Hi Jeff,

I think your message is getting lost in translation. You’re mixing gang violence, with Black Lives Matter protesting police brutality. This piece sounds a lot like a conservative GOP talking point/Southern Strategy playbook piece. It centers on the actions of some people who are Black, mostly negative, and doesn’t address the systemic and individual racism aspects of the movement. It perpetuates everything we’re fighting against.

You have lumped crimes committed/experienced by Blacks, looting, as well as other negative stereotypes and tropes that are often used by white supremacists to reinforce their views about Black people. Reading this reminded me of this piece I read recently about how narratives about Black people are shared which help perpetuate racism. This piece is written the same way. I hope you are open to reviewing your story again after reading this piece. We need all the freedom fighters we can get. If you’re serious about bridging gaps, learning how to write about race is going to be imperative or you’ll be reinforcing the very thing you’re attempting to dismantle.

Lastly, I vehemently dislike anyone insisting we Black folks forgive quickly. Forgiving quickly centers white discomfort, ignore their behavior which allows them to continue it, and does not account for 400 years of Black pain and suffering. It’s very easy to suggest we forgive and move on when you’re not constantly asked to do so with no reward or remedy for doing so.

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