Chris over at Creek Running North has asked that bloggers blog against racism today. I was trying to come up with something that was current and meaningful, but kept tripping back to 1963: The year that changed my life. It wasn't the war in Vietnam that radicalized me when I was a kid in the 60s. It was the civil rights movement. There was something about the image of fellow human beings being attacked by police dogs or with fire hoses that seared the brain of this eleven year old. There were things that happened in 1963 and 1964 in this country that were so horrific, so inhumane, so abjectly cruel that it shook our country to its constitutional roots. How do I blog against racism today? I invoke the names Medgar Evers; Carol Denise McNair, Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley and Carole Robertson; and Michael Schwerner, James Chaney, and Andrew Goodman. They paid for our racism with their lives
Racism in Pinole
Pinole is a town under siege. An island of rusticated charm in a burgeoning megalopolis, our traditional way of life is under attack. We are hard up against the deepening crime of Richmond, the most dangerous city in California according to recent rankings. A short ride on the local bus, or in a (presumably stolen) car along Interstate 80, and the barbarian hordes are at our gates, had we gates, which we do not. So we are vulnerable.
Or so some of my neighbors would have it.
Two years ago we fought a development on church land immediately behind our house. Those neighbors who, like us, were adjacent to the project, thought mainly of engineering and traffic concerns. The plan would have shunted storm runoff into our property - likely destroying our foundation – and killed the live oak that overhangs our yard. Landslides would have threatened others' houses. Our next door neighbor would have had the project's traffic driving five feet from her bedroom window. We killed the project for those reasons. (more)
from Neil Shakespeare, this visual tribute to Fredrick Douglas: