Anecdote from Stolen Lives Days on a Campus

April 3, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

We were at a college with a social justice history during the Stolen Lives Days, and the reaction to the Stolen Lives poster was palpable. Many students took selfies with the poster, and signed up to organize for Shut Down April 14.

Toward the end of the day, two young African-American women came up and engaged at some length with us about what this is all about. They both took selfies, each one photographing the other with the Stolen Lives poster. One smiled broadly in hers, and told her friend to smile when it was her turn. The friend responded that she didn’t want to smile about this. Then one thanked us for being out there doing this; making the point that she thought that white people taking this out is way more effective than Black people doing it. She said that when it’s Black people protesting the treatment of Black people, people think “there they go again…” We argued that all of us need to be out here protesting this. We started talking about how society is polarizing around this issue of police murdering Black and Brown people, and how this is actually good and a sign that the truth of this slow genocide leading to fast genocide is confronting people as never before precisely because of all the protests. In reaction, along with millions becoming more aware and sympathetic and active, the racists are jumping out in an effort to restore their now-challenged mandate that this daily, completely unjustified and illegitimate murder by police is and should be normal, business as usual.

One of us mentioned that a noose had appeared on the campus at Duke. (See "Duke Students March Against Lynching Noose on Campus") One of the young women asked us to repeat, “noose?” Her friend explained “this is what they use to lynch Black people, the noose on the rope.” This caused all of us to stop and reflect on how serious the situation is in society right now, and how we can’t assume that this new generation, which must say NO MORE, understands all of the history and present-day reality. This is now being transformed as we fight the power. They both signed up to organize for A14.

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