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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
People of Color Legislative Conference Areas of Focus Discussion for Spokane Region Saturday, October 12th, 2019
The summit has three main goals: 1) to stimulate dialogue between diverse POC organizations, community leaders, and state legislators of color to build statewide solidarity, unity and mobilizing capacity on the most important issues to our collective communities of color; 2) to organize a platform for community leaders of color to develop a Legislative Agenda of top priorities for the Senate and House Members of Color Caucus (MOCC) to push forward; and 3) to come out with a working list of who’s working on what issue in what region, so that organizations across the state can build on momentum made at the summit. This is not meant to pre-empt any individual community’s legislative priorities, only build a resource for connecting people and organizations with shared issues.
Racial Justice Community Leaders
“Racial Justice Community Leaders” were invited to the summit and asked to bring their organization’s legislative priorities and were “welcome to invite POC community leaders you know to register for the event.”
Community Leaders of Color
The purpose of the summit was to hear from and connect people of color community leaders and legislators of color to build solidarity and mobilizing capacity across the state for issues that are of highest priority to our collective communities of color.
Below are Spokane’s top 10 priorities for each of the categories discussed.
Racial and Criminal Justice
End cash bail
Decriminalize driving with 3rd degree suspend license
I-1000 (pro) affirmative action (ref. 88 on ballot)
Expedition of voting rights restoration of people with felonies
HB 1517: Risk assessment, etc. for DV and IPV (need racial equity lens plus broader rep from impacted population)
Rights and education for women who enter prison while pregnant
True blood legislation
Housing, Homelessness, Displacement, & Human Services
Statewide rent control
Just cause eviction statewide
Fair chance housing
Enhance reentry housing
More $ for permanent affordable housing
Civil-legal aid/right to council for eviction court
Build in rent grace period or remove 3 notice protection revocation
Decriminalizing public camping
Universal voluntary access to ECAP
Full day kindergarten, Headstart
Raise ECAP poverty threshold so more people qualify
Cultural competence for Pre-K teachers
Increase support for teachers plus families for accessing development resources
Fund to provide disciplinary diversion to keep kids in classroom
More teachers/authority figures of color
Race pay equity-equal pay
Racial health equity (tied for first priority)
Consideration of voting rights/participation in underrepresented communities (tied for first priority)
Ask for expulsion of Matt Shea (tied for second priority)
More $ resources towards impact of nuclear industry on communities of color (tied for second priority)
If you want to know what organizations and individuals registered for the event and represented people of color in our Spokane community, contact Terri Anderson and Jac Archer, the facilitators of the Spokane summit.
We have all been to many meetings and rallies at the end of which no one knows what they can do. If you participate in demonstrations, rallies and social media you need to go to your local coffee house and have a discussion with five to ten individuals about what you can do about racial and social justice and community development. Begin building the community you want to live in. We want to build 100 of these coffee discussion groups. You may want to come to one of these listed below. Or start your own and let us know. Be sure to invite someone from the affected classes.
There are now several First Thursday* Coffee and Discussion groups:
First Thursday Coffee & Discussion East Central Community Center 10 am (Resumes March 4, 2020) 500 S Stone
First Thursday Original Coffee & Discussion 10:00 am Clark’s Fork (meets 2nd & 4th Thursdays) 1028 N Hamilton St #100, Spokane, WA
First Thursday Evening Discussion 6 – 8 pm Location varies. TEXT (509) 934-3933 and ask for location.
African American Men’s Discussion TEXT (509) 934-3933 and ask for date, time, location.
*These groups originally started out on the First Thursday of each month. Now they meet on the dates and times established by each group.
Call to Participation
Those interested in racial and social justice Those interested in community development 5-10 people meeting regularly for deep discussion Willing to meet regularly to plan strategies and take actions
As with the ancient art of paper folding/shaping, we’re all in this together. 4comculture.com is a focused effort to guide and shape the good energies and efforts of various groups in Spokane into something singular, something beautiful, something wonderfully effective. With your permission and your help our goal is to be a one stop, centralized, trusted connection point for what’s happened, what’s happening and what we can do together to affect what happens in the future of our community. In this age of Facebook, Instagram, the Internet and Inboxes, there’s no excuse for “I didn’t know, I wasn’t aware, and I would’ve helped.”
Make a huge statement by clicking Contact Us in the menu under the banner above and typing “Yes I care” in the Subject line of the Contact Us box that appears, also sharing your name and email address. Part of our mandate, that we take very seriously, is to never abuse your trust, share your information or misuse your very very valuable time.
“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