This Is Why We Infiltrate!

INFILTRATE!

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

On television

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?

NO. 

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.

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BLM Sacramento Weekly Blog --- Shedding Our Skin of Collective Apathy and Waking Up to a Transformative New Day

Change always comes. In most things we notice it after the fact, often in a passive and fleeting glance back to where we forgot we had started from. But some change is brutal --- propelled not by trends and generational understandings --- but, instead, by upheavals in the very earth of our society. The last two weeks have forced our nation and our city painfully forward in the fight for Black liberation. Alton Sterling’s murder, may he rest in power, pulled a trigger in the movement for Black lives. We can’t un-watch his state sponsored execution. They can’t lie over and over again and hope the people will believe in a false narrative of justice forever. Sometimes the ground quakes and our roots poisoned by centuries of white supremacy are again exposed --- and, to be sure, this City of Trees has more than our fair share of poisoned roots.

On July 6th, I was in my car in the parking lot of Safeway on Alhambra when I clicked on Philando Castile’s last moments. How easily we have accepted watching public lynching passively in the palms of our hands. This was the moment when I understood how bloody mine had become. I was feeling energized by attending the Sacramento Community Police Commission’s public ad hoc committee on transparency and accountability. BLM Sacramento organized an event where we voiced a desire for transparency by the immediate release of all information, including video footage, of any officer involved shooting. We demanded our law enforcement agencies provide affected families with respectful treatment and timely notification. We insisted that our “community” police commission be mandated with oversight powers, so that real police accountability will arise from community-led policing. We talked about trust, and the absence of it, between LEOs and communities of color. We discussed how divestment in a racist policing system, coupled with an investment in community programs, would shift the violence in our city. We talked about Dazion and the very recent instances of police extrajudicial murder locally. We said his name. We uplifted his name. Afterwards we walked from City Hall chambers to the outside grounds bathed in twilight to hold a vigil for Alton. Dozens of Sacramento community members joined us in outrage. There was something buzzing in the ether. Something pulled off blinders, and open, angry-eyed Sacramentans joined in the fight for Black lives.

So, yeah, I felt like things were charged and I was grateful to be part of the change. Then I clicked on the Facebook Live video. If Alton’s assassination had pulled yet another trigger on the US’s 300-year-old racist police brutality crisis, then Philando, Diamond, and that precious baby girl’s nightmare turned the gun squarely on its citizens. Baton Rouge to Minneapolis, New York to Sacramento --- we felt the earth quake with the blood of the dead and the pain of the living --- the energy balance had shifted and we began peeling back the dirty layers of our bloody skin.

Sacramento, not often in touch with its radical activism, got real woke, real fast. Unprecedented numbers of people, some never having attended public displays of dissent, joined Black Lives Matter Sacramento in several community actions. Change --- once the momentum ignites --- is inevitable, and our city is collectively digging up our poisoned roots.

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Freedom Fighters: Making the Connections

Today.

I was wrecked by Orlando. This blog should have been written on Sunday, five days ago, but I didn't even have words back until today. I have been existing in a strange daze somewhere on the other side of sorrow and rage. Simply wrecked.
 
Go back two weeks.


Sitting in the sun blaring parking lot, waiting for BLM Sacramento’s press conference to call out the Elk Grove Unified School District for allowing Nyree Holmes, a young Black student to be escorted out of his own graduation ceremony by three law enforcement officers for the non-crime of proudly wearing an African Kente cloth, Tanya, BLM Sacramento founder, looks down, phone in hand, and says, "They convicted her, an all-white jury, for lynching. A Black woman?!?"

Go back 9 months.


Pasadena, home to a 14% Black population inundated with social and economic issues created through systemic anti-Black racism, and work space for Jasmine Abdullah, a young, bright, Black freedom fighter who invests her life in the love and uplifting of her community. On August 29th, after holding a peaceful rally to bring attention to the murder of 19-year-old, unarmed, Kendrec McDade, Jasmine observed a young woman across the street being chased by a local restauranteur for not paying her bill. After police arrived and several large officers attempted to take the petite 20-year-old woman into custody, Jasmine and fellow protesters try to protect her from a biased police department that has continually proven that young Black detainees don’t come out alive. Jasmine is shown in the video to be voicing concern for her friend and begging them to not hurt her. This is what Black love looks like. No longer willing to wait for the ensuing vigils, rallies, and demands set forth after state violence has already occurred, Jasmine literally and figuratively reaches out her arms to her sister and attempts to take her home. Two days later, Jasmine is arrested for felony lynching amongst a host of other convoluted charges.

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Demands for City Council Regarding SacPD's Murder of Dazion Flenaugh

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..

 

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I Know Black Lives Matter, But What Can I Do? -- Black Lives Matter Sacramento Weekly Blog Update

  

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On Saturday June 4, Black Lives Matter Sacramento hosted a vigil for Dazion "Jerome" Flenaugh, murdered by Sacramento City Police Department on April 8, 2016. Another life gone with no answers.

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What You Need to Know about Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones -- Black Lives Matter Sacramento Weekly Blog Update

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***This post includes updates from BLM Sacramento blogging crew, and ends with a fascinating profile of Scott Jones by guest blogger, Monica Chan.***

UPCOMING EVENTS: 

SATURDAY June 4 at 7:00pm: Join us in support of Dazion "Jerome" Flenaugh's family at our Candlelight Vigil. We aren't hearing his name in the news and we aren't getting answers from the Sacramento City Police Department about the circumstances surrounding his murder by officers. Come stand with us and show his family that we know Jerome's life mattered. 

TODAY: Read about our press conference today, June 1 at the Elk Grove School District. We addressed the African American student who was removed by sheriff's deputies from his high school graduation for wearing kente cloth.  We issued demands to the district to develop non-violent ways of resolving dress code policy, and more culturally competent school policy development. 

Read below for the latest on what Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones is up to now. 

 

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Celebrating Malcolm X and Reflecting on 21st Century White Allyship in the Movement for Black Liberation -- Black Lives Matter Sacramento Weekly Blog Update

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In this post... 

  • Upcoming Events to Stay tuned for
  • See pics from Malcolm X BBQ- So many folks came out to celebrate Malcolm X and his unwavering commitment to black liberation.  
  • Reflections on White Allyship, an issue that Malcolm X confronted, and on which he held evolving views, after his Hajj to Mecca. 

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Happy Birthday Malcolm! Come celebrate with us! -- Black Lives Matter Sacramento Weekly Blog Update

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Malcolm X, from The Ballot or the Bullet:

"So today, though Islam is my religious philosophy, my political, economic and social philosophy is black nationalism. ...

The political philosophy of black nationalism only means that if you and I are going to live in a black community – and that's where we're going to live, 'cause as soon as you move into one of their….soon as you move out of the black community into their community, it's mixed for a period of time, but they're gone and you're right there all by yourself again. 

We must, we must understand the politics of our community and we must know what politics is supposed to produce. We must know what part politics play in our lives. And until we become politically mature, we will always be misled, led astray, or deceived or maneuvered into supporting someone politically who doesn't have the good of our community at heart.

So the political philosophy of black nationalism only means that we will have to carry on a program, a political program, of reeducation – to open our people's eyes, make us become more politically conscious, politically mature. And then, we will – whenever we are ready to cast our ballot, that ballot will be cast for a man of the community, who has the good of the community at heart. 

The economic philosophy of black nationalism only means that we should own and operate and control the economy of our community. You would never have found—you can't open up a black store in a white community. White man won't even patronize you. And he's not wrong. He got sense enough to look out for himself. It's you who don't have sense enough to look out for yourself". 

Read the BLM-Sac update below and get your Malcolm X playlist and other educational resources to learn about, or teach, Malcolm X's legacy. DON'T SLEEP on our party invitation for this Saturday (May 19) at McClatchy Park to celebrate Malcolm! Read more below. 

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Open letter to Dazion "Jerome" Flenaugh and his grieving family:

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Lost. You have been lost to an in-justice system that determined the value of your worth, the value of your life, based on the Blackness of your skin. 

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