Protestors held a joint Black Live Matters/Pride rally and march in Carmel on Monday (June 22).

(1)  State Sen. Pete Harckham, a Democrat whose district includes eastern Putnam County, spoke at a rally at Spain Cornerstone Park.

(2)  Wilfredo Morel of Peekskill Pride spoke during a rally on the steps of the historic courthouse.

(3)  Emily Sullivan, a high school student from Brewster, also spoke from the steps. Sullivan earlier this month launched a petition to call for the dismissal of a Brewster school board member, Krista Berardi, who had posted on Facebook that Black Lives Matter protestors who blocked I-84 should be “hosed.” Berardi resigned on June 11.

(4)  The Rev. Martha Vink of the Drew United Methodist Church in Carmel held a Pride banner on the steps, which she shared with Black Lives Matter protestors.

(5)  At sunset, the courthouse was lit with a rainbow of changing colors, a symbol of gay pride, which continued each night through the week.

Photos by Laurie Doppman

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4 replies on “Two Causes, One Voice”

  1. When people say Black Lives Matter, the retort is often All Lives Matter. There is a reason for the distinction. To borrow an internet meme: Imagine you and a group of friends, including a black man, Charles, were invited to dinner. Everyone sits down to eat, and the server serves everyone except Charles. He says, “I’m hungry” and everyone at the table looks up and says, “We’re all hungry.” Everyone is hungry, but everyone else also has a full plate. It is imperative that we recognize that Charles is starving now and deserves to be heard and served.

    Imagine if your ancestors had been slaves. You might feel the rage and revulsion that black Americans feel. Slaves were first imported into this country in 1619, a year before the Mayflower landed in New England. The White Lion, a privateer ship that stole the slaves from the Portuguese slavers, traded human beings for provisions at the Jamestown colony, establishing the precedent that black lives did not matter.

    Why after all these generations do many American blacks live in poverty? Why haven’t they “pulled themselves up by the bootstraps”? The answers are complex. But simply put the answer is racism. They have systematically been denied the same economic opportunities as their white counterparts. Redlining in housing meant that the wealth that many Americans have generated through home equity has not been available to them. Schools funded by property taxes mean poorer neighborhoods have schools with crumbling infrastructure, less enrichment, and more crowded classrooms. Less educational opportunity has led to poorer job prospects. Racism cascades through their lives and down the generations.

    I deeply value American values and ideals. When I pledge “and liberty and justice for all.” I believe it. Now we are being called to make those words a reality, and the rallying cry is Black Lives Matter.

    1. I’m with you all the way, Ellyn! When feeling generous, I say a quick prayer for people who cannot summon empathy. The Serenity Prayer is my go-to. Feeling especially generous one day, I sent a prayer to the president.

  2. Black Lives Matter only when conveniently applied by privileged whites and black revolutionaries to African-American-police interactions. Nowhere have I read or even seen in the media actions taken to reduce the slaughter that is taking place in cities across America not by police but by members of their own community. I dread viewing the Monday news broadcasts that invariably have accounts of children and last weekend a baby being murdered by gangs, vendettas, drive-by shootings and the recent account of a teenager shot in Seattle during the commune “love fest.” The parents are crying as that father as he related his anguish over his son’s death. So how about taking up this rallying cry in the areas that need more than polemics about the past but urgent, present action.

  3. People who feel good about themselves don’t need to put themselves above others. This is the ego talking to us. The best definition of ego that I’ve heard is “easing God out!”

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