The goal of the reexamination of the role of the police is to “transform the police into a force for justice. We are not painting our Police Department with the same brush as other departments in other cities.”
— Selectboard member Leigh Davis
And yet even with my family and professional history, I am learning daily about acts of racial policy and violence in our country’s history and in contemporary life that I hadn’t known, and that connect the dots to reveal a country bathed in the blood of racism.
In a letter to the editor, the Clinton Church Restoration board members write, “Du Bois’ writing in ‘Souls’ reminds us that the systemic racism that led to the murder of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and too many other Black people in this country is not new.”
In a letter to the editor, Mae Whaley writes, “As much as it is necessary for us to stay aware of the overt ways in which police departments across the country are contributing to racism, we cannot allow the constant images and videos of tear gas, rubber bullets and concussion grenades to lower our standards for how we expect our police to behave.”
“A justice system the public cannot trust to be fair and equitable is a broken system. A complete investigation and commitment to seek justice for George Floyd is only a start in eliminating the bigotry and racism deeply ingrained in our society. The Berkshire District Attorney’s Office reaffirms our commitment to making long-lasting and formidable changes to eliminate bias at every stage of the criminal justice system.”
—- Berkshire County District Attorney Andrea Harrington
As detailed in his memoir, Tim Parrish will discuss his racist upbringing at home and in his church in Louisiana during the 1960s, his involvement in racist violence during high-school desegregation in the 1970s, his ongoing recovery from racism, and the current state of racism in the United States.
Andrew Cuomo got early lessons about the insidious anti-Italian prejudice that existed when his father Mario, a brilliant graduating law student, could not get a job interview with a prominent law firm in New York.
Ta-Nehisi Coates’ book . . . appeared at just the right moment, when the media was saturated with cases of police acting unprofessionally, destructively and sometimes murderously in their dealings with young black men.
In a letter to the editor, Luke Pryjma writes, “I’ve heard, in addition to pathology-centric science, the spring was closed because, at a Becket town meeting, certain officials didn’t want “those” people stopping for spring water.”
The exhibit, titled “W. E. B. Du Bois: Global Citizen Rooted in the Berkshires,” was put together by Randy Weinstein, who runs the Du Bois Center at Great Barrington, with the help of the other Du Bois Center—the one at UMass Amherst, where many of Du Bois’ papers are kept. The exhibit is part of the months-long celebration of the 150th anniversary of Du Bois’ birth.
Emerging social justice movements represent a collective response to compounding crises. The challenge is bringing all of these movements together and maintaining unity among diverse groups working on what are seen as separate issues.
In his letter Lawrence Davis-Hollander writes: “While people have been convinced to think this election is about right vs. left, conservative vs. liberal, globalism vs. nationalism, Republican vs. Democrat, it is quite simply about good vs. evil.”
Recently, I was at an afternoon movie following a doctor’s appointment. I wanted to pleasantly kill some time before I put my chauffer’s cap back on. This was a rare treat and I was looking forward to shutting out the world for a couple of hours. Just as the movie began my cell phone rang.