Tag Archives: policeviolence

Rest in Peace, Tyre Nichols: Please, No More Rest or Waiting To Make Change

5 Feb

Tyre Nichols vigil at Rhode Island State House

We are all aware by now of the tragic killing of Tyre Nichols by at least six Memphis police officers. We now know how the media played things by naming the five Black police officers and plastering their photos across all media platforms. We also now know the media took it’s time to announce there was a sixth officer, who was white, who was present at the first stop where Tyre was pulled over for alleged reckless driving, and who tased Tyre. It took a while for numerous articles I checked to name the race of this officer, or to post a headline photo of him. We know what a beautiful, talented artistic man, son, father, brother, Tyre was. We hopefully watched the joy Tyre exuded in his skateboarding videos. We hopefully did not watch the video of his beating, which again, the media announced as if an invitation to an old fashioned lynching picnic, something that thousands of white folks would attend, and even make souvenir postcards of.

I wanted to share an article that helps shed a light on questions surrounding the race of the five officers, and how white supremacy and the system of policing don’t allow for us to say, “see, it’s just a few bad apples, it isn’t about race..” I wanted to share another article which speaks to the dire need for me and fellow white people to take action to transform these systems that uphold white supremacy and state sanctioned violence. We have not had to live our lives wondering each day if we, or our precious sons, brothers, fathers, sisters, aunts, mothers, or daughters are going to die at the hands of police officers because we are walking home after dark, or get pulled over for “a broken tail light.”

Here is an article from The New York Times on the system of policing, and race:


Here is another article, by blogger of Black Girl In Maine, and activist, Shay Stewart-Bouley on how white folks who consider themselves “allies” and white supremacists might not be so far apart. For me, it tells me I cannot rest and be inactive when it comes to transmuting white supremacy and all systems of oppression. It’s not enough to “know all the things” and keep living our lives of comfort and privilege.

Aside from the sadness of Tyre Nichols killing, just this week we also learned that Florida Governor, Ron DeSantis stripped down the AP African American Studies Curriculum for high school students. A number of leading Black scholars and authors’ books were banned, and teachers and librarians had to hide such books, or they can face fines and prison time for sharing them. Many fear this is setting the tone for similar bans and erasure of Black history teachings across the country. How can we sit back and allow all of this to happen, and keep happening?

Racists and allies: Strange Bedfellows by Shay Stewart-Bouley

There are concrete ways to get involved in your own local communities. For example in the city I live in in Providence, Rhode Island, we can call our State Representatives to repeal the state’s Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights. The bill makes it hard to discipline officers in cases of misconduct. If education is important to you, then you can become involved in your local school system decision-making arenas.

Please let us not rest and make way for more of the erasure of the teaching of the truth of Black history, and more importantly, the continued violent taking of Black people’s lives.

As Audre Lorde says, “Your silence will not protect you.”

Tyre skateboarding–doing what he loved.