Wednesday watch: Philando

Drummer Kendrick Scott created this moving and painful tribute to Philando Castile, who was shot by police in Minnesota while he was in his car reaching for his ID while his girlfriend and her daughter watched.

The video combines drumming with heartbreaking audio clips from the Facebook live video by Castile’s girlfriend Diamond Reynolds. Scott talked to Mic.com about the importance of highlighting these injustices through art, saying “The more and more we point it out in our art, we’ll show people what the real and true truth is.”

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Wednesday watch: Against the Wall

Harry Belafonte teamed up with black artists and activists for this simple and powerful video about police brutality. It features Michael B. Jordan (who also stars in an essential film on police brutality, Ryan Coogler’s Fruitvale Station), Michael K. Williams (The Wire) and more.

Why don’t white people believe people of color about racism?

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After the tragic police shootings of Terence Crutcher and Keith Lamont Scott, some white people fell into a typical offensive behavior pattern. Despite damning video evidence, they want to know more about the story. They insist that if black people only behaved a certain way, and taught their children to do the same, they wouldn’t have to worry about being killed by police.  Continue reading “Why don’t white people believe people of color about racism?”

Wednesday watch: 4 Black Lives Matter myths debunked

Many of us dread getting into a conversation with an “All Lives Matter” person. In the heat of this election season and the growing power of the Black Lives Matter movement, we’re likely to have a lot more discussions with people who cling to myths about BLM and what it represents.

As Franchesca Ramsey points out, we need to have these uncomfortable conversations in order to make progress. Her video offers a handy guide to debunking 4 common arguments people make against Black Lives Matter.

 

Wednesday watch: 23 ways you could be killed if you are black in America

One of the most heartbreaking things about the many tragic shootings of black people in the United States in recent years is that they send the message that any kind of behavior by black people can be seen as suspicious and threatening and cost them their lives. Opponents of the Black Lives Matter movement try to attribute blame to victims and prescribe what kind of behavior would have kept them safe. But as this simple, moving video featuring celebrities like Beyonce and Chance the Rapper shows, black people have been killed for mundane actions that any person should be able to do without fear for their lives.

 

For white people who believe Black Lives Matter

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A lot of well-meaning white people have asked ourselves what we would have done if we were around during the civil rights movement. It’s not a hypothetical any more. We no longer have the comfortable distance of history that allows us to reassure ourselves that we would have spoken up, we would have resisted, we would have supported black people fighting for their lives. Black people are fighting for their lives now. Today. Fifty years from now, we want to look back at this time and know we were on the right side of history. This is the true test of our ideals; to stay silent at this historic moment is a betrayal.  Continue reading “For white people who believe Black Lives Matter”

Wednesday watch: Jesse Williams at the BET Awards

If you’re like me, your social media feeds were full of people sharing actor and activist Jesse Williams’ acceptance speech at the BET Awards, and with good reason. His speech is a searing indictment of racism and police brutality and has some blunt words for critics of the Black Lives Matter movement. If you haven’t taken a few minutes to watch yet, it’s well worth your time.

Jesse Williams