Thoughts, Thoughts, Thoughts

A picture of a mural I took in Bay Ridge.

I couldn’t think of a title so…

It’s been a while since I posted something . Mostly I’ve been trying to gather my thoughts about what’s happening in the world. I have a draft in my drafts folder with my thoughts and feelings on Black Lives Matter, Police Brutality and the multitude of victims of the police. I decided not to post it because it very much is a sad one. One full of frustration and disbelief. I want this post to highlight my hopefulness. Especially since Minneapolis has pledged to disband its police force. I am taking a political science class this summer. Its an American Government class analyzed through the lens of its history. And I read an essay by Louis Hartz in which he said that Americans have so much trouble coming up with solutions to their problems because we have not experienced feudalism. Here is a definition, because I had no idea what it was.

feu·dal·ism

n. the dominant social system in medieval Europe, in which the nobility held lands from the Crown in exchange for military service, and vassals were in turn tenants of the nobles, while the peasants (villeins or serfs) were obliged to live on their lord’s land and give him homage, labor, and a share of the produce, notionally in exchange for military protection.

So basically Hartz said that because we, or our (?) ancestors, did not go through a revolution against a class system, America is unable to consider other policies or “foreign” ideas because we (?) are afraid of disrupting the social community and because we, according to hart, don’t have perspective of what it’s like to live in another place other than America, one in which democracy and our American ideals aren’t normal.

I don’t agree with everything Hart said in his writing but I do agree that our government and its officials are, for some reason, unable to think out of the box and fully voice and champion other alternatives other than defunding the police, especially right now. Especially democratic officials who, I feel, make decisions based on bothsidesism. I am very confident though that we will vote out whoever isn’t making or working towards actual change, so fill out you absentee ballots or register to vote!!!

Anyways, What Minneapolis pledged makes me hopeful and exited.

Another mini-story is that while protests have been happening, and looting has been extensively covered on the news, videos of violence against protesters at marches are going viral online, I realized that my little sisters school had yet to say anything. So, I sat down and wrote an email to my little sisters teacher. One in which I expressed that Anel, my little sister, had classmates who already have social media profiles and they are already seeing the protests and the police violence. I also said that many students in her class were first-generation and most likely were not having open conversations about racism with their parents.I know I didn’t as a child. I highlighted how as a former graduate of that elementary school I felt like I had to teach myself and how I didn’t want my sister and her classmates to teach themselves and that they needed to know that racism did not end with Martin Luther King Jr. I clicked send and the next morning the conversation through zoom happened. I listened in as my sisters teachers had an “open” conversation. I was not happy with it. At no point was racism or police brutality ever denounced. I fully expressed in my email how Anel had told me kids in the school were using racial slurs. That was not addressed. Instead, the children were told that no matter what they had to respect the police officers because they protect “us”. And one of the teachers said the movement due to the looting was “straying from the message they want to send”. The teachers were clearly uncomfortable speaking about race and racism. They didn’t speak about why what was happening was happening. I was and still am very much frustrated.

Anyways, I think this is a perfect time for non-black people to have open and honest conversation with themselves and their families/communities. It is important to acknowledge where in your life or brain or family colorism is deeply rooted in, and then actively change it.

Anyways, again, I am full of energy and hunger to learn about the ways racism is slowly seeping or not slowly but is fully present in places I had thought racism was eradicated in. For example, if you want an interesting read there is a piece in the NYT called “The Resegregation of Jefferson County”, highly recommend you read that and all the other books that have been recommended to you on instagram. I have inserted it here:

So final thoughts are read read read, vote vote vote!!

Be actively ant-racist. If you realize you do have biases in you, we all do, its okay, forgive yourself and make sure to be better, pledge to be better. Thats the only way true change will come. If it starts within our communities will heal. But still vote, sign petitions, call representatives.

Here is a link, if you live in NY. Make an account and you will directly be able to contact your reps, and follow how they vote on bills and you can let them know if you’re for or against a bill or issue.

https://www.nysenate.gov

I will post soon with some other helpful resources or useless poems.

Stay safe!!!

sorry if there are any grammar issues or misspellings.

-Annette

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