Black Lives Matter

A recent comment expressed concern that we here at The Dose have prioritized property damage over the issue of police brutality against people of color. I thought I had made myself clear last Friday on the horrific murder of George Floyd, and the years of minority oppression preceding that event. We stand against the systemic racism evident in the criminal justice system, support the Black Lives Matter movement and today’s protests, and await further charges in the Floyd murder.

On the other hand, I had not written a post dedicated to this topic yet. One reason is that I didn’t feel quite up to the task. I would rather you read the excellent editorials and op-ed pieces in The New York Times and The Washington Post. I also go to The Atlantic or Politico or ProPublica. I could not possibly improve upon what the writers at these outlets produce hourly.

Also, this blog was launched over a decade ago as a progressive blog, so longtime readers would naturally know where we would stand on this issue. Newcomers may not have picked up on our decidedly liberal point of view. I have also been happy to direct people to Uprise RI where Steve Ahlquist has done such an excellent job reporting on the statewide scene.

Further, as a former Providence police officer and a speaker for Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP), I have personally been speaking out against our failed war on drugs, its disparate impact on minority communities, and the dangers of the militarization of police departments for over a decade. I have written about these topics as well:

In 2017 I wrote about weapons of war being distributed police departments in “Just Say ‘No’ to Grenade Launchers.”

Back in 2014 I wrote “Bad Police Work” when Radly Balko wrote his powerful book on the militarization of police departments. His opinion has been solicited lately by various television hosts and commentators. The horror of the Breonna Taylor killing is exactly what we were talking about.

My advocacy has included several years testifying at the State House in favor of reforming our marijuana laws. (Contrary to the opposition narrative, I was not compensated for one single minute of my time.) While my testimony would highlight the pointless waste of police resources, my emphasis was always on the social justice aspects of the issue.

I hope that clarifies where we stand regarding people and property. But one last point on that: Many of those businesses I wrote about yesterday are owned by minorities and women. These places are their life! They have invested years of hard work and sweat equity in these shops and restaurants that bring such life and texture to our neighborhoods. Often, the business represents their entire life savings. Their pain is real too.

(Seen here is a file photo of the statue ‘America’ outside the Federal Courthouse downtown. The central figure is flanked by two kneeling figures representing ‘Justice’ and ‘Law and Order.’)

1 thought on “Black Lives Matter”

  1. As a long-time viewer and fan of the Daily Dose, I can say your stance has always been unequivocally clear. Keep doing what you do so well.

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