Friday, July 8, 2016

A Daub of Egg On My Face

When the news broke last night about the horrific shooting in Dallas, I went into an incandescent rage because the BBC never once mentioned that it was a #BlackLivesMatter rally during their 10 min. broadcast of events. 

Today, it would appear that it was members of a different black activist group called "Black Knights Sniper Assassins." 

But because #blacklivesmatter are the first to show up and protest any shooting they believe unfair, I automatically linked them to the violence in Dallas last night.  That's a pretty sad reflection on them and me.

Now curious, I explored #blacklives management.  Co-founder and apparent leader  Patrisse Cullors, either 31 or 32 (Wikipedia wasn't sure) is an LA native who attended UCLA and lists herself as an activist, artist and playwright.  She has stated that she was "forced to leave her home at 16 when she revealed her queer identity to her parents." A further motivation might be her claim that her 19 year old brother was "brutalized" in Los Angeles County jails.  Note plural. 

Cofounders are Alicia Garza, 35 of Oakland and Opal Tometti, daughter of Nigerian immigrants, who lives in Brooklyn.

This group was begun in 2012 prompted by the Trayvon Martin matter.  You will possibly remember that as his mother sobbed over his dead body, she was also trademarking his name.  The speed with which t-shirts commemorating various aspects of police vs. criminal appear - along with printed placards, ready to march -  is rather terrifying. 

My theory is that somewhere in an unassuming-looking industrial park there is an office with a bank of phones and several full-scale printing presses with bales of blank t-shirts in every size and color sitting at the ready. Poster paper is similarly stacked and waiting for the kiss of the printers.  

Staff is divided into 8 hour shifts through the days and nights, at the ready for the phone call that will start them cranking posters and shirts out.  They will be sorted as to size (some placards are bigger than others) and FedEx-ed to the airport nearest the shooting where volunteers will pick them up and speed them to the chosen protest site. 

It would be inefficient to have pre-contacted printers in the actual city of the event.  Violence is unpredictable in any city and organizers couldn't possibly be in touch with them all.

Someone has a good head for protest organization.  Pity it isn't for police support. 

Additional information:  Since 2014, there have been 1,030 public protests.


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