"We can also make reference to all of the illustrious Black kings, queens and warriors of the past, and cite everything that Black people have accomplished throughout history. But what's the purpose of having all that knowledge if we don't use it to move ourselves forward?"
Eric L. Wattree
This quote reminded me of Frantz Fanon. Six weeks after the riots in Baltimore what's changed? Modern day attempts at social movements end up being the equivalent of someone yelling in a quiet theater, sure the yelling snaps us to attention and forces us to focus on the disruption, but as soon as calm is restored we find ourselves fully immersed in the distraction on the screen. Likewise, as soon as the camera crews leave the epicenter of the hostilities we, as a nation, refocus on our individual distractions.
I've noticed a formula for quelling social unrest. First, conduct an investigation into the events that led up to the riots. Second, conduct an investigation into the policing habits of the municipality where said riot happened. Third, restructure the police department and/or local government through special appointments to appease the community. Lastly, take as many photos as possible with civic leaders and wait for the status quo to resume itself.
I'm glad more public intellectuals are focusing on these issues, but their ability to affect change seems diminished when compared to the past; likewise, the black church has seen membership shrink to the point that many pastors are literally preaching to (just) the choir. Academic journals and fiery sermons are important, but if their message doesn't reach beyond their walls it's like they didn't happen. This limitation is one area where the university and church have a lot in common, No matter how much you lecture, how many sermons you deliver, or how much work you publish, It's in vain if it doesn't improve the quality of a child's life.