At our tag-up on Friday, Syd wanted to know what I was planning to write about in my weekend post. Something light, I said. I’m tired.

And I do have some light things to write about. The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale dates were just posted, I have a pretty epic story about Pax I’ve been meaning to share, and there are a few TME housekeeping things I wanted to run by you guys. Like I do.

And then — like every Friday — I put on my comfy blogging pants (the pineapple sweatpants for you longtime readers) and locked myself in my bedroom (after granting the young tyrants early screen time — I swear they can smell weakness from two floors down) and found my computer glasses and started perusing random sale things online aaaaand took a shower (hello, procrastination) then — then — my head was clear enough to sit down and write.

Yet on this particular Friday, as I went through my typical machinations, there was one thought I couldn’t shake. It’s the same thought that surged — unbidden and unexpected — to the forefront of my mind as I read the news this morning:

Let that shit burn.

I’m talking, of course, about Minneapolis. Where protestors set fire to a police precinct after the horrifying murder of George Floyd, the latest in a shameful spate of police violence against black men and women. 

Appalling as this latest murder is, it comes mere days after the world learned of the murder of EMT Breonna Taylor by police in Kentucky, which came only a few days after we had learned Ahmaud Arbery was chased down and murdered by two white men in Georgia. 

We had a figurative moment of silence here on The Mom Edit for Ahmaud. I’m almost…embarrassed by that now, that pause making his death seem like something out of the norm. His death is part of our American normal. As we are learning — through social media, through a rising of collective anger — this has always been our norm. Black people have been saying this for years. Why haven’t we listened? 

Growing up, my Dad was always a big supporter of police. He worked with them in schools, and was good buddies with the Chief of Police. He outwardly upheld rules (I’m choosing my words carefully here — navigating around them was a special skill of his) and would never condone violence. He would be gravely disappointed in any sort of ‘let that shit burn’ sentiment from his oldest daughter. 

And yet there it is. If anything, growing stronger. 

So if I use myself as a barometer — a Mostly Good Girl From the Midwest (one who loves Minneapolis) — and if even I am chanting (albeit a little under my breath) “let shit burn”…is that a sign of shifting tides? Are the White People Who Supposedly Care About the Collective Good actually ready to stand up and do something? Is this our moment? Or…are we all just frightened little Amy Coopers, hiding our inherent biases and racism behind a generic cloud of liberal values?

God, I hope not.  

Time will tell.

Is Melissa the anti-Karen? If you haven’t watched this viral Facebook video of Melissa McCreary, a white woman, married to a police officer, who is just coming to terms with the fact that racism does exist…go. Right now. It’s 12 minutes long, but 100% completely worth watching the whole thing (and gets really good about 6 min in). I think many of us can relate — and her call to arms is exactly right.

Don’t raise an Amy Cooper. This CNN article makes a solid case for showing your kid the Amy Cooper Central Park video. “Our silence teaches our kids the best response to racism is to avert one’s eyes and avoid conflict at all costs. If we want to raise antiracist children, we must engage, even when we don’t know how it’s going to turn out. And talking about how it went down with our children can itself be a form of antiracist learning.

Context. Here’s a helpful little “primer” on IG of why black people have rioted vs white people.

Donate. Consider donating to the Minnesota Freedom Fund to bail out protestors who are being thrown in jail.

Text. Text ‘Floyd’ to 55156 to demand the officers who killed George Floyd are charged with murder. (source)

Read. A few weeks ago I stressed the importance of reading White Fragility and How to Be An Anti-Racist. I also highly recommend Trevor Noah’s book, Born a Crime. His story is set in South Africa, but it’s ultimately a really good primer for how racism fundamentally works and persists, long after laws have been changed. We listened to it as a family — Trevor Noah reads it himself, and it’s poignant and funny and heartbreaking and my kids still talk about it. If, however, you are looking for books geared especially for kids, Ibrahm X. Kendi has a board book coming out in June called Anti-Racist Baby, and I’ve been eying up A Kid’s Book About Racism. Laura has also recommended This Book Is Anti-Racist, 20 Lessons on How to Wake Up, Take Action and Do the Work. Hardcopy is sold out at Amazon, but Laura found it on Zulily.

Support. If you head over to our Instagram (this post) specifically, we’re starting to compile a list of black-owned businesses to support. The idea wasn’t mine, but intentionally seeking out products and companies owned by people of color is one small thing influencers like us can do. Read more about it on our IG.

Photo credit: The sign was a temporary public art installation (by artist Kara Springer), that was installed on Temple’s campus in Philly for just a few months in 2016. Sadly, still relevant. Photo from @streetsdept.

xo,

S

61 COMMENTS

  1. One thing you can do is to stop linking to Amazon and send your readers to Black owned bookstores to order books. And not just anti-racist books. Investing dollars in Black businesses is part of the work white folks need to be doing. I’m sure Hakim’s Bookstore in Philadelphia would be highly grateful for your business instead, as would Black bookstores nationwide. Please stop using Amazon as the default for ordering books.

  2. Wonderful, Shana! What a week. Thank you for using this platform to focus our attention on how we can educate ourselves and what we can do. Extra thanks for the tip on the anti-racist book at Zulily – just ordered.

  3. Has anyone listened to/read the youth version of Born A Crime? Not afraid to talk to my kids about the hard stuff or to have them bring up those concepts to others. Hoping the youth version keeps the content but maybe without some of the language. (My kids are 7, 5, 1 and will gleefully repeat all the things.)

  4. I share your horror about George Floyd’s murder and support your efforts to shed light on injustice. But please don’t use your platform to condone or justify violence of any kind. When the protestors burn shit down, lives and livelihoods are threatened and destroyed. You surely would have a different perspective if your business was affected, or your loved one’s job required them to be in harm’s way.

  5. I agree wholeheartedly with Autumn’s comment. I live and work in Minneapolis and what is happening here is horrific- both Mr. Floyd’s death, and the violence and destruction happening in the Twin Cities. If this was happening in your area, I doubt that you would be encouraging people to burn it down. I fail to see how that opens the way for the dialog and change we desperately need.

  6. We have rioters burning police cars here in Seattle and I am feeling the same as Shana, although it is looking like much of the violence being incited is coming from people showing up (anarchists and white supremacists) specifically to incite. violence and not from the original protesters. A friend who is an elementary school teacher was tweeting about being boxed in by police at a peaceful protest. Boxed in and not allowed to leave, so that eventually when someone got restless and threw a bottle in the direction of the cops, the cops had an excuse to unleash tear gas. And I cannot help but think burning the precinct responsible for the murder is poetic justice.

  7. I’m so sick about this entire situation. And so sad. I’m sick over George Floyd and Ahmaud Aubrey and all of the others. I’m sick that at this moment our city is burning. As the daughter of a Philadelphia cop, I’m sick that a police officer was that evil and now there will be repercussions for good cops. I’m just so afraid right now. I am going to start by showing my kids this video so they can understand their situation a little better and I’m going to get a copy of Born a Crime. And based on Teri’s suggestion above (thank you!), I’m going to try to get it from Harriet’s Bookstore, rather than my normal go-to Amazon. I just hope I can be a part of positive change and that it is enough. Thank you, as always, for posting about the hard stuff.

    Video https://www.instagram.com/tv/CAx0osAnuZf/?igshid=qp4deeqipbcf

    Here’s a link to Harriet’s, too. It’s a local, black female owned bookstore in my neighborhood. https://www.harriettsbookshop.com/

  8. As a 62 year old grandmother, The Mom Edit was my guilty pleasure…a window into current fashion hosted by creative young women who could be my daughters. “Let that shit burn.”? Your tacit approval of looters, arsonists, and anarchists has sadly revealed that dissenting opinions are not welcome. I pray that your talented team stays safe. I pray that your communities are not irreparably harmed by lawless violence. And yes, my name really is Karen.

  9. I understand why you can find that shocking. But unfortunately we haven’t welcomed or listened with peaceful protest – taking a knee was disrespectful, and Black Lives Matters was also. We happily teach the Boston Tea Party to our children – the destruction of property to force change.

    This rebellion is long overdue, sadly. Let the shit burn.

  10. For those expressing anger about Shana’s words, I hope you hold the same anger about the murders and violence towards Black bodies by police and white supremacists.

  11. Buying the suggested books from a black owned bookshop is a great way to support black people. I don’t think anyone is condoning violence or destruction but the anger behind it? Yep. Prioritizing the lives of people over things is how we are going to dig out of this dark hole. I’m of the mindset that if your support

  12. Shockingly, it is very possible to hold two views at the same time. I am horrified by George’s death and feel the officers should be held accountable. I am also horrified by the death and destruction and by Shana’s “let that shit burn”. Really? Have you seen the video of the black man’s business that was destroyed. Really? It all infuriates me. We are smart women. We CAN hold two views at once.

  13. People outside MN and/or outside the Twin Cities may not be aware that between Thursday and Saturday (particularly between Friday and Saturday), circumstances changed considerably here. White supremacists and others from out of town and out of state began descending upon the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, starting fires all over the metro (including fires set randomly in places with no protests going on), destroying hundreds of immigrant-owned, people-of-color-owned, small businesses, looting local stores, and generally stirring up fear and mayhem. The vast majority of the legit protesters have been peaceful, whereas those destroying the local inner city neighborhoods were absolutely NOT there to protest the murder of George Floyd or racism in the police system in general. I know this is probably not easily discernible to people outside the area watching events on social media and other media. It is important for non-locals to understand what’s really happening, however. Immigrant families of color are seeing their livelihoods destroyed; local neighborhood supermarkets are looted and burned, leaving families with no access to food; volunteers are bringing donations of food and supplies to these areas and helping to clean up the rubble. The situation is far more complex than outsiders can see on the news, frankly. Just an FYI.

  14. I commented on the TME post in the FB group that seems to be removed. As a poster upthread said, we can hold two thoughts in our head. I am glad to have conversations that aren’t about shopping on a shopping site, while others want you to ‘stay in your lane’. The murder of Mr. Floyd was horrific, and I completely understand the anger and sorrow. And I am in Minneapolis, and many people I follow on Twitter are posting stories of cars, now abandoned in neighborhoods, many without license plates, that were clearly used to bring people in from out of town to cause mayhem. But I also have seen many videos of looters in Minneapolis, Chicago and LA that are clearly local residents. So there are two things going on. People are taking advantage of the chaos to destroy neighborhoods not their own, and people are taking advantage of the chaos to take what they want.

    My worry is for the neighborhoods that will never be rebuilt, whether the small businesses or the chain stores that don’t come back. We have many examples of this, from Watts in LA to Ferguson in MO. It doesn’t matter if ‘insurance will pay for it’ to the people who have no close grocery store now, and for the months ahead.

    I don’t know the answer, but ‘burn it down’ about the police precinct building without acknowledging the looting and other destruction (in my sister in law’s neighborhood a post office and library were burned) isn’t right either.

  15. I’ve been holding it together the past few days but this right here has me sobbing. I agree with the other comments that we are all intelligent women who are absolutely capable of holding two beliefs at once. No one condones the behavior of the police officer(s) involved and want justice for George Floyd – which we are getting. Why is no one is discussing the number of drive bys, shootings and homicides (I think the count is over nine) by race on race that have occurred during the protesting and rioting began. Are those lives a lesser value than the ones we are fighting for?

    Yes, BLM and we as a society need to work to generate change but justifying violence and condoning complete destruction of property, of people’s livelihoods and business they’ve worked their entire lives for and support families with, I cannot get behind. If that was your family’s business or your spouse/brother/parent holding the line I am sure you would feel differently. I hope your team, the brave men and women in uniform and the thousands of Americans standing proud for what they believe in, all stay safe.

  16. Shana, as a long time reader I am incredibly offended by your let that shit burn statement. This was my neighborhood and my community burning. My children scared that our lives were in danger as they smelled the smoke and watched the violent riots. Yes, our country, our world needs change. This is not the answer and had little to do with George Floyd. Our community is in overwhelming support of George Floyd. It’s very easy for you to sit safely across the country and make callous statements. Please don’t.

  17. Thank you, Shana! It’s time to make us uncomfortable, it’s time to burn down the power structures that keep themselves in power, it’s time to confront well meaning people who aren’t impacted by this enough to need change. And it’s time that our kids saw us standing up for what is right, because they’re watching.

  18. Yes, I am offended by Shana’s words. Deeply so. And I am also headed to the peaceful protests today with my children. In support of change.

  19. Amy, to paraphrase another commenter on our IG….you had one night of fear. Now think about if you had to worry about your son being safe every moment of every day because of the color of his skin. I hope you are just as offended by the very real danger that black people (especially black boys) are facing in this country as you are by my whispered words of change.

  20. I co-sign Amy’s comments. I live in St. Paul. That “shit” is the businesses and homes of my neighbors. For those who think buildings don’t matter, I hope you’ll divest of all your property and give away your money. Until you do, don’t tell me not to resist the destruction of my community. Also, let’s not forget that at least one life has been lost during the destruction following George’s horrific death.

  21. Longtime reader here and, as I’ve said before and will continue to say, yours is the only “mom blog” I follow, exactly because of this and other posts like it. Peaceful protests haven’t worked. Taking a knee hasn’t worked. 400 years of this. Our current capitalist system is built on this. If I value black and indigenous and brown children as I value my own white children, we will have to start considering a different reality. Period. Sometimes two truths can’t be held at the same time. Peace in white communities and for white people thus far has been at the expense of black and brown people. This podcast interview (few months old now, still relecant) with activist Mariame Kamba does a great job of talking about how we can take wealth redistribution into our own hands in our own communities and is a great start and a great person to follow. Many others like her doing this important leadership work in their communities. https://theintercept.com/2020/03/19/organizer-mariame-kaba-we-need-a-peoples-bailout-to-confront-coronavirus/

  22. Shana, you misunderstand my point. I am absolutely not comparing my one night of fear to that of a woman of color fearing for her children’s safety every night. What I am is offended at your callous statement…the shit burning represents the livelihood of so many and is the way they care for and support their families. That shit is their hopes and dreams up in smoke. People of color own these businesses, and yes, white people also. I am not going to argue or defend any more, I’m too distracted by the Blackhawk helicopters continually flying over and the sirens screaming by. ‘Night.

  23. Well, Shana, I’m outraged as well. But I don’t think you would condone me lighting your home/business/car on fire.

  24. My feelings exactly, Autumn. Violence and destruction only make matters worse. I saw an interview yesterday with a woman in New York whose neighborhood supermarket and pharmacy were burned and destroyed. She was in tears because she has no car and no way to to get to other stores outside of her neighborhood to get much needed supplies. Why must more lives be harmed in the name of “protest”??

  25. Yes, it is actually possible to be saddened and outraged over injustice just as much as ‘burning shit down’. They are both hatred.

  26. Me too, Amy! I’m so sorry for what you and your fellow citizens of Minneapolis are going through. As if the horrific murder of an innocent black man at the hands of a racist scumbag, captured on video, weren’t enough to shatter a community! Even George Floyd’s family have said that the violence permeating the protests are “overshadowing” his death and they are pleading for the riots to stop. I’m disgusted by the “let that shit burn” comment and horrified that people would agree with that point of view.

  27. Tomorrow’s rain will wash the stains away
    But something in our minds will always stay
    Perhaps this final act was meant
    To clinch a lifetime’s argument
    That nothing comes from violence and nothing ever could
    For all those born beneath an angry star
    Lest we forget how fragile we are
    – Sting

  28. Shana, “let that shit burn”?? Really?? Sorry, but your whitesplaining of this issue is completely unacceptable! Please use your platform in a more responsible way!

  29. To all the commenters who take issue with Shana’s “let it burn:”

    “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; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a “more convenient season.”… I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and that when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress.”

    Dr. King, Letter from A Birmingham Jail, 1963

    We had our chances to respond to a more peaceful protest. Ask Colin Kaepernick how that went.

  30. Perfect response, JS. Thank you. A zillion and one polite requests for change have been made and ignored. As Dr. King also said: “A riot is the language of the unheard.” Change must happen NOW. Incremental change has meant too little change.

  31. George Floyd’s brother told ABC News that the violent demonstrations are not what his brother would have wanted – “Don’t tear up your town, all of this is not necessary because if his own family and blood is not doing it, then why are you?”

    This destructiveness only hurts the people in the community, including POC, rather than helping improve the situation. Elderly people in high rises and those who rely on public transportation (now suspended) – how are they to get their groceries, medicine, medical care, and access to services? We all KNOW that people are more important that things. However, destroying things hurts PEOPLE.

  32. Thank you for this post. As a white woman, I’m having to grapple with the fact that the things that make me feel safe (as one of your other posters commented), puts black men and women in danger. In terms of burning it all down, I also feel like the system itself is so rotten and cruel that it needs to be started from scratch. We need to thoughtfully, as a nation, come up with a fair system – one that is not based on the ideology that brought and kept slavery. Our current system only modernized some of the practices and stem from ideas that are the backbone of slavery. For any readers interested in learning more, check out the New York Times podcast 1619. It’s so good and connects the origins of capitalism to slavery.
    Your post allowed a genuine debate to happen and I thank you for that. Kaepernick taking a knee is a form of peaceful protest and he was punished for it. If you peacefully protest the killing of black men and women by police, you will lose your livelihood.
    Thank you for starting an important conversation for all of us. You’re holding the space to understand the wish to burn it all down in the absence of a path to tear down a destructive system. White systems and White Supremacy are the culprit of the looting and the destruction of communities. Incarcerating black men (particularly with racist systems of cash bail and harsh sentencing for non-violent drug offenses) in such large numbers has harmed black families and communities. White supremacy existed in the colonies before the Constitution was signed. Enslaved Africans are more American than most of us – they were here before the pilgrims.

  33. https://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2020/05/30/how-to-give-back-to-your-besieged-community/

    I live in St. Paul just a few miles from both the University Ave and Lake Street areas of concentrated damage. I completely understand the “burn that shit down” sentiment comes from feelings of anger, hurt, and helplessness and your heart is in the right place. Unfortunately, it is true that the worst damage occurred in some of the most disadvantaged communities in the Twin Cities. They are being forced to bear this burden, too, even while reeling from the incredible wound of George Floyd’s murder. Along with the Targets and police precinct, there were so many family-owned businesses, libraries, schools, and neighborhood institutions that have been there for decades, many that people without transportation relied upon. A large affordable housing unit which was nearly completed was completely destroyed.

    I think it is not so much the fear, but the heartbreak. I can’t even describe the helplessness of watching the city you love with all of your heart burn to the ground, and wondering how it will ever recover.

    Residents of Mpls/St. Paul have been out in the day trying to clean up after the destruction and collecting truckloads of food for their impacted neighbors. They have been staying out all night armed with bats to help protect vulnerable communities from people trying to wreak havoc (NOT protestors, I have witnessed this myself) b/c the police can’t be everywhere. It feels like a battle, and I think that’s why the “burn that shit down” comment can feel dismissive and hurtful.

    One way to channel this helplessness may be to donate to some of the local businesses that have suffered losses. I included a link above with many great resources.

    One thing I have learned in all this is it is really difficult on social media to capture all of the nuance, and emotions are so high. I agree that we need to have empathy, love, and keep fighting the good fight until change comes. Stay safe, everyone.

  34. Oh, OH. Wow. I am horrified and, bizarre as it is to say, so, so hurt and angry and just…at a loss for words. If this was your town, you would NEVER, EVER, EVER write such a careless and inflammatory thing. I live here, and I am beyond angry about the entrenched racism here, George Floyd’s murder, and many other things. However, the burning of our city is not the solve, and it is harming both people of color and many others who can and would support them. The events of the last few days are also not primarily (there are mixed groups of perpetrators, which complicates things) the correctly outraged protesters. We have video. They are mostly white guys in black sophisticated gear pulling up in unmarked cars, sparking arson all over the place, and then driving away. My friend saw one instance as it happened. There are supremacists in my neighborhood. The national guard came around and told us to evacuate our children because there would be trouble and fire trucks wouldn’t be able to get in. Really, think about this: HOW DARE YOU USE YOUR PLATFORM TO APPLAUD THE BURNING OF NEIGHBORHOODS. Have you ever had it happen to you, personally? Have you? Think about it. Have you had to suddenly pack up your kids’ stuff and make decisions with your partner as to whether one of you would stay behind, and what would you do, and who and what would you grab, if you think your house or your neighbors’ might burn? Yeah, no, you haven’t, I’d bet, or you would never have written this. I just did, and it is beyond scary. I have been a follower and, frankly, admirer of yours for years now but I think I am halting as of right now, today. This was beyond hurtful, thoughtless, and, frankly, very ignorant. One can absolutely condemn the murder of George Floyd, of Ahmaud, of Breonna, of the thousands of others who have wrongly died, and, better yet, one can actually go beyond just casual written i’m-so-woke-and-let-me-show-you-that words and move into action to make our world better — one can do all these things without encouraging destruction of another’s city. How dare you. Try to think about the people who actually live in the place that you’re so thoughtlessly writing about.

  35. Oh, we do – and we voiced that loud and strong at the outset, both before and even as the looting began. We participated in protests and are trying to help enact actual systemic change. Perfect? God, no – we have a long ways to go, any of us that are white. For you and those who are somehow expressing approval about Shana’s words, I hope that you are always able to stay safe but somehow open up your minds and think about the real danger that this is causing everyone here. Including — and especially — for black and brown communities that live here. It is primarily their stores and livelihoods that are burning. I live here, and see the burned out husks every day, the emergency food and diaper drop-off sites, and neighbors crying. Still such a fan of all this now?

  36. Thank you Shana for using your platform to call for change and for the majority “do the work”. We can’t rely to POC to bear of the burden of racism and yet also to educate others on why it matters and why it is so urgent to do something now more than ever. Taking a knee on the football field wasn’t enough and while I don’t condone violence, arson or the destruction of property, I do believe POC had to get louder…to drown out the very loud racist sentiment of this administration. I was a fan of your column before. I am more of a fan now. Thank you.

  37. Thank you, JS and Jen for so eloquently expressing how I, too, am feeling right now. Stay safe, everyone.

  38. Are you seriously suggesting that if someone disagrees with your statement that they are “struggling to understand the nuances” of what is happening? Unreal. Your arrogance is unreal.

    • Ahhhhh Amy, I certainly didn’t mean to sound arrogant. The truth is I wrote 5 (6?) different responses to you guys last night, NONE of which properly clarified the nuances that I am obviously struggling to communicate (although JS did a pretty damn good job just now). After a few failed attempts at responding, I watched both the Killer Mike and Trevor Noah videos AGAIN and was like, “yes…THIS.” Hence my comment. (I consider myself someone who is ALSO struggling with those nuances, or I would’ve been better able to communicate them.)

      Here’s the deal: I’ve spent the last few days second-guessing and beating myself up for these words. I’ve been reading and watching and soul-searching…only to come back around to the same place: I do stand by my words. Part of the curse of writing is that your words will make perfect sense to some people, and not to others. Lex is correct – the burning down I mention (if we must get literal) is the burning down of the system of systemic racism. However, my words do hint at something more concrete, and I think that is where some of the anger is coming from. That, too, was intentional. It is not that I want everyone to go out and start looting and burning….rather I was attempting to leave space (as Julie said) to understand WHY things are burning, and to leave room for the acknowledgement that peaceful protest would not have gotten us to this same place. Again, Killer Mike and Trevor Noah do a much better job than I at walking this line, and I do encourage you guys to give it a listen.

  39. Ummm…she means The System, Mamas. The buildings are a symbol of The System the state is upholding. If I were still teaching AP Lang & Comp, this essay would be ripe for rhetorical analysis. Not only is it well-written, it is authentic. I don’t understand criticizing the gait of someone’s step when we’re all walking in the same direction (I hope).

    Killer Mike does explain it eloquently for those of you who take the time to listen to his speech. And yes, we know what you are experiencing. Our dear Philadelphia, like at least a dozen other cities, has been “hot” as well this week. To say it is traumatic is an understatement.

    On another note, thank you JS for such a succinct summary.

  40. Tired of the socio-political commentary on your website. Not the first time I’ve seen it on your “lifestyle” website but it will be the last as I am out (by the way Shana- it’s perfectly okay to admit you didn’t particularly like the halftime show at the Super Bowl and leave it at that- it doesn’t mean that you do not celebrate and appreciate other cultures… not everything needs to be made into a platform for ‘awareness’ or ‘celebration’ of whatever the issue is). This is why social media is beyond annoying.

    Fortunately I am a grown woman who knows what I think and believe and can make my own decisions and choices. I don’t need a stranger’s instructions for books and videos I just “have” to read or watch to bring me enlightenment (although I suspect the author feels she is doing it for the greater good of society). At the end of the day, I just came to your website for the fashion suggestions… guess I should never have clicked on the other links on this website. My mistake indeed.

  41. Amy, I don’t speak for Shana. But I have to say that I hope your position does come from unfamiliarity with the nuances of the situation. I really do.

    The alternative is to say that property matters more than black lives. The alternative is to be fine with the fact that so much of the violence we’re seeing is coming from 1) unprovoked police escalation and/or 2) outside agitators, who are doing so to provoke exactly this reaction: turning the focus from systemic, racist police brutality to a critique of the protests themselves.

    Look at the astonishing speed with which we have committed staggering resources to protecting property. Contrast that with the decades that black people have been told that “change takes time” and how “there aren’t enough resources” to take actual steps to root out and combat police brutality. Look at the police shooting/gassing/driving SUVs over peaceful protesters (not looters – protesters), firing rubber bullets into their faces as they sit on their porches, arresting journalists, on top of the actual black lives lost, and then try to shift your focus to property damage. The context here matters, and either you don’t understand it, or you are disregarding it.

    Black people like Brittany Packnett, Bree Newsome Bass, and Jamil Smith obviously do a better job of speaking to this than I can, so give them a follow on Twitter (or the links Shana posted above). Specifically, Ms. Packnett runs this down in an MSNBC interview here:

    https://twitter.com/i/status/1267478677098573826

    To head off an obvious response, I’m from DC, so yes, I know what it’s like to have my city burn.

    (bye, DG)

  42. I sincerely apologize for the sarcastic and negative tone of my message. Shana- I appreciate your time and efforts you invest on your website. You- like your other contributors and readers- are entitled to share your opinions and thoughts on it as you want. I can choose to read and not read what I wish- and that is on me. Thank you.

  43. I’m out. I watched the Killer Mike Video before my last posted comment, I’ve read White Fragility before it was ever mentioned here, and I will read Born a Crime. Because I want to be a better person, and understand and think about, and really look at myself. And then decide how to move forward to help bring much, much needed change to our world. What I don’t need is anyone telling me that if I don’t agree with a comment I don’t understand the nuances, or that I don’t think black lives matter (thanks for that, JS). So, I’m out. I won’t be returning here to read later comments, I won’t be returning to the blog. I need peace and will look for ideas for change within my own diverse community, from a diverse group of people I respect.

  44. Policing systems are not regulated by the federal government, but rather by municipalities, counties, and states. Yet municipal elections have overall the worst voter turnouts. We all want to blame the system, but silence at the polls is what leads to status quo. Young people in particular have some of the worst voter turn-outs, but it is often these local elections, won by often slim margins or have individuals that run uncontested for multiple terms because few are willing to step up to take on the challenge, that have the greatest impact on day-to-day living. I wonder if you took a poll on how many of those out there looting voted in the last city council election what the answer would be. Why is it easier to break a window than cast a vote?

    Maybe a better solution rather than suggesting to letting things burn is to suggest that people build. Advocate new systems and change from within. Systems don’t change because people don’t show up at the polls regularly to make them change. Don’t JUST get involved in peaceful protest, for the protest is often temporary. Get involved in making your city change by actively participating in its governance and politics.

  45. This is hard. It’s hard to face what a disgraceful racist mess our country is, and it’s hard to face the level of anger and destruction we see.

    I think it has to be ok to be on a middle ground about the more destructive protests. I feel the “let it burn” sentiment. I absolutely do. And at the same time I don’t exactly condone the tactic. There has to be able to be a difference between a sentiment and a strategy.

    To all the people outraged by the property destruction and Shana’s statement, I’d also ask you to really think about where peaceful protest tactics have gotten us on the issue of racist police violence. How much are people supposed to be willing to take before things break down?

    And finally, my impression is that the vast majority of commenters here have been white. I am also white. And I just want to recognize that it’s not a full discussion without more black and brown voices.

    I appreciate the effort Shana and the TME crew are making. It’s not perfect, but we can’t all be perfect before we speak up. Thanks for taking the plunge, y’all.

Leave a Reply