More than 300 people, wearing masks to protect themselves and others from the ongoing pandemic, knelt silently for seven minutes in memory of George Floyd who was killed as he was restrained under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer. The officer has since been charged with murder.
Monday’s vigil was organized by Graysen Kirk, with support from Mathea Morais, a teacher of Kirk’s. During the vigil, organizers held a seven minute period of silence in acknowledgement of Floyd’s death.
“We’re kneeling for seven minutes in solidarity and in respect to his life, and how long he held on,” said Kirk.
During the vigil, as hundreds of people held signs, cars drove by and honked in support. Protestors led chants and held signs, with messages such as “Say his name,” “George Floyd,” “Black Lives Matter,” and “I can’t breathe.” There were also many signs held by white attendees displaying what actions they planned to take in the future to maintain active anti-racism.
“It’s the sadness of this situation. That’s why we’re here. It’s a much smaller version of it, but that’s why we’re here,” Nettie Kent, one of the protestors, told The Times.
The event was praised by Tisbury Police as peaceful, despite an incident as the gathering was dispersing. One man was arrested for an alleged assault and a second man was taken into custody for allegedly smashing a pickup truck window, Police Chief Mark Saloio said.
“It was a very respectful vigil,” Saloio told The Times. “Virtually everyone followed the rules.”
The incident happened on Lagoon Pond Road. Police and witness allege that Eric Woods, 66, assaulted one of the protestors after being confronted for making racist comments. While police were interviewing Woods in his pickup truck, a third man — not the protestor who had been assaulted — threw a rock through the back window of the pickup truck smashing it.
Det. Max Sherman told The Times that Woods, 67, is being charged with assault and battery and disorderly conduct for allegedly punching a 19-year-old male in the face after being told to stop making comments directed at protestors. The teen had a lump on his face, Sherman said.
The man arrested for smashing the rear window of Woods’ pickup has not been identified. That man initially cooperated with police, but has since refused to give his name and became uncooperative. He has been charged with disorderly conduct and malicious destruction.
“He became uncooperative,” Sherman said.
Asked if there was an incident at the jail, Sherman said the situation is still evolving and declined further comment. “I can say he was uncooperative during transport and booking,” Sherman said of the man who tossed the rock through the pickup window. “It’s a shame, really, there were no incidents prior to this.”
Dukes County Sheriff Robert Ogden said there was an incident at the jail. “He was violent upon arrest and became combative in the lockup,” Ogden said. “No serious injury to any of the officers.”
He said the individual has been taken to Martha’s Vineyard Hospital.
Ogden said he was just learning about the incident and said sheriff’s department officials would have more information in the morning.
A witness to the incident at the rally told The Times that the man in the truck was using incendiary language and made an obscene gesture at protestors. After being confronted by the teen, he allegedly got out of his truck and punched him.
“A white man in a big red truck was giving racist remarks, giving the protestors the middle finger, making horrible comments,” Kent said. “And a driver in the car behind him said something along the lines of, ‘stop.’ The man in the red truck got out, leaned in the kid’s car, and punched him right in the face.”
Kent said a bystander, also an attendee of the protest, smashed the man’s back window.
No one was seriously injured in the incident, Saloio said.
“It ended everything on an unfortunate note,” he said. “It was an overwhelmingly positive protest.”
Kirk said the single violent incident did not detract from the main message of the protest. “People started surrounding the car, and sitting in front of the truck after the man got back into his car,” said Kirk. “Everyone was still protesting peacefully. I think it would be very sad if that one incident took away from the whole message because I believe that that’s not what this protest stood for. It was strictly peaceful, and I think that it was handled in the best way possible.”
Prior to the incident, police presence at the vigil was fairly modest, with officers observing from afar and directing traffic through the intersection. Organizers worked together with the Tisbury Police Department in preparation for the event, and praised the department for their collaboration.
Kirk encouraged white attendees to bring signs displaying what action steps they intend to take to dedicate themselves to working toward anti-racism in the future.
“I’m hoping to make even more of a change past our community,” said Kirk, who created an online petition she circulated in advance of the event to voice her outrage at the death of Floyd. Kirk’s petition is available at http://chng.it/Gqx6Rny4Kw.
Kirk expressed a desire to balance concerns over the pandemic and the need to protest.
“I encouraged everyone coming to the protest to wear masks. The Tisbury Police Department has been amazingly supportive in all of this, and they’re actually bringing masks for people who may not have them,” said Kirk. “We definitely want to respect the precautions, but can’t use the pandemic as an excuse to be silenced.”
Organizers spoke about the potential to maintain momentum moving forward after this event.
“Marching, and sitting, and other forms of protest, while really, really important, clearly have not been enough,” said Morais. “It’s really about what action steps we are willing to take once we walk away from this vigil. It’s about bringing awareness, it’s about showing support, but it’s also about what we are willing to do ourselves when we leave here tonight.”
George Brennan and Rich Saltzberg contributed to this report.
It was an inspiring, upbeat, immensely inclusive rally, and predictably the M.V. Times has chosen to emphasize the violent behavior of two guys at the end of it. Are we still in the era of “if it bleeds, it leads”?
I drove through this event minding my own business. I was screamed at by protesters saying my silence was “complicity in violence against blacks” . I did not feel safe and I’m glad there wasn’t more violence.
I drove through it, too. Saw a few people I knew. Weather was nice. I’m not sure what made you feel unsafe. Maybe crowds frighten you.
Have you considered the possibility that you might be tacitly complicit in violence against people of color Maybe this is a teachable moment.
bs– What ? I went through there today at about 5 o’clock. it was silent as everyone was on a knee.
your comment that you were screamed at is totas BS –you may have went through there before or after the kneeling event– but your assertion that anyone verbally shouted at you that your silence was (whatever) is another example of the extreme derangement syndrome of the right wing propaganda machine to validate lies. Sorry, Bs — you are lying when you say ” I was screamed at by protesters saying my silence was “complicity in violence against blacks” — You even put it in quotes. Had you not put in quotes, I could accept your paranoid interpenetration of what the protestors were trying to convey. But since you put the quotation marks up, You are lying– it never happened — those words were not screamed at you–
Again– I will take this opportunity to highlight that the right wing conservatives do not care about the truth and are quite willing to lie about anything that fits their radical partisan agenda. Shame on you , BS for such a blatant lie.
We can have opinions, and we can disagree about things, but lying is not acceptable.
Huh, not my experience at all.
Aren’t you the one who’s been telling everyone who doesn’t feel safe to stay home? Well, bud, stay home and your phobia of peaceful people won’t bother you so much.
you’d feel threatened by mayo on wonder bread
Dark rye scares him
Blood is always news, property damage should be.
A better headline would be “Peaceful protest ends with racist attack on demonstrator”. As written, it’s unclear as to where the violence started, and many will look only at the headline and follow their own biases to their (un)logical conclusions.
Thank you for updating the headline, MVTimes.
I’m sorry that was your experience BS. I didn’t witness any of that. Are you sure it was directed at you or just a general expression of frustration?
I too felt unsafe when the driver of the red Toyota came out of Cumbies yelling and swearing at people before he got in his truck and assaulted someone. Glad there wasn’t more violence too.
What a perfect name, BS. You didn’t feel “safe” at that lovely peaceful demonstration? Nonsense. The traffic flowed through 5 corners the whole time, facilitated by the police as a matter of fact. There is NO way anyone accused you of complicity for driving through the intersection.
Yes, the Tisbury Police did a great job of keeping traffic flowing and pedestrians and demonstrators safe.
so we have a peaceful protest about the murder of an unarmed black man at the hand of a white police officer, and an obvious right wing racist provokes an incident. — to the frequent right wing commenters here– are you reading my recent posts about how afu the ideological beliefs of the radical right are ?
It’s in your faces now. Look at this article.
yeah, someone like KAG will tell us that it was a liberal in the truck, and a liberal that broke the window.. And, in the spirit of KAG, they might even tell us that it never happened, it was all fake news, and if it actually happened it was because George Sorros paid everyone to be there today to push a socialist world order.
I have had trouble getting unbleached King Arthur flour, but apparently, the right wing ideologist here have had no problem getting kool aid…
I was there to witness this history, and despite being a solemn occasion, it was a joyful community outpouring. I was along State Road a long time, and not one single derogatory thing was said or gestured. I even shared words with the police chief and we agreed that this was just as demonstrations should go — peaceful, vommunity – centered, caring. THEN the crowd moved to surround the truck, because the man had assaulted the teen and tried to get away. I filmed the arrest.
The violence was totally instigated by the truck driver, whim i had seen drive into Cumbies first, and had hurled verbal abuse at some people on the sidewalk before he went into the store. The kid who smashed the window was legally wrong, was arrested, but the truck driver is the one who brought the violence. There is mountimg evidence that peaceful demonstrations across yhe nation are being infiltrated with saboteurs to discredit them, and the BS comment above is part of that. NOBODY driving by was threatened or told that silly mouthful about “complicity” BS reports (who would even speak that way to a moving car).
Many cars honked their horns, because most Americans cherish human rights and civil rights for all , and understand that no lives matter if black lives don’t matter. This joyful event was ruined by a hostile Archie Bunker troll. He was rightfully arrested for breaking the peace.
Is there really a solution to what is happening. I don’t ask this lightly. I understand the outrage that is occurring but what I don’t understand is what is the answer if there even is one. If your answer is some vague response like “end white this or that” or other trigger words like “all lives matter” then you are not (in my opinion) really trying to get at the root of problem. I would love to have an open discussion, not one where the first words are accusations. Help me understand.
3D – I’m not a lawyer and I haven’t finished my morning coffee, but here are some ideas:
There are concrete legislative changes that could occur. Ending just cause protection for police officers, reducing sovereign immunity, removing specific police union protections, and changing the standard for justification of use of force away from the unprovable, invulnerable “I feared for my life” regardless of whether that fear is justified.
Establish civilian control of police. As you can read in this New York Times article ( https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/30/us/derek-chauvin-george-floyd.html ), civilian review boards struggle even to punish the worst bad actors. From that article: “In 2012, the civilian board in Minneapolis was replaced by an agency called the Office of Police Conduct Review. Since then, more than 2,600 misconduct complaints have been filed by members of the public, but only 12 have resulted in an officer being disciplined, Mr. Bicking said. The most severe censure has been a 40-hour suspension, he said.” The system protects bad actors, and that needs to change with laws at the state level. One idea for fixing this from that article is holding officers accountable for crimes committed by other officers in their presence. The police have better omertà than the mafia.
Change the culture of police departments. The “warrior mythos” attracts the wrong kind of person to police work. You don’t want people who are attracted to authority or trying to live some kind of power fantasy. You also have the absurd code of silence where police refuse to turn each other in. That film Serpico remains as relevant today as when it was released. I suspect that getting rid of a lot of the older, more traditional cops would help with that.
End the carceral state. Stop using jail as the punishment for victimless crimes (like possession of small amounts of drugs), or for the non-crime of scaring white people. By age 23, 49% of black males, 44% of Hispanic males, and 38% of white males have been arrested. This is preposterous. It’s an entire industry that at times even lobbies to keep laws on the books to protect their business. It is a cash grab that functions on the perversion of justice, and it needs to be dismantled.
Stop using the police to deal with social services. Stop using the police to respond to anything related to social services. Use a separate branch of uniformed professionals to deal with that. You don’t call the police when your house is on fire, you shouldn’t call them when
Track Bad Actors. We should have a national database of police records. Chiefs should be able to look up records on cops, and whether they were fired for e.g. murdering an unarmed person of color. So should citizens in the town that hired them. The sad truth is also that there are some communities who would actually prefer minority-hostile police. But it should be knowing rather than an accident. There should also be a way to permanently bar individuals from police work at the federal level.
What won’t work:
-Body cameras. Especially if using them is voluntary, they “malfunction” or “forget to be turned on”, and the police retain control of the footage and only release it if they feel it advantageous. Even when there is footage of, for example, a police officer planting a weapon in a restrained person’s hand, nothing happens to them. A technological fantasy.
-Sensitivity or racial bias training. Cop violence is a symptom of an identity and ideology, and you cannot train those away. People advocating for this just want jobs running those classes and/or to be paid to do nothing while attending those classes. A fig leaf.
“Stop using the police to deal with social services.”
Police are the primary social service.
Proterction is a social service.
I seem to have messed that paragraph up, but you got the gist. We need a different kind of police, such that the kind of person who is interested in the job is not of the present sort. So that the people who apply for the job so out of a desire to help people rather than because they are drawn to the idea of being a superhero that wields violence and authority.
The “protection” offered by the police mostly exists to protect property rather than people. It is no blessing for the poor or people of color.
Absolutely agree, ascot.
10 people show up a few weeks ago for their freedom to work rally, and the commenters on this, as well as other spaces, call them irresponsible Covidiots who were endangering all of us. Now 300 people pack themselves into the same space, with no hope of social distancing, and it’s to be celebrated. What do we say as a community if there is a spike in Covid cases 14 days from now? I guess we blame the summer folks, and congratulate ourselves for our wokeness.
The first was to encourage commerce.
The second was discourage the murder of Black people.
Which is the higher cause?
The Gazette did a much better job with this story.
Headline has been edited since my initial comment, thank you.
Thank you Susanna, Graysen is my daughter and I couldn’t be more proud as a parent, and a member of a community that came out in such strong PEACEFUL support. My palm still has the sharpie written on it that reads “but that would be a real shame if that took away from all the positives”. My hand was the only thing I had to write on quickly to share with Graysen as I was distraught, listening to her on the phone with the Times reporter after the Vigil. The following up with her was focused on this one spot of darkness that occurred. “When Yang is the strongest it contains Yin”, these are the laws of the universe. The Times should be ashamed at not helping carry the light better, guiding our blossoming youth and raising our positive voices. I feel a re-write would be just and an apology is in order. Thank you Graysen for believing in your voice, thank you Mathea for being such an amazing mentor and supporter, Thank You MV for being a voice of light in the darkness. One Love, Much Love.
Apologize for what?
I’ve read the story a couple times now and I don’t see anything that would warrant an apology.
It’s that the article leading with “Vigil Ends In Violence” title and focus on the unfortunate altercation at the end of the Vigil instead of handling it like Vineyard Gazette had. The Gazette gave mention to the altercation in their main piece and then followed up with a second article on it. It took a lot of strength and courage for Graysen to put this together and she spoke freely with the reporters before and after. I am obviously biased as a father, I just wish she could have felt better about their support instead of them focusing on .05% of the people who attended. To be clear it’s not about Graysen, the same as it should not of been about those two people. It is a out George Floyd and the need for change. I would like to say thank you to the Times for changing the headline since this morning from their original one. It at least stars things off with a more positive tone.
Is the Vineyard Gazette the paper of record for PC?
The Times changed a shocking headline and updated the story, from one that said that the rally ended in violence, to the more true story of the rally, focusing now on the important point and big picture of our community rallying against racism. While that wasn’t exactly a apology, it was definitely a change they needed to make and i am glad they heard the objections and changed their focus while still bringing us the facts of what the rally was like.
You’re doing a great job as a mom. Thank you.
The Floyd incident doesn’t represent our community… you know, where law enforcement has been doing parades around the clock for birthdays and graduations. Minneapolis has already agreed to prosecute those involved. Beyond that, what will actually rectify the situation? I know what will not benefit our community – breaking social distancing guidelines, finger pointing, and creating racial tension. Privilege comes in all colors on this rock. I support our police, and I would encourage others to stand against a movement to create chaos and destruction nationwide.
It is actually a pro-police move in the long run for us all to object to rogue cops who execute our citizens without cause. As long as those who behave like Chauvin and his three co-workers are on the job, there will be explosive levels of fear and tension between the public and the police. This only increases the odds of an innocent officer being harmed. When people say Blue Lives Matter in an effort to reject Black Lives Matter, I always wonder if they’re considering how those who dishonor the badge are harming their better fellow officers.
“Privilege comes in all colors on this rock.”
I’m not sure what you meant by this. Can you clarify?
I agree that social distancing is still important.
The racial tension already exists.
It dies in the bright light.
Keep on protesting.
Shame on Eric Woods and shame on the fellow who broke his window!
No violence during protest is ever justified — not the man who punched the young man nor the man who threw a rock threw the rear window of the truck (he could have killed the guy. “Hate begets hate; violence begets violence; toughness begets a greater toughness. We must meet the forces of hate with the power of love… Our aim must never be to defeat or humiliate the white man, but to win his friendship and understanding.” MLK JR — we so need you right now……wrong is wrong and both should answer to the law.
Advocating for pacifism in response to injustice is the same thing as supporting the status quo. America has a hard heart. Dr. King, whose name you so misuse and whose peaceful tactics you so admire, could not change that knot of racial sourness American consciousness. Pacifism would be even less effective, now. Waving signs changes nothing –nothing– and it is the easiest thing in the world for the powers that be to ignore peaceful marches. We marched against the middle east wars. Our soldiers are still there. We put on pink hats and took selfies when our president took office. He is still there.
The positive developments we have seen this week are not the result of peaceful marches but of the just disruption of righteously angry protesters. Before the violence and the upheaval, none of the policemen were under arrest. Not Derek Chauvin, the man who murdered Floyd. Not the other three officers whose silence and inaction made them accomplices to that murder. Across this country, we now see a full awareness of the injustice of our police system. It is impossible to ignore. Police chiefs are getting fired. Police departments are having their funding cut. These are not the results of peaceful protest, but rather of justified violence. Save the pacifism for church.
Irresponsible lack of social distancing, many people may not be able to breathe in a few weeks due to this ‘peaceful protest’. Not sure you’ll feel the same when you or a friend or relative is being intabated and put on a respirator.
Everyone I saw at the event was wearing a mask and small family groups stood close together, but with space between themselves and others.
That will include George Floyd.
Thank God people are standing up and protesting against moron cops.
Well here’s proof that every village has an idiot…and hey BS…nice sobriquet ????
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Attacked no one.
CHANGED THE WORLD.
Hot take: inspiring and historical figure, but he didn’t change the world and neither did the generation that experienced him and the civil rights movement.
What? President Obama resulted from that generation. Of course it’s not nearly enough but MLK changed so much that you don’t even notice.
The women’s movement and desegregation of schools may not have impacted your life, but they for many other Americans. Again, of course, it’s not enough.
The “woman’s movement” has been going long before the suffragette generation and continues right through today. But it was younger generations now in their 30s, 40s, and 50s that elected Barack Obama and equally if not more the African American vote — both of which had little to do with the MLK generation. Like I said, inspiring and historical, yes. Changed “the world” — not from what I’ve seen since a teen in the 80s. Desegregation is a good point, but it happened because of Brown vs. Board of Education, not because of the March on Washington. Know your history! 🙂
Dean, I was referring to Obama’s parents who were of different races. It was the first generation to mix more openly, although it was still illegal in many places. You are too young perhaps to appreciate what growing up as a girl was like for your parents generation. Desegregation didn’t happen in a vaccuum, neither did marches, sit-ins and protests.
And was still murdered.
By a white racist
Exactly. MLK is the perfect example of the no-win dynamic Black people have always faced in this country. One can argue he did everything “the right way” and yet that did not save his life. He is proof that Black people are in harm’s path no matter what. Some like to pretend that minorities can avoid a tragic fate if only they “behave”. Not true. There is irony in bringing up a Black man and essentially describing him as a model citizen and protester to make the opposite point without acknowledging that he, too, was STILL murdered for his peaceful efforts. Doesn’t this prove we have failed as a nation to stop the madness at its core? It’s now decades later, and the pattern hasn’t stopped.
So proud of our community for coming out to protest and show solidarity for Peace, take a stand for an end to racism and kneeling together for 7 minutes to honor George Floyd. How sad that 2/3 of this story was focused on the racist human trash that tried to sabotage it. MV TIMES – get your priorities straight and focus on what really matters; people doing good and showing up to protest the very mentality that caused these tragedies in the first place. This jerk deserved zero air time as does the Orange Menace Toxin in Chief.
We can’t pretend that Woods is the only community racist. Many others like him are on the island and the exposure they get from the Times is important. See who they are. It opens our eyes to reality. Yes, the peaceful protests are essential and express what many of us feel- and so is the exposure of the toxins. See his face. Know his name.
Post your name.
FYI, Hanley, the demand to know my name, when I choose to post anonymousy, according to how this comment feature functions, is creepy and borderline threatening. Creepy threats are why I post anonymously. Why don’t you demand to know any other anonymous poster’s name? Like I said, CREEPY.
We need to know the names and faces of violent, racist law-breakers in our community for obvious reasons. You do not need to know my name. I’m no law breaker. And the times when I push the rules too far in this forum, my comments don’t get past the moderators. If you don’t like how this newspaper chooses to run its comment feature, don’t use it. And if you’re in a snit that you used your own name to state a blatantly racist viewpoint about immigrants and I continue to call you out on it, don’t blame me and try to make me think you want to exact some sort of revenge– blame yourself and rethink your views, including if you still support Bunker Boy Racist Trump.
The only reason I asked to know your name is that you demanded the exposure of others who post anonymously here. You should not demand of others what you are unwilling to do yourself.
hanley— let me post my name — I am Don Keller– I live less than a half mile from the racist that got national attention for disrupting the protest at 5 corner a few days ago.You challenge jackie to reveal her full name ( her name is actually Jackie) . So, hanley, how do we know you are actually Hanley Clifford ? your real name could be Donald Duck –Who’s to know ?
My first name could be Frank, and I lie more than trump, .just to get off on lying .. because I might be a pathological liar…
Somewhere along the line i also missed Jackie demanding that people identify themselves– could you please link that to me ?
thanks.. Signed , suzie, or harry.or bill or Mohamed –.. or maybe I am really don– who knows ?
Dear Community: I finished reading all the comments re this issue, article. I am writing this looking at a picture of my Great Grandfather in his Civil War Uniform. Wounded at Vicksburg, healed up, went back to fight again, came out grievously injured for life, filed for his Civil War Pension, I have all his papers involving this. My heart is so heavy as I see the strife and anger and, in some, pure meanness in this remarks and comments. I had a heavy heart when the plaques were removed from the statue in O B…..they were meant as conciliatory healing and in today’s climate, were mistakenly taken for racism. I really rather doubt many are truly wishing for peace. Violence, rioting, looting, black on black murders ignored in communities, yes, they are ignored, check the murder stats in cities that were being looted, that had nothing to do with the present situation. I am way too old and have lived long and experienced much to give up hope, I do find comfort in the words of DR Martin Luther King, Jr. and the words of “do unto others”, if we keep our heads and all work towards a solution.
More 13/90 reasoning. Anything to avoid sparing a single word for the issue at hand. You are wrong about what goes on in the Black community when it comes to addressing gun violence in cities. Did it ever occur to you that because Black people are the victims there, too, that their voices don’t get a lot of national coverage? This deflective talk is a contributing factor in this mess. A Black citizen has his or her rights violated. It has often been people who were in the process of committing no crimes. Some were even asleep in their own homes. Instead of unifying against this abuse of power, as should be automatic in a country that claims to have such high-minded principles, others come up with a kitchen-sink argument about race to distract from it. Completely disrespectful and inappropriate. Because Black Person A committed a violent crime in one state, we can ignore (as you have done) George Floyd’s death, or those like him, elsewhere? When they only thing these people have in common is skin tone? There is a word for that. I have never seen the murder of a wealthy white woman written off with references to the high rates of alcoholism or pill abuse among those who happen to share some identifying traits with her. I hope I never do. That would be equally absurd.
Still no answer from anyone on how police abuse can be reconciled with the demands for our constitutional rights that were trending among conservatives only a week ago. Once George Floyd was killed, that talk dried up. Conspicuous. We are living among those more concerned about COVID beach restrictions than torture and murder. These are the people I question wanting peace.
I don’t think MLK would approve of your comment, but we can’t ask him. He was peaceful and is now dead despite that. Or because of it.
Thank you, Aquinnah. As one of the undoubtedly “pure meanness” commenters, I tried really hard to let this one go, maybe in deference to age. But no, silence is worse than sounding “mean” when reality is at stake, so thank you for inspiring me not to stay quiet on this one.
Augusta, your comment is an example of the unaware but systemic racism plaguing our country today. Not only do you fail to mention the name George Floyd as you discuss this “issue” that this Times article is about, (Trump also did not mention George Floyd yesterday in even one of his 75 tweets) or offer an ounce of sympathy for his brutal murder, or any support for those who’ve come out to protest his death, you bemoan the removal of those damn Civil War plaques! How easy it is for a white woman to celebrate two white guys from opposite sides on the Civil War, forgiving each other. How very white of them. Did these conciliatory white folks ask any former black slaves for reconciliation, or don’t Black Lives Matter when you think about those plaques? What did tortured, maimied and killed black slaves live and die for, by the way, as opposed to your grandfather’s honorable service to this country? Where are their photos today? Do you know there are still white suprematists fighting for what the Confederacy stood for, too?
Ignorance and avoidance of the black experience in America affords you the white, Christian luxury of having these photos and papers of ancestors to look at in your old age in the first place. While that’s very nice for you, what do black americans have to honor their past? Stories of lynchings and torture? Why is it so hard to imagine that your view is from a privileged white point of view, and that it ignores entirely what the black experience view is. As far as what was well covered by Aquinnah in her response to you, as you throw black-on-black crime into the pot, do you know about redlining? Systemic poverty? Jim Crow? Segregation? Don’t you wonder what it is in our system that makes black schools in poor communities less well equipped and with lower teacher salaries than schools in wealthier neighborhoods? Why is the coronavirus and healthcare in general so much worse in black and brown communities? Do you know that a poor white family can still get approved more easily for a mortgage than a middle income black family?
Can you imagine what it must be like to go about your business while being black in this country, especially, if, like George Floyd, you are a large male with very dark skin? Did you ever have to have “the talk” to your children about how to keep their hands in view and always say yessir if they’re stopped by a cop for no reason other than driving while black? Unfortunately, you are not the only one who expresses open blindness and lack of compassion for experiences from the “other” America, the one you apparently know nothing about. Why have you not taken the time to learn about the other America? There are excellent authors from your generation that could open your eyes to the black experience, writers like James Baldwin, Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison. Did you ever read any Maya Angelou? There is much in the black literature genre that could help you “do unto others” in a nicer way. Reading is a good way to travel to worlds that are not so white as yours, especially during this pandemic.
While lecturing others, you can tell yourself that in your life you do practice “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. If that actually were the case, however, things would not come out leaving you feeling happy. What you do, think, and say here about the “others”, should every bit of it come come back unto you, in the same spirit with which you dish it out here, you would not feel at all comforted. Consider this response an example of how the “Do unto others” spiel actually works. This comment from you, Augusta, is probably one of the most disheartening things I have read on here. The racism in this country is deep, utterly oblivious, and unwilling to budge. Racism is a plague as bad as the coronavirus. Young people are our only hope now.
The great thing about these nationwide protests is that we have reached a consensus: abuse by any white police against any minority will no longer be tolerated! It’s about time.
BFranklin– perhaps you might want to re phrase your comment. I don’t think we should in any way suggest that a black police officer abusing a black person, or a white person, or a white police officer abusing a white person is acceptable. We focus on the obvious racial bias on cases such as this , but it should be noted that the majority of fatalities caused by police are in fact causation. Now of course , that is a static, and of course the word “minority” has a meaning. Citizens of color are dying at disproportional rates. But– let me point out here, that police abuse and violence is not only a racial issue. it is an issue of power, and sometimes an abuse or misuse of that power.
A bigger issue here, is that local police departments across the country are increasingly becoming more militarized and obtaining military style weapons and training.
While Mr. Floyd’s death focuses us on the abuses of a small portion of dedicated police officers,in an even smaller genre of cases, let us not forget that with great power comes great responsibility.
We are fortunate to live in a community in which I believe only criminals fear the police. I hope some day all communities across our country will feel the same.
“to serve and protect” is a great motto.
And to the Tisbury police– kudos for the way you handled the situation at the peaceful protest .
And a heart felt thank you for your service.
We also have to remember that we normally only hear about the most extreme outcomes — the cases of unjustifiable homicide at the hands of police — making the root problem seem more rare than it is. General abuse of power happens on a daily basis in lesser forms. The profiling and harassment are constant. Yes, the way we grant that power has to be looked at more closely and responsibly. It has come out that two of the accused officers working with Chauvin had only been on the job a few days when George Floyd was killed. So the big question is why rookies were assigned to work under a man with endless complaints against him. This horrific outcome was not unpredictable. Had Chauvin been let go after he first proved untrustworthy, this may have never happened. I hope BFranklin is right and we won’t tolerate it any longer.
I am with you August and others, this national struggle continues on. Let’s take heart, strive to live out the ideals set from the very beginning, all are created equal. We must persevere, and not lose hope — nor give in to despair or despondency — that is what is so great in the peaceful protests — the signal that we will not stand for wrongdoing or oppression — we have to be willing to endure and fight for the change — it is not realized yet — far too many have been trodden on but the fight continues — as a nation under the rule of law — we must protest — ask for more accountability — not social media posing — and seek to cast/vote out those who refuse to strive for this ideal or are ineffective and making it come true– lastly we all need to assess the depths our own individual nature for bias, prejudice and oppresive thoughts — we all have them — and root them out and counter them with loving action. Never give up this strivng — reason, non-violent, perseverance –take heart all we can get the ball rolling on this beautiful land by the sea — charity love respect is what our nature seeks to be — surrounded by beauty we can begin anew.
I wanted to say a big THANK YOU to George Brennan and Jamie Kageleiry, the moderators of these comments, for giving the community the chance to speak to what divides us and what unites us. There is no other outlet on the island that allows for such freedom and such openness. The choice to be anonymous is a true gift. I know it is not an easy job to wade through the anger, pain, truths and untruths, boring rot, mental health issues, ignorance, and downright stupidity, but every single voice can be heard. The rules are pretty simple, and although I sometimes push them too far, I still appreciate that I can rethink the way I say something so that it conforms to the Times guidelines for commenting. I don’t comment at the other paper, but I read it and I noticed there are zero comments on all stories related to George Floyd, the island vigils and protests, and the incident of racist violence. I don’t know why there are no comments, but it is a constrast to the honest and courageous community-minded service of this newspaper– and to its commitment to represent who we really are– good, bad, ugly, and indifferent. Thank you very much.
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