We have many styles but we are uniting. For unity with purpose. Buy a sign place it in your yard or window let us know that you’re with us.
Robert Lloyd, Spokane Civic Activist, May 30, 2020
What do you want?
By now we’ve all seen what’s happening in Minneapolis, Detroit, Louisville, Atlanta, New York, Washington DC, Phoenix, Denver, Columbus, Dallas, Chicago, Memphis, Bakersfield, Albuquerque, Los Vegas, Oakland, San Jose, Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle and more – twenty plus and growing – due to the killing of Floyd. The question is why and who benefits from these protests. We all know the why – systemic racism and injustice for people of color and the poor. But who benefits?
We have all seen this before – be it Martin Luther King’s death Memphis, be it the Rodney King beating in Los Angeles, the Chicago fire truck killing, be it Ferguson, Trayvon Martin in Florida, Eric Garner in New York, Freddie Gray in Baltimore, Orlando Castile in Minnesota. The lists goes on. The question is “Who benefits?”.
All of these demonstrations had three components. There are those who want to mourn. The parents and loved ones will bring flowers, teddy bears and pictures of the person lost.
There are those who will hold non-violent protests. The politicians, the ministers and the status quo organizations will express their dissatisfaction with articulate speeches and venting rhetoric.
Here are some of those who on Sunday May 31 between 2 and 4 pm non-violently protested the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers. They met at 2 pm at Spokane’s Riverfront Park and marched to the Spokane County Courthouse and Spokane City Courthouse/Jail. I asked those pictured here to tell us in their own words WHY THEY MARCHED.
And then there are those who will co-opt your non-violent protests. The extreme left and right, the anarchists and those who would like to destroy your community, institutions and trust with violence and chaos and destruction. Sometime after 5 pm and late into the evening groups like this looted downtown Spokane stores, broke windows and had confrontations with police that resulted in their use of flash bangs, bean bags, rubber bullets, and tear gas canisters.
After demonstrations like this people will go back home to cynicism, apathy, complacency, self-medication and risky behavior, and party and bull shit and party and bull shit. And there will be no change. The question should be what is it that you want and what is the price you are willing to pay and how do you go about getting it.
Will you build a grass root organization?
If so form small groups of 5 – 10 people. Get to know and vet who your people are. Are they actors, allies or accomplices? Are they people who will sit down and meet regularly to discuss strategies and planned actions? Meet in a public place or Zoom. Let us know what your results are at 4comculture.com. Email info to: email@example.com
I’d suggest that you make this message go viral through your social media outlets. I’d suggest that you print this out on your home printer and distribute it at upcoming non-violent protests. You can become a civic activist and work between horrific events and elections.
Make masks for Blue voters / Let Red go to church / Blue pray at home
Sometimes we can’t wait on the cavalry!
Let’s put the wagons in a circle.
The battle has begun!
We are under attack, we must do the best we can with what we have.
The creative will have the best chance for survival.
It’s good to be prepared and independent but in times like this we need to be inter-dependent.
What does it mean to be a brotha? Is that a term based upon skin color or ethnicity or is it an understanding of common goals? We are in a war that’s being fought on two levels. One is the immediate problem with COVID-19. The other is the systemic problems that lead to a disproportionate number of deaths among people of color and the poor.
If we are brothas we need to support each other in this war at both levels. We need to support each other in measurable ways, not just throw around cultural symbols. We need to start by asking little things of each other.
- If you are a friend you will wear a mask because it protects you from me and me from you.
- We need to believe in and support the idea of one justice indivisible. If you don’t know what I am talking about a starting point would be The 14 Principles listed at 4comculture.com.
- The Spokane School District Board of Education wants to name several new school buildings. It would be nice if two of those schools were named after people of color. You can nominate someone: Nomination Link. I have nominated Frances Scott and Ruben Trejo.
- It would be good to let us know your personal level of commitment: Ally, Actor or Accomplice. See page at 4comculture.com.
- You need to have an online presence. You need to let your other brothas know what it is you stand for. One simple way to do this is to participate in online posting and messaging at Facebook.
- Let’s become civic activists. Participate in local social justice organizations or engage in new methods of non-violent action that include physical, virtual and hybrid actions.
- We each need to develop a social justice budget. It would be nice if you would donate on a regular basis to the things that you believe in. Let me suggest that you make a donation to anybody or any group that you choose, but do it in the name of Spokane Brothas. The reason I suggest doing that is to build a power base that would be respected. I would suggest a budget that would express your volunteer time as well as your cash contributions. For example a budget of $100 a month could include:
- Volunteering: 7 hours a month at the national minimum wage of $7.25 per hour would be about a $50 in-kind contribution. What if you showed up to volunteer in a Brothas T-shirt?
- Send a check to the Black Lens. About $4.00 a month buys a subscription.
- Contribute to an informational issue campaign. For example about $16 pays for a MailChimp service that will send your message to a mailing list of thousands that you have built. In times of quarantine and isolation you have to find ways other than community meetings to deliver information about your issues. You could buy a yard sign with your message or issue or candidate.
- Give $20 to local and/or regional progressive organizations or blue political parties – to the same organization/s every month so they can feel your presence.
- Give $10 to national progressive organizations or blue political parties – to the same organization/s every month so they can feel your presence.
If we only had 14 brothas contributing at this level this would be $1400 per month or $16,800 per year. Imagine what would happen if we had 100 brothas.
Your comments are welcome. If I haven’t heard from you by June 12, I will assume you are not interested.
Bob L. firstname.lastname@example.org
This year we gathered as usual Sunday January 19 at Holy Temple Church of God in Christ for the Commemorative Celebration. Monday January 20 we gathered at the Spokane Convention Center for a video presentation about the MLK East Central Community Center, inspirational speeches, Max Daniels of House of Soul gave his rendition of A Change Is Gonna Come with a slide presentation that illustrated previous MLK rallies and CLICK: Those Who Showed Up during the year to speak to power, marched around several blocks downtown, and returned to the Exhibit Hall where Michael Moon Bear youth drummers entertained.
But there were only two action steps suggested.
One was that we spread the love and brotherhood of Dr. King’s teachings and the other was that we show up February 3 at City Hall to ask the City Council to rename the East Central Community Center as the Martin Luther King Community Center.
People leave these rallies without knowing what they can do. What will you do between now and when we gather again in January 2021 for the MLK rally and march? In the next few weeks there are the impeachment proceedings followed by the campaigns for the presidential and other elections in November. We need to get busy.
100 Discussion to Action Groups
If you believe in CLICK: These Principles we need you to go to your local coffee house and form a discussion group with five to ten individuals to discuss issues, plan strategies and take actions. Begin building the community you want to live in. We want to build 100 of these discussion groups. If we have 100 discussion groups we will be able to turn out 500 to a 1000 people to demonstrate, to knock on doors, to participate in social justice activities. Regardless of whomever is elected we will have built the movement we need to support the human rights and social justice changes that Sam Cooke wrote about in one of the greatest songs of all time A Change is Gonna Come.
If you want to join us TEXT (509) 934-3933 with your name, email address and zip code. We will let you know about discussion groups in your area.
Here are some things that you can do immediately:
Read 198 Methods of Nonviolent Action. Click: https://4comculture.com/archives/14129
Read about the 12 things needed for a movement. Click: Where Do You Want to Start?
Listen to Shaun King’s podcast and take his action steps. Click: The Breakdown
Make phone calls or knock on doors to share your support.
Invite your friends and relatives to a Fill Out Your Ballot Party.
Get a sign for your yard, a t-shirt or button to show your support.
This message is the unsolicited opinion of the editors of 4comculture.com.
“A Path To Tolerance”, selections from over a decade of quiet observations, will be on exhibit at the EWU Downtown Gallery in Cheney Washington. It includes the exhibit “If You Really Knew Me”.
Below is a review of “If You Really Knew Me” by Jeff Mooring.
I am seldom moved enough to feel compelled to write about art. Somewhere in my head it’s the equivalent of trying to tell someone about a great song, instead of just playing it for them or droning on and on about a game that happened days ago. But compelled I am. The art in this case is the exceptionally well-conceived and executed work of a longtime friend Mr. Robert Lloyd.
Let me start by saying it’s one thing to capture the beauty and energy of a subject which he’s done, but Mr. Lloyd has surpassed that with his vivid, brilliantly colored, larger than life portraits of several women. His subjects, these eye-catching women, are of varying races, ages and stations in life. It’s my understanding that Robert achieved this dazzling effect with some high-tech, modern day alchemy of photography and computer technology. The details of which are far beyond my pay grade and simply don’t matter much when standing in front of these works. But imagine if you would, you stand being transfixed by each portrait and then you’re made aware, as they say in the TV infomercials, “but wait there’s more”. With a quick and easy loading of an app called “Cherry Pix” you can simply aim your phone at a portrait and the image comes to life and you get to hear the story of triumph behind each and every one of these beautiful souls.
The technology I believe is called augmented reality. The film clips were captured, edited and packaged by a local team at Community Minded TV and this collaboration was backed by an entity called The Alliance for Media Arts + Culture. It all comes together seamlessly due to exceptional talents and craftsmanship to be one of the most moving experiences in art that I’ve seen in my 30 some odd years of viewing.
The show titled “If You Really Knew Me” is on exhibit at the East Central Community Center, 500 S. Stone, with plans to travel. Do yourself a favor and make some, take some time… to see this exceptional effort with stories and images that are moving and interconnected in ways that I won’t spoil for you. It costs nothing to enter and may well give you an experience of relating to the lives of these beautiful women that you won’t soon forget, and you’ll feel compelled to tell others about, as have I. If You Really Knew Me by Robert Lloyd