Have you ever talked about doing something? You tell all your friends, family, and even some neighbors. Maybe you want a new playground for your kid’s school or even a better sewer system in front of your house. After months of talking it becomes just that, the sound of your voice. Even though you’ve spread the message no one moves on your idea especially yourself. The rainwater stays in a fetid pool in front of your house and the kid’s playground is rusty. The next move for the BLM protests is to indoctrinate their voices. That’s where the change will really benefit the entire society. You see, We the People, learn from rules and regulations regarding our boundaries in life. When we form new laws or enforce laws we have we are asserting a foundational societal change. A few suggestions for BLM start at the local level.
Our courageous social justice warriors must begin at the bottom of the political arena-the neighborhoods. Politics is a trickle-up dynamic with pressure from the local representatives moving upwards to the top or federal level. For example. In Chicago, protests at a local police department in Englewood were rebuked by local residents. The local residents have activated their voices to create ordinances for policing. They know that the change comes from working with the police, not always against them. Change in policing comes from the direct community since not every neighborhood has the same violence or social issues. This very similar issue is occurring with schools across America. Minority dominant school districts may ban police from their hallways since there is a definite and well documented unequal arrest of Black teens-specifically male within school walls. But a school that has been a victim of a mass shooting like what occurred in Parkland, Florida may want police protection. The majority of the hyperlocal community must be the directors and creators of social justice for their own needs. Social justice isn’t one size fits all.
Social justice in housing has been a long and weary road for minority communities. Selma, Alabama is a historically revered landmark for the Civil Rights Movement. It is now in decay as poverty grew rampantly and housing crumbled. Selma is the poorest community in the state of Alabama, with a majority Black population. Housing has fewer options as fewer apartments in public housing are repaired for livability. This is a perfect example of the need to formulate ordinances and laws on the local levels. Selma needs an active business chamber to encourage Black-owned businesses to alleviate poverty through local financial agreements with the city, state, and feds. It needs oversight ensuring the cash flow is correctly distributed. Federal housing laws have ignored Selma as well as their business community. Selma needs a leader like Chicago’s 20th Ward Alderman Jeanette Taylor. The new Obama Center would have displaced affordable housing for her residents. A community group was created and she directed the ordinances that would enforce the federal public housing laws to ensure her residents were provided with housing. That is turning voices of protests into successful laws. All the federal laws in the world can’t help if there isn’t any enforcement from the local level.
Humans’ social construction will take much longer to tear down and rebuild as America learns to stop their own racist belief systems. But while tearing down their social thought houses, we build new homes of law not just thought for the future of equality.