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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 9/14/20

Kenosha is Healing!

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Message Dr. Lenore Daniels

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...Negroes have illuminated imperfections in the democratic structure that were formerly only dimply perceived, and have forced a concerned re-examination of the true meaning of American democracy. As a consequence of the vigorous Negro protest, the whole nation has for a decade probed more searchingly the essential nature of democracy, both economic and political. By taking to the streets and there giving practical lessons in democracy and its defaults, Negroes have decisively influenced white thought.

Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. "Where Do We Go From Here?"

Kenosha wants to heal.

Less than a month since the shooting of a Jacob Blake, a Black resident of Kenosha, by Rusten Shesky, a white police officer, the town is appealing to Black Lives Matter (BLM) protesters and supporters to settle down. Let Kenosha heal! Clear the streets!

Kyle Rittenhouse... A real american hero....&q uot;
Image by YouTube, Channel: Black Bigalow)   Details   DMCA

Jacob Blake's father and BLM, however, are calling for systemic change in the way police and not just the Kenosha police, but also law enforcement across the country treat Black citizens. America's core "left" is its kidnapped and enslaved, disenfranchised and lynched, despised and criminalized Black population. Historically insisting on the pursuit of democracy in the face of terrorism and fascism, Black Americans have worn resistance like a skin.

America has long maintained some form of enslavement for its Black citizens, if not in the labor market after Reconstruction, then in its policies and laws which incarcerate a disproportionate number of Black Americans. And since the lynching of the first Black, America has resorted to the use of dynamite, ropes, and bullets to terrorize Black people.

But Kenosha wants to heal.

And so the narrative on the streets, away from the action, is that the unfortunate incident has been a bit of an inconvenience. The talk, low but firm, is about "curfews," and less profits because store hours are short, and white citizens are driving around in search of "safe" spaces to eat or shop. It would seem that soft cultural events aside, more than neighbors cutting hair and cooking food is required to effect systemic change.

And that means that no effort will be exerted on the part of the white citizen of Kenosha to recognize injustice and inequality. Flags drape poles on most front lawns in Kenosha. Lincoln sits at the entrance of Library Park. And there are churchesProtestant, Catholic, evangelical churches. And Christians to fill the pews. Yet, the nation's most committed advocates for freedom are still, in the minds of most white citizens in this town, the "them" in the "us" vs "them" narrative. So many Americans find safety in this space where they reside as the "us" in requiring protection from the "them." In short, protection from change.

In reality, as Dr. Martin L. King has noted, there are no "outsiders" when, because of technological advances, "all inhabitants of the globe are now neighbors." America is America and Kenosha is a part of that grand narrative that drives America toward it's "manifest destiny."

Lacking an understanding of systemic racism, and the prevalence of white supremacy, Kenosha seeks a return to a time before August 23, 2020, the day Shesky, representing the conqueror, the plantation militia, the Frontiersmen, the Ramboall wrapped up in one gunslinger taking out the enemy. Seven shots in the back!

Kenosha wants to go back to before this day as if the kidnapping, enslaving, raping, terrorizing, lynching, shooting of Black people happened just once, on one day.

Baffling. But the lack of logic calls Kenosha home to a safe space where it doesn't have to think on its own history of violence. How did Europe and America amass a fortune? How much did Europe and America loot from Africa, India, the Caribbean, South America, China, Indonesia?

In normal times, white Kenosha is free to move about town, make a profit and a living too while its Black population appeases and smiles, pretending it's all some big misunderstanding between the races. Nothing serious. Nothing a neighborhood cook out won't solve. And the protesters are to return home, leaving the movement for systemic change to the "community" of established leaders?

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Activist, writer, American Modern Literature, Cultural Theory, PhD.

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