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.
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.
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.
“This” is our Values: Can We Get Consensus On This? We believe in justice for all * We believe in lifting up the disadvantaged * We believe in dismantling unjust criminalization systems * We believe in equal protection under … Continue reading →
What Can We Do Spokane? How about inviting 5-6 people for coffee, tea or milk and have a DISCUSSION about how you can help The Poor People’s Campaign locally. After your meeting visit https://wp.me/P1UPVH-2Xj and use the Leave a Comment box to tell us about what you decided. Below is more information about the campaign. The national website is www.poorpeoplescampaign.org
Safety Pin Box benefits all people involved, but is specifically geared at supporting Black women & femmes who are contributing to the movement for Black lives.
Every month, Safety Pin Box will give one-time financial gifts to individual Black women who have demonstrated a commitment to serving Black people. Financial gift recipients will be featured in that month’s box at their discretion, and will be invited to contribute to that month’s task writing. Any and all Black women contributing to Black liberation in any way are encouraged to apply and recipients will be chosen at random each month from Black women applicants in our pool. The more subscribers we have, the more Black women we can support. Subscription fees, as a form of reparations, go directly to supporting Black women freedom fighters every month.
Steve joined us for Thursday’s Coffee discussion. This week we discussed developing grassroots community building on the precinct level. He said we may want to put in a proposal at Spokane’s KYRS radio for airtime. He left us a copy of the June schedule so that we might see the programs the station is presently airing.
We are looking it over for future programing.
We could discuss the need for GRASSROOTS community organizers INSIDE OR OUTSIDE of the two party system. We at the first Thursday coffee discussion group have discussed how to build the community we would like to live in and now it’s time to take the next step.
Have a house party meeting. Open your house. Invite your neighbors to have a discussion about participating in a democratic process built from the grassroots of your community.
Meet regularly and report back to a First Thursday coffee discussion group. If you are not currently participating in a First Thursday group, form one with other citizen activists with whom you would like to meet and discuss political, social justice and cultural concerns.
Define a job description for what a community organizer might do.
If you’ve been marching, protesting, rallying and complaining about your government you need to go to My Vote. After logging in with your name and birth date, click on Voter Registration Details to find your precinct number.
When was the last time you heard from your Precinct Committee Officer?
PUBLISHER’S NOTE: STeve is looking for VISUAL, PERFORMING AND LITERARY artists to interview on his program “Spokane Open Poetry”. He DOesn’t JUDGE, JUST allows you TO SHARE WHAT YOU ARE ABOUT!
The Spokane Open Poetry Program is for of all ages. He is waiting to hear from you. Spokaneopenpoetry@kyrs.org
If you read The Black Lens News or ask Sandy she can tell you when & where.So What’s Next? What Support is Needed? Have A Seat At Your Own Table!!
What’s the Next Step? Subscribe to the Black Lens News, write an article in the Black Lens News, follow 4comculture.com. 4comculture has been posting events and things you can do. Become media literate and savvy. When your politicians hold town hall meetings show up. This past week there were two. If you weren’t there, here they are: