February 9th I heard the most profound message of change from a young black man who gave me pause to think and get clear on our country as well as those we elect to work on our behalf. Shaun King touched on many issues affecting communities of color, from police brutality, injustice, healthcare, how money is allocated, (budget), gentrification the need for jobs and those who work in communities of color, college tuition in this country and also touched on the opening of the movie Black Panther. In the Black Panther movie, it speaks to the magnificent, untouched beauty and unknown knowledge of an uncolonized African country Wakanda.
Shaun King elaborated on police brutality and injustice being pivotal moving from crisis to crisis for the last 4 years. This also includes corruption and bigotry. It’s like our house is on fire and there is not a strong plan for change. Criminal justice can only happen on the local not federal level because the system works on city and state not the federal level. King has seen that around the country that we as a people must be the agents of change. On the ground level we need to get local government seats because as of now “it’s a hot mess’: especially so for the democratic party that so many folks of color support.
Our federal budget doesn’t reflect the priorities of the people. Imagine this, a defense budget of a trillion dollars, the highest of 13 countries combined. In most countries around the globe college and healthcare are free, but we are told we can’t afford free but we have a trillion, dollar defense budget.
Shaun King said when he lived in Irvine, CA for the first two and a half months he never saw a police car. This speaks of how white people define safety for their cities and how its defined differently for non-white cities. I found that to be quite phenomenal. He was amazed at the schools, good paying jobs, hospitals, doctors, farmer’s markets, groceries store, on every corner and parks, all these things that build safety. Whereas cities like Boston and Brooklyn are not safe because we have underdeveloped health, food and economic systems. The Band-Aid placed on the problem is to send in more police.