Re: Stay protected And connected during these times
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Thu, 4 Jun 2020 11:00:54 -0700 (PDT)
> Ironically, our residents of color have not been active in this, and I 
> hesitate to directly ask them why not. Do you have residents of color, and if 
> so what if anything do they have to say on the matter?

We have residents of color but I wouldn’t ask them, or anyone else, why they 
aren’t participating in demonstrations. I’m a great protester but not a 
public-demonstrations-in-the-street person. It makes me feel silly. And bored — 
why am I wasting my time? 

And at the first threat of violence, I would be gone. I would not be standing 
there waiting for someone—the police or the rioters—to bash me over the head or 
knock me down and trample over me. Taking advantage of chaos to steal 
televisions and burn the small businesses that are the life of the neighborhood 
is something I would without question jump in to stop—and also be dead quite 

Demonstrations can also turn dangerous—particularly if you are black, or even 
close to black. Those identified as black are in danger on all sides in an 
unorganized, heated demonstrations. Even if the occasion is not physically 
dangerous, as a peaceful demonstrator are putting yourself in the way of every 
crazy, stupid, angry person who has come out to watch a riot. No riot? Let’s 
make one. The verbal assault is numbing.

I have two children. One white and one black. I would not want my black child 
to participate in a protest against anything. The white one, no fear. In one 
case I could trust their ability to navigate a difficult situation and in the 
other, no chance to escape the irrational, extremist behavior.

There are many ways to protest inequality. Public and private. Marching  and 
writing. Protesting and teaching. Talking and embodying. 

The relationship between President Johnson and Dr. Martin Luther King is a good 
example. They conducted private conversations throughout the Civil Rights 
Movement of the early 1960s. The person expert in changing legislation using 
their position of authority in the white community and the revered Christian 
leader who had equal respect and authority in the black community worked 
together to bring change. 

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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