Latest in a series of posts in the wake of the George Floyd murder
On June 27, 2015, ten days after Dylann Roof killed eight Blacks in a Bible study class in a Charleston church, in an act of peaceful civil disobedience as American as apple pie, as they say, a Black woman, Bree Newsome, climbed the flag pole outside the South Carolina State House and removed the Confederate flag.
With her was a white man, James Tyson.
Gadfly talked yesterday about the image of anti-racism from “12 Years a Slave” that moved him during his participation in one of the local programs on race in the wake of the George Floyd murder.
In another one of those programs, the topic was the difference for white people between being an “ally” and a “co-conspirator” when it comes to the fight for racial justice.
That’s another way of saying the difference between being “not racist” and being “anti-racist.”
James Tyson was being a co-conspirator.
James Tyson was being anti-racist.
Simply by holding the pole.
When the Courthouse police threatened to taze Newsome, Tyson grabbed the pole, thwarting the police, who were reluctant to risk sending a “charge” through the white man.
And then he simply joined her in arrest.
A lively discussion among program participants centered on this very lively Bettina Love video (5 mins.) and the challenge to whites to be active in the fight for racial justice, to be co-conspirators. to “find your pole.”
Something to think about.
Being anti-racist, that is.
As we approach the traditional time of making resolutions.
If somebody today asks you if you found your pole, you’ll know what they’re talking about.