted into some kind of cultish movement.”

Quite the opposite.

I’ve simply implored people to contest not only those with a different viewpoint, but also to retain the independence to challenge the agendas of those people ostensibly within their own column who promote ideologies and methods that do not comport with their own.

If anything, that’s a plea to establish dialogue between people who traditionally disagree in minor degrees by declaring themselves independent from extremists who are diametrically opposed to them finding a common ground.

Perniciously, there are people and organizations systemically opposed to finding such compromise as a threat to the political power they derive from protracted conflict.

Consequently, as a civil society, we need to be on guard against the threats to our freedom to agree as much as we do the threats to our freedom to disagree.

Actually, I find it hard to discern just how different my viewpoint is than many of the demonstrators, old and young. Most astounding is how few specifics have been mentioned in the local “debate.” In the blink of an eye a deluge of emotionalism and virtue signaling has predominated, more in the trendy fashion of social media selfies than a Letter from a Birmingham Jail.

On substance, how many of the protesters of a progressive bent even know that for decades conservatives and libertarians have been critical of the entirely judge-made doctrine of qualified immunity? Opposed the proliferation of no-knock raids? Opposed the abuse of fines and forfeitures to fund municipal courts and police departments? The list continues.

Who doesn’t want them to know, and who benefits from them not knowing?

Clear language is often the first casualty. The conflation of an axiomatic principle such as “black lives matter” with a specific organization’s name does lend a “culty ambiguity” that is deceptive when used to obscure an extremist agenda, especially for less sophisticated children.

Again, let the readers to decide for themselves and their children over time whether there’s an element of creeping indoctrination, intimidation and polarization that needs to be resisted.

We’re all free to disagree and, sometimes, even agree!

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19 it’s not politics, it’s human rights July 5, 2020 at 11:49 PM

I don’t understand what your problem is with these teens organizing a protest for the Black Lives Matter movement. You say you don’t know what they’re protesting for; I think it’s quite clear— for equal rights for all BIPOC, for an end to police brutality, for Black people to be able to live their lives. You’re purposely missing the point and perpetuating systemic racism, sir. Furthermore, as a teenager myself, I feel uncomfortable with your infantilizing of these teens who organized this protest. We aren’t “indoctrinated” or “children”, sir, we just believe in human rights. I don’t believe we can agree to disagree over matters like this— we can agree to disagree over the best flavor of ice cream or which singer is better, not on whether or not Black lives matter. In order to have a tolerant society, we cannot tolerate intolerance. I suggest you stop looking up words in the thesaurus and start thinking critically about your own role in perpetuating systemic racism.

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20 Eileen July 8, 2020 at 2:08 PM

I could not agree with you more!

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21 southsider July 6, 2020 at 8:03 AM

I think part of why people push back on your posts is how you frame all of your arguments. You continually refer to them as “children” and use phrases like “extremist agenda,” “less sophisticated,” “indoctrination, intimidation,”, “cultish,” “they don’t possess the independent critical thinking skills needed.” I could go on and on, but your arguments essentially say two things: that they are too young and dumb to have a voice (which is untrue), or they are being exploited by some shadowy well funded group behind the scenes (also untrue.)

Perhaps it’s not as complex and nefarious as you think? Maybe they know exactly what they are doing, and they are simply protesting systemic racism? How would people peacefully standing up for equal rights regardless of race be a bad thing?

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22 Yup July 6, 2020 at 8:46 AM

This is a good summary of how I read those posts.

It’s a form of gaslighting (I hate the term and it’s overuse… but it’s what it is). Using abusive language, dismissive phrases and questioning others abilities to reason.

Thanks for calling it out.

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23 Dean Dairy July 6, 2020 at 1:56 PM

Southsider, not sure which “people” are “pushing back,” but once again you conflate two separate discussions and used truncated quotes that deceive readers.

First, I discussed the local protests. Second, I discussed the organized nationwide efforts to change the public school curriculum.

Local Protests. I never suggested the kids were “too young and dumb to have a voice”. I did caution adults that “[k]ids can be imprinted at a stage of development where they don’t possess the independent critical thinking skills needed to discern those ambiguities and the motives behind such exhortations. Minds can close and precious years of free inquiry can be lost in the wake of such pressure to conform intellectually.”

Nor did I patronize the one student who commented on the thread. Hardly, I recounted my own activist experience growing up and the destructive tendency of extremist thought in higher education that sends kids down intellectual dead ends that can cost them precious years at very expensive educational institutions. I imparted a link to a Thomas Sowell interview to introduce him or her to a college-level critical thought piece summarizing his Conflict of Visions, as seen through the experience of a 90 year old who grew up in Harlem.

Compare that to asking a kid to stand out at a street corner holding a BLM sign.

School Curriculum. No doubt the nationwide effort to shape the public school curriculum is “well funded” but it’s hardly “shadowy.” They are operating out in the open. Heck, the local school Superintendent just quoted avowed communist Angela Davis as a paragon for a Five-Year Plan!

Meanwhile, the New York Times is spearheading into the schools the “1619 Project,” roundly criticized by top scholars – at least those academics with the reputations sufficient to prevent them from being intimidated and run out of town by the mob.

…Princeton historian Sean Wilentz, who had criticized the 1619 Project’s “cynicism” in a lecture in November, began quietly circulating a letter objecting to the project, and some of Hannah-Jones’s work in particular. The letter acquired four signatories—James McPherson, Gordon Wood, Victoria Bynum, and James Oakes, all leading scholars in their field. They sent their letter to three top Times editors and the publisher, A. G. Sulzberger, on December 4. A version of that letter was published on Friday, along with a detailed rebuttal from Jake Silverstein, the editor of the Times Magazine.

The letter sent to the Times says, “We applaud all efforts to address the foundational centrality of slavery and racism to our history,” but then veers into harsh criticism of the 1619 Project. The letter refers to “matters of verifiable fact” that “cannot be described as interpretation or ‘framing’” and says the project reflected “a displacement of historical understanding by ideology.” Wilentz and his fellow signatories didn’t just dispute the Times Magazine’s interpretation of past events, but demanded corrections.

Indeed, a brief amount of research makes it clear that dissenting thought is now endangered on campus in an atmosphere of indoctrination, intimidation and fear. And I do think students are routinely exploited by faculty departments pushing them into the highly ideological meat grinders of worthless yet pricey degree programs that leave them ill-prepared for the real world, but which lavish the professorate with middle class lifestyles that are unlikely to be shared by those students in the future. Why is they can see see systemic exploitation everywhere except within themselves?

I would suggest the decidedly middle class cast on the recent riots has as much to do with the after effects of this academic swindle than any underlying issues of racial justice.

And with this long occurring at the post-secondary level, I do think it’s worth cautioning parents that this is what some now have in mind for even younger students as well.

Based on my own experience and subsequent others, I want kids at least to be offered the information and intellectual tools needed to fend for themselves before entering this highly exploitative environment.

My original point being that social justice for George Floyd (remember him?) was being used by some as a Trojan Horse for a more extremist agenda, notably as we watch statutes of another George – George Washington – fall.

Again, I’m comfortable letting the readers and the kids decide for themselves.

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24 beth July 6, 2020 at 5:04 PM

I didn’t plan to keep getting into this with you. But I was upset by what I found to be a disrespectful reference to George Floyd “(remember him?)”. (And once I started responding to your post, I felt compelled to respond to other remarks in it.)

1. The insinuation that protesters talking about all “Black Lives” are somehow forgetting George Floyd is absurd. When his daughter said, “Daddy changed the world”, she was referring to the fact that his death was a catalyst for the growth in the movement for change.

His death was a tragic example for many people of widespread, ongoing problems beyond one murder. It was a brutal wake up call to many others about the state of our nation. People are looking at the deep problems in this country and calling for overdue changes to remedy systemic racism, inequality, and social injustice.

2. You reject criticism that you are dismissing youth involved as not mature enough to be doing this on your own. And yet you state “Compare that to asking a kid to stand out at a street corner holding a BLM sign.” The only people that were “asking a kid” were other “kids”.

3. You undermine the legitimacy of your own arguments about societal trends by taking a long excerpt of context and then painting a picture that is not in keeping with the article you quote.

The article is an interesting one. But you didn’t share the source or link. Perhaps because the very title of The Atlantic’s piece pokes a hole in your conceit: “The Fight Over the 1619 Project Is Not About the Facts“.

As is often the case, the situation laid out in the article is more complex than you distill in your distorted summary of facts. Further, you stretch credulity when you claim that the project is “roundly criticized by top scholars” while the quote itself only indicates five historians signed it – and that was about a year after the letter was published. (I don’t know how many “leading historians” there are in this country, but I have to think that 5 would be a very low percent.)

4. You continue to be vague about the Trojan Horse for “extremist agenda” that clearly worries you. Your vagaries leave the impression that view all calls for significant change as extremist.

It might be productive to point out proposals that you support as being worthy of consideration and not too extreme. At the very least, it would help to know that you believe some kinds of unspecified changes are needed. Otherwise, why would someone who believes change is needed take your warnings about extremism seriously? (After all, the only people you criticize are those seeking change. In all of your comments, I couldn’t find even a token show of support that racism is a real problem in this country that needs to be addressed.)

5. Based on your recent history, I’m sure you will have a long rebuttal to my comment. I’m not planning to vie for the last word. It seems very unlikely any arguments I make would sway you. So, I’m not going to spend the energy on a continuing debate with you. I already spent too much time on this one.

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25 Dean Dairy July 7, 2020 at 10:23 AM

Beth,

1. Observing just how far afield the ensuing “protest” farrago has strayed after George Floyd’s death in police custody is not being disrespectful to him. Where exactly does vandalizing statues of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass fit in? Worse, the violent waves of riots, arson, looting and now an epidemic of murder across inner cities, much of it black-on-black with many children as its innocent victims. Unfortunately, Floyd’s death has become an afterthought and the pretext for a lawless agenda aimed at polarization rather than “a catalyst for the growth in the movement for change.”

2. I didn’t say kids should not voice their own opinions. I urged adults to offer them guidance and the tools that help them discern the ideological and interest group politics behind the feel-good slogan of a Marxist front group, irrespective of who enlists them, young or old. I suggested that parents ask their kids to write an essay for discussion before demonstrating, or watch a video exposing them to college-level critical thinking skills. That’s not infantilizing kids, it’s giving them actual agency.

3. I sought to fairly represent the historical scholars’ critique of the 1619 Project, not reflect the editorial slant of the source I used. I chose The Atlantic excerpt precisely because it came from an opposing editorial viewpoint . By quoting Serwer’s piece, it’s really, really hard to argue I cherry picked a source who simply reflects my view of the historians’ severe criticisms of the 1619 Project. Obviously, for those who want to read what other people think about the professors’ letter, it’s easy to Google the first sentence of the section I quoted or search the string “1619 Project professors critique” and pick the source most in harmony with your own. My goal was to present what the historians themselves believe about the 1619 Project as fairly as possible by quoting a source with an editorial slant opposite mine.

4. I did posit specific proposals that I think “worthy of consideration,” including three specific criminal justice reform issues that implicate a disparate impact on poor and minority communities, as a departure point. Also, I explained the motivation to polarize and avoid compromise over such issues by those advancing an “extremist agenda.”

If anything, [mine is] a plea to establish dialogue between people who traditionally disagree in minor degrees by declaring themselves independent from extremists who are diametrically opposed to them finding a common ground.

Perniciously, there are people and organizations systemically opposed to finding such compromise as a threat to the political power they derive from protracted conflict.

Consequently, as a civil society, we need to be on guard against the threats to our freedom to agree as much as we do the threats to our freedom to disagree.

Actually, I find it hard to discern just how different my viewpoint is than many of the demonstrators, old and young. Most astounding is how few specifics have been mentioned in the local “debate.” In the blink of an eye a deluge of emotionalism and virtue signaling has predominated, more in the trendy fashion of social media selfies than a Letter from a Birmingham Jail.

On substance, how many of the protesters of a progressive bent even know that for decades conservatives and libertarians have been critical of the [1] entirely judge-made doctrine of qualified immunity? [2] Opposed the proliferation of no-knock raids? [3] Opposed the abuse of fines and forfeitures to fund municipal courts and police departments? The list continues.

Who doesn’t want them to know, and who benefits from them not knowing?

Quite frankly, the burden is on the proponent. Where are the specifics from protesters other than the amorphous “Defund the Police,” which in front of some audiences “means what it says” and in front of others it means tinkering with funding at the margins? Do any of the people who espouse speaking truth to power actually have the guts to speak truth to nonsense and double-talk on their side?

And where was even the “token show of support that racism is a real problem in this country” on these pages before George Floyd became a headline? It’s the same town, the same country, the same people as before. The reaction seems to emanate from a moral panic rather than a long and well thought out public policy response.

26 Jack July 6, 2020 at 5:26 PM

After all that has been brought to light in the last few months, I just don’t think anyone, regardless of age or school attendance, needs to justify why they are upset enough about it to participate in a protest on their own volition.

Dean Dairy, you do seem very thoughtful and open-minded in general, while you play a strong devil’s advocate role. I’d ask that you spend some time listening to Black voices or reviewing research articles and get a sense for the hurdles that Black people have to deal with on a regular basis in many parts of this country.

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27 Dean Dairy July 7, 2020 at 10:28 AM

Jack,

As a matter of public policy analysis, what do you see as the connection between the persistent “hurdles that Black people have to deal with on a regular basis in many parts of this country” that you cite, and the “progressive” political establishments that for generations have governed most of the states and large cities where “systemic” racism and injustice is said to have kept people back?

28 Jack July 8, 2020 at 11:23 AM

I’m sure you’re not implying that there are no hurdles for Black people, even in a “progressive” city like Boston. We can agree that there are skin-color-based hurdles, right?? What you’re asking me is essentially my question to you. It seemed like you had an interest in researching that type of thing. I’m not looking for a debate, just trying to give you the chance to play devil’s advocate on the other side.

29 Dean Dairy July 10, 2020 at 10:46 AM

Jack,

Was asking you to consider whether the “social welfare” policies in place over the last 60 years may not be merely correlated with disparate outcomes, but a central cause of stagnation and disintegration.

In popular use, “systemic racism” has become a bit of a misnomer. The politics sends people looking for the “racist” behind the curtain, when it’s really about systems that produce disparate outcomes.

But what if “systemic racism” is embodied in the expensive but failed “progressive” policies and institutions that incentivize the breakup of the family structure, defeat wealth formation, exacerbate crime and deny access to quality educational choices. What Sowell described as the “retrogression” (see link above).

The implication being that the same progressive elites now riding the protest wave saying “trust me, I got this now, just give me even more power” will likely only succeed at driving the actual lives and fortunes of disadvantaged people off a cliff only at even higher speed.

Kind of like the “dead people” in the movie the Sixth Sense who don’t know they’re dead, mightn’t progressives be the mythical “racists” in the “systemic racism” they now decry?

30 Nita July 6, 2020 at 2:52 PM

ALL lives matter not just the black.

I see Overseas Chinese / Asians have been treated so harshly because what the Communist China has done with the Coronavirus yet not a word from the Media?

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31 beth July 6, 2020 at 4:10 PM

I don’t know how many times this needs to be said – but the underlying message of Black Lives matter is all lives don’t really matter until Black Lives also Matter.

As for your other statement, I’m not understanding what you are specifically referring to. But I can say that I have read and heard media stories about discrimination against Chinese and Asian people.

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32 Interested July 6, 2020 at 9:06 PM

It needs to be said as many times as it needs to be said. Education propagates knowledge and knowledge becomes power and power lifts us all. With patience and perseverance we will evolve and achieve true civil equality.

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33 JMO July 6, 2020 at 10:06 PM

The problem I have with BLM is there is never one word about the systemic violence of black on black shootings. If your position is BLM then you have to address all incidences of needless black lives lost not just the ones that involve police. There are no marches against the routine deadly shootings in many of the major cities in this country. Until that happens, I question the organizations motives and credibility.

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34 northsider July 7, 2020 at 8:30 AM

Try reading/watching the news from different sources than your usual sources. BLM is not a denial of black on black crime. It does not mean “other lives do not matter”. No, there are no marches right now against routine shootings in major cities because BLM is choosing to focus on police brutality against the black community. Just because it doesn’t *specifically address* other issues has nothing to do with what it DOES address.

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35 Tim Martel July 8, 2020 at 2:02 PM

And what would your opinion be on this opinion article?

https://www.newsweek.com/why-black-lives-dont-matter-black-lives-matter-opinion-1515183

[Quote from article:
“I’m calling out the farce that is Black Lives Matter—and doing so loudly and proudly. Why? Because, this organization does not speak for me, as an African-American, and if you truly believe that Black lives DO matter, you should reconsider taking your cues from this group’s self-serving agenda.”]

36 JMO July 8, 2020 at 7:49 PM

And, you hit the nail right on the head. BLM has no clear agenda. It was started I believe when Travon Martin was shot. fats forward to now and we have the chapter leader in Philadelphia is calling on a 5 year plan to abolish police in Philadelphia and the removal of overseas military bases. BLM means different things to different people in the organization. There is no clear leader in the organization nor have they clearly articulated any path to achieving their ever changing goals. The Civil Rights movement had Dr. King as a leader and Equal Rights as a goal. BLM has no leader and depending on who is speaking various objectives. They were basically floundering as an organization until Mr. Floyd was killed. I came across an article in The Economist outlining their loss of direction earlier in the year. Their methods are also questionable. Everything from chanting Pigs in a Blanket to blocking traffic. None of this will work in their favor in the long run. And, since I have been accused of getting my news from one source, I can assure you nothing could be further from the truth. I read all sides and form my own opinions.

37 Kelly Roney July 10, 2020 at 4:27 PM
38 southsider July 12, 2020 at 1:49 PM

The “All lives matter” response to BLM is silly. Think of it this way…

If I said “let’s save the rain forest” would you get angry with me and say “no! save ALL forests.”
If I said I was raising money to help cure breast cancer, would you get mad and say “no, we need to cure ALL cancer.”
If I said “women deserve equal pay for equal work” would you get upset and say “no, EVERYONE deserves equal pay.”

There is wrong with a movement pointing out police brutality and systemic racism against black people. There’s no implication in BLM that other people don’t matter.

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39 Frank Crowell July 7, 2020 at 7:54 AM

Just some random thoughts and suggestions.



Maybe the petitioners can engage in a conversation with the Southborough police. This could start with checking on Sgt James Deluca’s recovery (I am sure they all the protesters wrote get well cards). Maybe a conversation could be started along the lines of: Has the department responded to a call that a black man was seen jogging on town road? If so how did the department respond? How would the department respond today?



If BLM stands for “all lives don’t really matter until Black Lives also Matter”, will victory be attained when bad police officers are removed from duty, procedures are corrected to ensure the safety of arrested individuals (or more accurately in the process of being arrested) and constant vigilance applied to reduce police brutality to African Americans. Or will victory be attained when inner city deaths of African Americans by gun fire including three year old children is reduced or nearly eliminated. If the latter, how can this be done by defunding the police?



I hope the protesters take this summer to study the lives of Thomas Swell, Shelby Steele, Clarence Thomas and Dr Martin Luther King with the following question in mind: What do these men have in common that drove them to their success? It’s more than one parent or guardian pushing them to achieve.



Finally, who leads an organization is important. Leaders who are Marxists have goals beyond the stated ones. Other leaders who cite Angelia Davis have highly questionable leadership skills. Thanks to Dean Dairy for point these out.

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40 someone who reads a lot July 12, 2020 at 5:31 PM

Frank —

I’m a little late to the party, but including the police would be pretty antithetical to the message of the demonstration. The Black Lives Matter movement emerged after notable police killings of unarmed Black folks, but it’s by no means *just* about these sorts of killings. It’s not even just about policing and its pernicious effects on Black communities (although that is a large part of the movement’s message). It encompasses the entire system that upholds white supremacy. It’s about the prison industrial complex, the War on Drugs, the school to prison pipeline, redlining and exclusionary zoning, hiring discrimination, microaggressions, wealth inequality, sentencing disparities, and more.

You need to think about this more holistically. Yes, many urban Black communities suffer from violence, but ask yourself this: why does that violence occur? Could it be due to decades of residential discrimination that created urban ghettoes for Black people? Or inadequate schools in Black communities (because we refuse to invest in their communities)? Or the War on Drugs, which has helped balloon our prison system to the largest in the world (mind you, we lock up a larger portion of our Black population than South Africa ever did at the height of apartheid)?

I’m also amused (but not in a good way) that of the four Black leaders you’ve identified, three are ultra-conservative. So what do you have to say about the scores of Black intellectuals (like Angela (not Angelina!) Davis) who disagree with Sowell, Steele, and Thomas? Are they just wrong, or are you a cherry-picker?

Side note: have you ever even read Angela Davis? I’m gonna guess not.

Moreover, MLK would have been *fuming* if he saw that you cited him. He was a democratic socialist. He was radical. It was him, not a Black Panther, who said “I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice.”

So in conclusion, coming from someone who’s taken the time (and is continuing to take the time) to educate himself on these matters, I recommend that you listen to more Black voices — and not just the ones that confirm your biases. I also recommend that you pick up a few books. Consider The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander, Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates, or The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein.

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41 Eileen July 9, 2020 at 2:21 PM

In regard to the Newsweek article posted above, Trump was, thankfully, pressured to issue that executive order of June 16th. It left out a couple of important requirements:

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/trump-signs-executive-order-policing-amid-mounting-pressure-over-lethal-n1231174

I am sure that he relented because he figured it might help his reelection campaign.

Trump’s usual rhetoric–on Twitter, in rallies–has incited even more white supremacist activity and violence than already existed.

The violence in some inner city areas is tragic. It stems from a lifetime of disenfranchisement, of systemic racism. These events do not negate the continued brutality in our country by white people, especially those in power, against African American people.

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42 Kelly Roney July 9, 2020 at 5:55 PM

Count on the usual suspects here to go looking for Black people who confirm their prejudices instead of listening more widely and perhaps learning something new that might require them to change their views – horrors! These are people who only came to esteem Martin Luther King, Jr. once he was assassinated and who don’t have the slightest idea past the single word non-violence what he stood for or the tactics he used.

Their comments here thoroughly support the Joyner sisters’ understanding that there are currents of hostility against them, even in bucolic Southborough.

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43 read and watch you world grow July 10, 2020 at 10:57 AM

Check out the cover and supporting articles in the latest issue of The Economist (The New Ideology of Race and What’s Wrong With It). The Joyner’s approach and like thinking are shown NOT to be the direction follow if one really wants positive change.

One article addresses the concerns expressed above by Dean Dairy, and that other posters have poo-poohed. His concerns are legitimate. Critical thinking about both the issue presented and the motivations behind the some of the highly politicized responses is required.

Critical thinking… What has happened to it?

Think (critically!) about it…

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44 Eileen July 10, 2020 at 1:18 PM

I get quite tired of White people telling Black people how they should confront racism.

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45 Eileen July 10, 2020 at 7:51 PM

I should have said “respond to” instead of “confront”.

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46 Kelly Roney July 10, 2020 at 9:50 PM

Amen, especially when the purpose is not to confront it at all.

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47 Eileen July 13, 2020 at 9:24 AM

Absolutely.

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48 Donna July 13, 2020 at 11:01 AM

I am so tired of people in Southborough acting like they care about minorities. Southborough residents are some of the most judgmental, racist, and classist people I have ever meet. Southborough residents continue to vote against having more affordable housing for families in town. Right now there are only three family units available for low income families. There is less than 1% of African American people who live in our town. God forbid we have low income people, or minorities polluting the air in our precious white town!!! We must shelter out children from such things!!!!

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