Even more, after the news of the past few weeks and most recently, I am afraid for my son, a black man. I am afraid for my two black adopted brothers and for young men of color everywhere, as the world becomes browner. When things occur in the world, I am moved to address our parent body, but I have spent days with no words—only feelings of the deepest sadness, anger, fear and resolve to resist this virus of racism that keeps infiltrating our communities. In my morning walk, I kept looking up at the flag in front of City Hall, saying ‘why isn’t the flag at half-mast?’ This is such a devastation for our nation. Why aren’t we mourning the hearts of individuals across the nation as we strive to
try to put our feelings around this atrocity somewhere?
I understand the number of protests that are occurring around the US and the Bay Area, as there is a horrible helplessness that who we feel we are as humans is defied by what we see—even now. Even now, we still have lessons to learn about humanity, racism, and otherness. Even now, we still have to self-check our own biases which spill out into our thoughts and actions. Even now, we must face the reality that deep down, we still have work to do every day.
Even now, we still have to self-check our own biases which spill out into our thoughts and actions. Even now, we must face the reality that deep down, we still have work to do every day.
This weekend, there will be protests everywhere. I implore you to make good decisions regarding these protests, whether you attend, watch on television or speak of them:
- If you feel moved to protest, please do it peacefully.
- Please remove yourself from any protest that begins to change from peaceful to violent in any way.
- Please do not condone violent protests in comments.
There is a very serious reason that I make this request. It is not simply because you should not risk being injured or arrested. There is an underlying stereotype about men of color—Black men specifically, that Black men are violent. Responding to this horrific situation with violence exacerbates the notion that Black people are violent and/or incite others to violence. This very notion is a part of what gives others the twisted belief that they must be violent toward Black men in order to be safe.
Please give the utmost of respect to Black men nationwide by holding up the truth that this stereotype is incorrect, and that Black people can be promoters of peace, keepers of peace, and models of peace.
The flag of my heart is at half-mast, for the family of Mr. Floyd, for the families of so many disenfranchised people, so many people of color, Black and Brown men especially, for so many poor people who need justice. As Dr. King said, “true peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice.” We must stand for what is right, for the lives of our children are at stake.
Dr. Cindy Acker
May 29, 2020