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…we all have it, or none of us has it. That is the truth of it.” – Maya Angelou

For days, I’ve considered writing a post about Michael Brown, about Eric Garner, about Tamir Rice. But there is a lot of excellent writing out there already, and despite my frustration and outrage about these situations, I doubt I could add anything to the conversation that is different or significant enough that it’s worth asking people to listen to me. Instead, I think we should listen to these men:

  • Chris Rock, who gives a very thought-provoking interview with so many great quotes that I can’t choose a favorite
  • W. Kamau Bell, who walks us through the way he approaches something as seemingly simple as buying ice cream at night as a 6’4″ black man
  • Kiese Laymon, who talks about the protection he is afforded by his Vassar College faculty ID, and about how he and his students, despite the “protection” of Vassar, are not okay

And if you’re interested, like I am, in doing something that may help bring justice in the long term, Amnesty International USA is calling for some concrete action. I’m still looking for other places and ways to make a difference, so if you know of any, feel free to share them in the comments.

I’ve put this list together now because silence seems wrong; it seems to imply that I’m not upset about each of these cases, and that isn’t true at all. But as I said, a speech from me seems inappropriate too. This is my compromise.

And if you’re interested, here are some shots of what the protests looked like here in Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville.