What! After The March?

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:  info@4comculture.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.

How I See It : Mask Making

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.

Message To Our Spokane Brothas

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. info@4comculture.com

Why We Marched: 1965

Were You There?

In the summer of 1965 the people listed below and I shared a common experience. Hundreds of us shared this experience. The experience changed my life. Student and parent protests against the Chicago School Board were focused by CORE in 1962, reaching a peak in the summer of 1965 with the Daily Daley Marches from Buckingham Fountain to Mayor Richard J. Daley’s house to protest school segregation and conditions.

As my friend Earless Ross and I marched we asked individuals in the line why they marched. We gathered numerous testimonies from those marching with us. I would like to know how that experience affected their lives.

If you are one of those listed below, know any of them or other people who participated in the Daily Daley Marches, please contact me:

Robert “Bob” J. Lloyd
text: (509) 999-1263
rdlloyd@comcast.com subject: Why We March
3314 S Grand Blvd. Spokane WA 99203

Authors of the Statements

James G. “Allen Jr.”, Marla Bollin, Dave Canon, Kathy Casey, Mrs. Ronald Crawford, Jesse Daniales, Ken Davis, Arnelle Douglas, Clevon Edgerson, Charles E. Gant, Mrs. C. R. Gillies, Lucille Gipson, Walter D. Glanze, LeRoy Griffin, Elihu Harris, Jerry Herman, Carol Hill, William Hollins, Margaret Hollowell, Walter Ireland (Freloud?), Jesse Jackson, Nathaniel Jackson, Thomas Richard Joiner, Russell D. Jones, Oliver Julius, Sue Kaply, William Kennedy, Helen Kitterer, Joh Kles, Len Lazar, Marchain Lightfoot, Mrs. Limbo, Robert Lucas, Garrick Madison, John Maloney, LaMar McCoy, Earl D. Mosley, Bill Murphy, Jack Ongemach, W. Robinson, Earless Ross, Mary S (Sroges?), Chuck Sanders, Janice (?) Saylor, Mary Settles, Laurie Shortreed, Charles Smith, Fred Smith, Ollie M.Smith, Robert Shively, Dan Solomon, Dick Sroges, Jesse Stanton, Tanya Stewart, Peggy Terry, Cheryl Thompson, Barbara Wakefield, Margaret Walker, Patricia Washington, Harvey Weiner, Mrs. Williams, Ronald G. Williams, Susan Williams, James Wright, Cara Young
Coordinating Council of Community Organizations Statement Written by Marchain Lightfoot

Others involved whom I would like to contact: Ted Manheart, Pat Packard, Rita Walford, Dennis Shriver, Gerald Thomas.

Cover Art by Gerald Thomas 1965

Got Your POLST?

Physician Jerry LeClaire in his Indivisible email newsletter of Thursday April 8, 2020 shared this article from the New York Times in order that we can understand exactly what it means to be on a ventilator.

“I can verify everything Dr. Kathryn Dreger presents in her article. We all need to hear it, think about it, and proceed accordingly. Now might be the time to discuss with your loved ones how you want them to manage your care if the unthinkable happens.

If you live in Washington State and you do not already have a “Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment” (POLST), now might be the time to consider one. (Click here.)”

– Jerry LeClaire
 

What You Should Know Before You Need a Ventilator

It breaks my heart that patients who will get sick enough to need them won’t know what desperate situations they face.

By Kathryn Dreger

Dr. Dreger is a doctor of internal medicine in Northern Virginia and a clinical assistant professor of medicine at Georgetown University.

April 4, 2020 New York Times

Day by day, as the number of Covid-19 deaths soar, we see more clearly that many of us will not survive this storm.

In the most serious cases, breathing becomes so labored that ventilators have to be used to keep patients alive. That there may not be enough of these machines is horrifying and infuriating.

But even if there were, it breaks my heart that Americans who get sick enough to need them won’t know what desperate situations they face, nor will they understand what ventilators can do to help, and what they can never fix.

As hard as the facts may be, knowledge will make us less afraid.

Let me begin simply. When we take a breath, we pull air through our windpipe, the trachea. This pipe then branches in two, then again into smaller and smaller pipes finally ending in tiny tubes less than a millimeter across called bronchioles. At the very end of each are clusters of microscopic sacs called alveoli.The lining of each sac is so thin that air floats through them into the red blood cells. These millions of alveoli are so soft, so gentle, that a healthy lung has almost no substance. Touching it feels like reaching into a bowl of whipped cream.

Covid-19 changes all that.

It causes a gummy yellow fluid, called exudate, to fill the air sacs, stopping the free flow of oxygen. If only a few air sacs are filled, the rest of the lung takes over. When more and more alveoli are filled, the lung texture changes, beginning to feel more like a marshmallow than whipped cream.

This terrible disease is called acute respiratory distress syndrome. Covid-19 can cause an incredibly lethal form of this, in which oxygen levels plunge and breathing becomes impossible without a ventilator.

Specially trained health care workers insert a 10-inch-long tube connected to a ventilator through the mouth and into the windpipe. The ventilator delivers more oxygen into the lungs at pressure high enough to open up the stiffened lungs.

It’s called life support for a reason; it buys us time. Ventilators keep oxygen going to the brain, the heart and the kidneys. All while we hope the infection will ease, and the lungs will begin to improve.

These machines can’t fix the terrible damage the virus is causing, and if the virus erupts, the lungs will get even stiffer, as hard as a stale marshmallow.

“I feel like I’m trying to ventilate bricks instead of lungs,” one intensive care unit doctor who has been treating Covid-19 patients told me.

The heart begins to struggle, begins to fail. Blood pressure readings plummet, a condition called shock. For some, the kidneys fail completely, which means a dialysis machine is also needed to survive.

Doctors are left with impossible choices. Too much oxygen poisons the air sacs, worsening the lung damage, but too little damages the brain and kidneys. Too much air pressure damages the lung, but too little means the oxygen can’t get in. Doctors try to optimize, to tweak.

Nobody can tolerate being ventilated like this without sedation. Covid-19 patients are put into a medically induced coma before being placed on a ventilator. They do not suffer, but they cannot talk to us and they cannot tell us how much of this care they want.

Eventually, all the efforts of health care workers may not be enough, and the body begins to collapse. No matter how loved, how vital or how needed a person is, even the most modern technology isn’t always enough. Death, while typically painless, is no less final.

Even among the Covid-19 patients who are ventilated and then discharged from the intensive care unit, some have died within days from heart damage.

Even before Covid-19, for those lucky enough to leave the hospital alive after suffering acute respiratory distress syndrome, recovery can take months or years. The amount of sedation needed for Covid 19 patients can cause profound complications, damaging muscles and nerves, making it hard for those who survive to walk, move or even think as well as they did before they became ill. Many spend most of their recovery time in a rehabilitation center, and older patients often never go home. They live out their days bed bound, at higher risk of recurrent infections, bed sores and trips back to the hospital.

All this does not mean we shouldn’t use ventilators to try to save people. It just means we have to ask ourselves some serious questions: What do I value about my life? If I will die if I am not put in a medical coma and placed on a ventilator, do I want that life support? If I do choose to be placed on a ventilator, how far do I want to go? Do I want to continue on the machine if my kidneys shut down? Do I want tubes feeding me so I can stay on the ventilator for weeks?

Right now, all over the country, patients and their families are being asked to make these difficult decisions at a moment’s notice, while they are on the verge of dying, breathless and terrified.

If patients get worse after being put on a ventilator, critical care doctors are having to ask their family members what they want done. Covid-19 is too contagious to have these conversations in person, so they are being done over the phone. It is yet another heartbreaking reality of dying during a pandemic. Patients cannot tell us what they want. Family members aren’t able to be with patients and may not know what they would want.

No one can make these choices for us, and no one will know what choices we would make unless we tell them. If you don’t want to be put in a coma and placed on life support, please let your family know. Appoint the person you want to make decisions for you and let your doctor know your wishes. The truth is we are facing a disaster. Let’s not use up precious resources on someone who doesn’t want them. We will still care for you to the end, but we won’t put you on a machine if you don’t want to be on it.

If the person you love is on a ventilator right now, find out exactly how bad his or her lungs are. The doctors will tell you the truth. And the truth, no matter how painful, eases fear. The understanding that comes with it helps us make the best choices for the ones we love.

For a graphic presentation of what’s going on in the lungs from Covid-19, here’s a good video, courtesy of the New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/video/health/100000007056651/covid-ards-acute-respiratory-distress-syndrome.html

Super Hero! You Need A Mask

Thanks Fawna and David! We will wear our super masks proudly.

Super-Heroism 101 : You Need A Mask
By Yvor Stoakley

Dear Friends,
While the jury may still be out (sorry about the legal jargon…it means there is still no clear verdict on this issue), “Masks Save Lives” (https://www.maskssavelives.org/ ) makes some compelling arguments for wearing masks in public during this pandemic. We each have to weigh these arguments and make up our own minds but here are some of the points they offer for consideration:

Western countries are experiencing higher rates of COVID-19 infections compared to Asian countries where mask wearing is a more culturally accepted practice.

·       There is broad consensus that individuals who are infected and individuals who are contagious should wear a mask in the presence of other people to reduce the incidence of infecting others.

·       It is standard practice in hospitals for surgeons to wear masks to avoid transferring germs to their patients.

·       Masks can protect against transfer of aerosolized droplets that may contain viruses.

·       Wearing a mask during a pandemic is a courteous gesture towards other human beings.

·       Masks trap virus particles on the inside preventing them from becoming airborne.

·       Without sufficient testing and given that many COVID-19 carriers may be asymptomatic (i.e., not exhibiting symptoms) it is best to assume that everyone could be a carrier.

·       Masks are only one protective strategy and should still be combined with social distancing, coughing into your elbow, washing your hands frequently, and other appropriate practices.

·       Masks can be easily made from readily available materials without preventing healthcare workers, first e responders and others from having masks they vitally need.

·       N95 masks are better than surgical masks, but anything that prevents breathing in moisture particles with viruses helps.

We clearly need more research and hard data to confirm or illuminate the effectiveness of wearing masks. And it is always good advice to consult with a doctor. But in a time when every individual is called upon to do his or her small part to “flatten the curve” and mitigate the spread of the corona virus, we can all wear a mask in public or when interacting with other people. At any rate, while you are sheltered in place, give it some thought. 

And furthermore, remember that many fictional superheroes and defenders of justice (e.g., Zorro, the Lone Ranger, Black Panther, Raven, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, etc.) choose masks.* 

*In law school they taught us to try any argument that we thought might be persuasive.

Chef Avont Grant Helps Spokane

Chef Avont Grant (right) of No Li Brewhouse

WH!PSMART Washington Filmworks Newsletter

https://myemail.constantcontact.com/A-New-Creative-Community-Newsletter-for-Information-and-Inspiration.html?soid=1101623169518&aid=BooVCURLjZE

Chef Avont Grant from Spokane based No-Li Brewhouse has a passion for food and community. Despite the mandatory shut down of the restaurant, Chef Avont continues to cook good things up for the community including helping to raise over $17,000 for Big Table in support of Zome staffing – and using their kitchen in the mornings to make nutritious meals for Logan Elementary School. No-Li is also providing emergency meals to those unable to receive support from food banks, schools and other services during the COVID crisis.
We asked Chef Grant to share with us one of his favorite comfort food recipes that we can all make at home when we are on lock down. Take a look at Chef Grant’s Meatloaf recipe here !
In between community building and creating dishes in the kitchen, Chef Grant was kind enough to share with us what’ he’s doing to stay sane while everything is – well – insane!

How do you stay positive and creative during this time? I cook, because it makes me happy, it takes my mind off the outside world…even if it’s just an hour or two! I like experimenting in the kitchen and coming up with concoctions. Since I was 9 years of age I would cook with whatever we had in our bare cupboards and refrigerator…a lot of the time it wasn’t much! But that was the thrill of it; making something out of nothing. Growing up poor on the south-side of Chicago was tough, so I spent most of my time in the kitchen. I guess you could say the kitchen is my happy place! 
How can people support local businesses and restaurants during this time? Set aside a couple of days a week to order take-out from local restaurants. Try to buy big portion type meals, especially if it’s a local Asian or Italian restaurant. Meals that consist of some type of noodle or pasta are the best because they can be divided up into two meals. These meals freeze well and are easily reheated on the stove top!

Follow Avont Grant on Instagram @foodie_bartender.

If you’re lucky enough to live in Spokane, No-Li is open for take out. Stop by for a growler and grub to go!

http://www.nolibrewhouse.com/age-gate

Check them out on Instagram, too!

Help Name a New School After Ruben Trejo

EWU Professor Ruben Trejo 1937 – 2009

Spokane Public School District 81 is looking for nominations for names of new schools and buildings. We nominated Ruben Trejo for the new building for the On Track Academy located on the Shaw Campus. We also nominated Frances Scott (see the link) for the new middle school in NE Spokane on Foothills Drive.

Help Name a New School After Frances Scott

Spokane Public School District 81 is looking for nominations for names of new schools and buildings. We nominated Frances Scott for the new middle school in NE Spokane on Foothills Drive. We also nominated Ruben Trejo (see the link) for the new building for the On Track Academy located on the Shaw Campus.

Frances Scott 1921 – 2010

Scott was one of Spokane’s remarkable people – the city’s first African-American woman attorney, a teacher at Rogers High School for more than 30 years, a president of the Spokane Education Association and a president of the Washington State University Board of Regents.

She was also a forceful and stalwart leader in the local civil rights movement, which helped drag a recalcitrant Spokane toward equality. She believed in nonviolence, but don’t confuse that with meekness.

Listen to Scott in a 1982 talk: “We must exercise some degree of militancy … against slumlords, against Klansmen, against people who want no minorities in their neighborhoods, against racist textbooks and against politicians who thrive on bigotry. Otherwise, people will say in the future, ‘You were there. What did you do about it?’ ”

She grew up during the 1920s and 1930s, especially tough times for a black person aspiring to be a professional in Spokane.

When Scott was a student at Marycliff High School in the late 1930s, she and some of her high school friends went to the Davenport Hotel to interview the famous opera star Marian Anderson for the school paper.

The Davenport made Scott ride in the freight elevator.

“My white friends – bless their hearts – decided if I had to ride the freight elevator, they would, too,” she later said.

They couldn’t find Anderson’s room – for good reason. Anderson was black and the Davenport was lily-white in those days. The girls eventually found Anderson in a small hotel nearby.

Scott spoke often of the time when, as a girl, she had to have her appendix removed at a Spokane hospital. The hospital gave her a private room – but only so a white patient wouldn’t have to share.

“I suppose that was one of the advantages of being black,” she said, dryly. “But it was humiliating when you realize why I got the room to myself.”

She graduated from Marycliff and went on to Holy Names College. She married W. Vernon Scott, a Spokane chiropractor, while still in college – and that didn’t go over well with the nuns at Holy Names.

“The good nuns put her out because she married a divorced man in her senior year,” said her sister, Ruth Nichols, of Spokane.

Undeterred, Scott finished her degree at Whitworth College (now University) and then went on to get a master’s degree in education. This was 1958 – a time when the Spokane School District had only four black teachers, up from zero in 1950.

She was hired at Rogers because “my credentials were good enough for them to hire me without doing me a favor.” She would teach English and German there for more than three decades.

She was 54 when she decided to take on another academic challenge.

“She wanted her son to go to law school,” Nichols said. “And we all said, if you want a lawyer in the family, you should go yourself.”

So she did. She graduated from the Gonzaga University School of Law in 1979 – and became Spokane’s first African-American woman attorney. When she was sworn in to the bar, she said, “I want to be able to instruct, as well as represent, minority people in their dealings with the law.”

She went on to practice law on the side, taking mostly civil rights and pro bono cases, while still keeping her Rogers teaching job.

Scott soon found her law degree handy in an entirely new arena. In 1981 she was elected president of the teachers union, the Spokane Education Association. Her election was notable for at least one reason: She had been one of the few teachers to cross picket lines in a 1979 strike. She was able to convince her fellow teachers that she had been bound, as an attorney, to obey a court injunction that had ordered teachers back to work. She remained president of the union until 1983.

She was also deeply involved in the Spokane branch of the NAACP, in the Democratic Party and at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church.

Excerpted from Distinguished Woman Left Us a Legacy by Jim Kershner.

The Spokesman Review Sat. Oct. 23 2010

Super-Heroism 101 **************** You Need A Mask


Super-Heroism 101: You Need a Mask

By Chicago cousin Yvor Stoakley, Attorney

Dear Friends,

While the jury may still be out (sorry about the legal jargon…it means there is still no clear verdict on this issue), “Masks Save Lives” (https://www.maskssavelives.org/ ) makes some compelling arguments for wearing masks in public during this pandemic. We each have to weigh these arguments and make up our own minds but here are some of the points they offer for consideration:

·       Western countries are experiencing higher rates of COVID-19 infections compared to Asian countries where mask wearing is a more culturally accepted practice.

·       There is broad consensus that individuals who are infected and individuals who are contagious should wear a mask in the presence of other people to reduce the incidence of infecting others.

·       It is standard practice in hospitals for surgeons to wear masks to avoid transferring germs to their patients.

·       Masks can protect against transfer of aerosolized droplets that may contain viruses

·       Wearing a mask during a pandemic is a courteous gesture towards other human beings.

·       Masks trap virus particles on the inside preventing them from becoming airborne.

·       Without sufficient testing and given that many COVID-19 carriers may be asymptomatic (i.e., not exhibiting symptoms) it is best to assume that everyone could be a carrier.

·       Masks are only one protective strategy and should still be combined with social distancing, coughing into your elbow, washing your hands frequently, and other appropriate practices.

·       Masks can be easily made from readily available materials without preventing healthcare workers, first e responders and others from having masks they vitally need.

·       N95 masks are better than surgical masks, but anything that prevents breathing in moisture particles with viruses helps.

We clearly need more research and hard data to confirm or illuminate the effectiveness of wearing masks. And it is always good advice to consult with a doctor. But in a time when every individual is called upon to do his or her small part to “flatten the curve” and mitigate the spread of the corona virus, we can all wear a mask in public or when interacting with other people. At any rate, while you are sheltered in place, give it some thought. 

And furthermore, remember that many fictional superheroes and defenders of justice (e.g., Zorro, the Lone Ranger, Black Panther, Raven, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, etc.) choose masks.* 

Best regards, 

Yvor 

*In law school they taught us to try any argument that we thought might be persuasive.