Tues Jun 16

Black lives matter.

A week ago, I attended a protest in support of the BLM movement that had a neat idea; to distinguish between peaceful protestors and bad-faith agitators, everyone wore a white shirt with names written on them; citizens whose lives have been stolen due to police brutality and rampant civil racism. If someone was causing trouble without a white shirt, they'd be easily identifiable.

It was a silent march, and everyone walked in a single-file line across downtown Kansas City to hold vigil for George Floyd and the many others we have lost to the senseless evil of our criminal justice system, mirroring the "Silent Parade" held by the NAACP in 1917 New York City.

These are the names I wrote:

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Two other observations stuck with me from the protest. As the march concluded, the group kneeled in silence for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, while an organizer read off a long list of names of black men and women who had been killed unjustly. About halfway through, a (black) man, not participating in the protest, began playing music loudly. There was some discomfort, but the reading carried on, until the man started shouting at the crowd: "Fuck you! Fuck you all! You're all white!", among other things. Discomfort intensified, and people began nervously looking around, not sure what to do. Two local security officers (I don't think they were police) approached him and asked him to calm down, which only increased his shouting. Eventually, organizers from the protest came over, talked him down, and the man left.

The only other thing I noticed, in a crowd of white shirts and solemn faces, was a young man wearing bright orange construction gear and a Guy Fawkes mask. No idea what that was about.

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