Apr 10, 201501:03 PMBlaska's Bring It!
with David Blaska
Is ‘Young & Gifted’ planning violence?
(page 1 of 2)
It appears that Young, Gifted and Black may be planning violent protests in response to what it presumes will be the district attorney’s decision not to prosecute the Madison police for the shooting death of Tony T. Robinson on March 6.
YG&B leader Brandi Grayson made that clear late this week. The group held a protest training session at Vilas Hall on the UW-Madison campus Thursday. Grayson made it clear that the training is not in the civil disobedience that Martin Luther King Jr. would recognize.
In an email to interested parties, she explained: “If you would like to learn what ‘civil disobedience’ really means and the purpose of protest, please come out. …
“When we encourage other black people to be non violent in the face of violent atrocities we are perpetrating state violence against ourselves. ... How and why do we continuously encourage black people to be nonviolent but accept and continuously allow the genocide of our people?”
Grayson’s statement comes as a rash of provocative signs are being seen in the city.
Bishop Harold E. Rayford of The Faith Place Church in Sun Prairie has a different message. He counseled peaceful demonstrations:
“I have been advised by African American leaders who lived through the worst days of the Ferguson protests. They say that one of the missing factors for them early on was the absence of ‘the faith community.’ In the case of Ferguson, they had to regroup. We have the opportunity to pre-group.
“What if there is No indictment [of police officer Matt Kenny]? ... If that is [the] decision, many persons in the African American community will be very angry. It is important that we listen carefully to the press conference. I am confident that the DA will explain his decision with care and clarity. ... By listening carefully, we will be able to answer questions and even explain the decision to other members of the community. Most people will NOT listen to the details, which may add confusion to an already hostile atmosphere.
“In the event there is not an indictment, we can expect several large and emotionally charged protests. This will actually be a good thing. Because it will allow the world to see our frustrations and the pain we feel as African Americans in Dane County. I personally plan on participating in as many protests as I possibly can. I want to be front and center, representing the faith community! That is, as long as the protests are lawful and civil. ...
“But, as we have learned from Ferguson, some protesters may decide to react in ways that are destructive. Let’s be sure to protest peacefully.
“What if someone decides to employ civil disobedience? ... At this point, I am unaware of any organized plans for civil disobedience. But that is not to suggest that no one will employ that strategy. …
“What if there are provocative protesters who are taunting law enforcement? ... We should be careful not to get caught up in the moment and find ourselves saying (chanting) things that are unbecoming of a child of God. Remember, cameras will be rolling not just in heaven, but on earth as well!”