Today begins the August campaign of "Infiltrate Oak Park."
What does that word mean to you? Is it powerful? Does it get your attention?
It should. What it should not do is create fear.
Black and Brown folks spend a lot of time being taken out of context...
On the street
On the job
In our skin
Often we are misunderstood because it is easier for those in power to ignore that which makes us more than they can imagine. We are powerful and we have within us something they don't have and prefer not to understand. We make every effort to participate fully in our nation home, yet we must be on alert to be ready to defend our flesh. We do so to further our existence because it is difficult being brown in white spaces. We are choosy as to where we place our bodies because preserving our spirits and souls often takes precedence over educating those who do not wish to be educated
When you hear a person say "The struggle is real." Believe that, but.......
Don't question that.
If a person says their head hurts, is it your job to convince them otherwise? NO.
If a person says their wooden chair causes them pain, is it your job to suggest they find a softer chair? NO.
If we say we are not happy with the negative effects "urbanization" and gentrification have had on the lives of our people...Your job is to empathize with us and offer comfort through our pain. Do not chastise us for not "pulling up our bootstraps" or because we just could not "get over it." Please remain without judgement or "advice" geared toward stroking your own ego or soothing your privileged sensitivities to a problem that must eventually be addressed .
If we say the neighborhood association is ignoring the voices of the unheard, do you talk over us or explain why we are wrong?
Your role in our battle is to offer empathy, not constructive criticism.
If this is a struggle for you, then know that we're not leaving.
Open heart. Open mind. Closed mouth.
This type of treatment is what causes people of color to steer clear of white spaces. We want to feel like we belong without being singled out as a novelty or something out of place. When we show up on the Wine Train, don't trip. We like to enjoy the same things you do. The color of our skin should not confuse you as to our presence. Where we belong is where we belong, and if that is right next to you at the next Neighborhood Association meeting, then so be it.
On April 8th Sacramento Police came into contact with Dazion Flenaugh. One Sacramento police officer made extremely careless choices, and created an unnecessary situation that lead to Dazions death.
Not once has this city council discussed the killing of this unarmed Black man.
Not once has his name been on the agenda.
Not once has the city ensured that his families voice was heard or that this incident was treated like Dazions life mattered..