By Heather Millar
Like most people in this country, I’ve been arguing a lot this year. Pointing out racism and lack of empathy on social media. Bristling a bit when made aware of my own racist missteps.
Doomscrolling and raging against the headlines.
I’ve been a journalist for most of my life, though I’m now pandemically unemployed. Among many other things, I’ve covered jails and prisons, politics and social policy. I thought I “got” this country’s racism. I knew it was foundational to our nation’s problems, central to our history. I volunteered regularly; protested occasionally.
By Felicia Gustin
...But will Donald Trump Destroy the Postal Service?
For most of my life, like most people, I pretty much took the post office for granted. I wrote a letter, put it in an envelope, slapped on a stamp, dropped it in the mailbox, and off it went, thousands of miles away for mere cents.
By Eli Kaplan
The moratoriums on evictions in California will end soon, and renters across California who were unable to pay rent during the COVID-19 emergency will suddenly face months of back rent and the possibility of homelessness. Millions of people have lost their jobs, and with huge numbers of tenants potentially facing eviction, we need to act now to protect renters and keep people off the street.
A portion of the border wall painted with a butterfly, a symbol of migration. Used with permission from Lili Shidlovski
The center for Al Otro Lado was a short walk from the border at Tijuana. To reach it, Heather Appel flew to San Diego and went by taxi to the San Ysidro Port of Entry. “It was shocking how easy it is to cross with an American passport,” she recalled.
Responding to a call for volunteers who speak Spanish, Heather accompanied five other members of SURJ Bay Area to spend a week at the US-Mexican border in November 2019. Heather wanted to do more to address family separation and the crisis at the border, and she appreciated the chance to join experienced SURJ leaders from other committees who provided both mentorship and kinship.
A photo essay by Micki Luckey and Lili Shidlovski
Protests against police violence are occurring daily in thousands of cities and towns across the country since the murder of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020. The brutality of this modern lynching followed closely upon the killing of Sean Reed, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbury, and then Rayshard Brooks was shot in Atlanta on June 13. In recent years police killed about 1000 people per year all over the country , a disproportionate number of them Black.
By Felicia Gustin
As thousands of white people join protests nationwide, it’s important to look at not just why people are showing up but also how. Given this nation’s history of racism, we, as white people, want to make sure we are part of the solution, not the problem.
By Micki Luckey
“We at the Movement For Black Lives believe that it is our mandate, in a moment where the police and vigilantes have increased their terror, that we make a clear and proud commitment to be in Defense of Black Lives.” M4BL
As we practice physical distancing and continue the fight against the structural inequities of our society, we must persevere through the leadership and guidance of our local Black, Indigenous, and People of Color communities. Now more than ever, we must rely on mutual aid, mutual dependence, and solidarity.
SURJ Bay Area is taking a critical step forward by creating a Racial Justice Emergency Relief Fund. 100% of donations will be passed on to local organizations providing critical immediate aid to our most vulnerable communities while continuing to fight the structural inequities that turned a novel virus into a global emergency.
By Davey D Cook
Over the past few days, I’ve been noticing a number of folks understandably upset because of the vicious, callous unempathetic comments they’ve been seeing in their feeds bashing the #Moms4Housing
Many are wondering how and why so many people who are seemingly on or close to the societal, economic and political margins, came out riding hard for a multi-million corporation with a sordid, distasteful reputation? Why were so many people protecting a company that for the most part has not been friendly and altruistic to Black folks, especially those facing gentrification?
By Liz Jacobs
In this unseasonably cold winter and as we bundle up, think what it must be like in the homeless encampments in Oakland with no heat, no water, and a leaky roof if there is even one.