An Attempt to Find Meaning in a World Torn Upside Down; Together We Rise

South San Francisco, CA   June 3, 2020Image may contain: text

Tomorrow our City will host a peaceful protest, joining others across the globe expressing loudly, ‘NOT ONE MORE!’ in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. We recognize the heinous acts that resulted in the unwarranted death of George Floyd. And we recognize he is only one of many who have wrongfully died at the hands of law enforcement officers. The past fifty years of laws changing to uphold the rights of all Americans, as it should have always been, has not yet reached into the hearts of far too many.  How do we change hearts? And what can be done to bring equity to systemic racism in the US?


Many have no clue how to fix what they do not understand and division grows.


This 2019 youtube offers good insight that perhaps will help some understand better part of the issue at hand, please watch it;


Systemic racism affects every area of life in the US. From incarceration rates to predatory loans, and trying to solve these problems requires changes in major parts of our system. Here’s a closer look at what systemic racism is, and how we can solve it.



When the chants are shouted NOT ONE MORE! it is in remembering these listed below as part of a list of those killed while in police custody.

“We can’t be handcuffed and put in the police car unless we are dead (#GeorgeFloyd)

We can’t go bird watching in Central Park (#ChristianCooper)

We can’t go jogging (#AmaudArbery).

We can’t relax in the comfort of our own homes (#BothemJean and #AtatianaJefferson).

We can’t sleep #BreannaTaylor

We can’t ask for help after being in a car crash (#JonathanFerrell and #RenishaMcBride).

We can’t have a cellphone (#StephonClark).

We can’t leave a party to get to safety (#JordanEdwards).

We can’t play loud music (#JordanDavis).

We can’t sell CD’s (#AltonSterling).

We can’t sleep (#AiyanaJones)

We can’t walk from the corner store (#MikeBrown).

We can’t play cops and robbers (#TamirRice).

We can’t go to church (#Charleston9).

We can’t walk home with Skittles (#TrayvonMartin).

We can’t hold a hair brush while leaving our own bachelor party (#SeanBell).

We can’t party on New Years (#OscarGrant).

We can’t get a normal traffic ticket (#SandraBland).

We can’t lawfully carry a weapon (#PhilandoCastile).

We can’t break down on a public road with car problems (#CoreyJones).

We can’t shop at Walmart (#JohnCrawford) .

We can’t have a disabled vehicle (#TerrenceCrutcher).

We can’t read a book in our own car (#KeithScott).

We can’t be a 10yr old walking with our grandfather (#CliffordGlover).

We can’t decorate for a party (#ClaudeReese).

We can’t ask a cop a question (#RandyEvans).

We can’t cash our check in peace (#YvonneSmallwood).

We can’t take out our wallet (#AmadouDiallo).

We can’t run (#WalterScott).

We can’t breathe (#EricGarner).

We can’t live (#FreddieGray).


Everyone wants much of the same things, a roof over their heads, food on the table, good health, to love and be loved, good education, good employment opportunities. And everyone wants to go home at the end of the day. Including those named above.


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Yet there is another list circulating, one that includes the names of officers killed or injured within 96 hours of the recent protests. We also see images of law enforcement officers taking a knee in support of the protests. We see police departments across the country, around the world, speaking up at the injustice of George Floyd’s death. We know Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Leung, and Tou Thoa do not represent the majority of our officers while acknowledging the need for a deeper understanding of systemic racism.


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Protesting a life cut short, a black man’s life cut short, and cut short by those who are to protect and serve, is necessary.

Change is mandatory.

Looting, destruction, and harm and death to others, including law enforcement, are not.


In the last 96 hours…
-A Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Officer was shot in the back of the head while struggling with a rioter
-An active shooter opened fire on law enforcement at a Las Vegas courthouse
-4 St. Louis Police Officers were shot by an active shooter
-A New York Police Officer was struck by a vehicle
-3 Buffalo law enforcement officers were struck by a vehicle in front of the police station
-3 Davenport law enforcement officers were ambushed and 1 was shot
-132 officers were injured in Chicago during a riot
-9 Pittsburg officers were injured by objects during a riot
-Several officers in Rhode Island were injured during riots
-An active shooter opened fire at the Oakland Police Department
-2 officers were struck in the head with projectiles in Santa Ana
-2 Richland officers were shot in Virginia
-1 officer was struck in the head by a brick in Albany
-4 Prince William County Police Officers sustained head injuries from projectiles
-7 officers were injured in Sacramento
-Several officers were shot at and injured in Lynchburg
-Several Champaign Police Officers were injured
-3 Oak Law Police Officers were injured
-21 officers were injured in Salt Lake City
-At least 50 Secret Service Agents were injured by Molotov cocktails in Washington
-3 Denver Police Officers were ran over by a vehicle
-33 New York Police Officers were injured during riots
-6 Athens Police Officers injured during a protest
-2 Capitol Police Officers were injured during a riot in Harrisburg
-12 Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Officers were injured during riots
-21 Minneapolis law enforcement officers injured in riots
-1 Federal Protective Services Officer was shot and killed.
-6 Los Angeles officers injured
-4 Philadelphia Officers had acid thrown in their faces, many others injured blunt trauma
They are not Derek Chauvin, they are not Thomas Lane, they are not J. Alexander Leung, and they are not Tou Thoa.


In addition to this list, Law Enforcement Today, America’s largest law enforcement owned and operated media outlet, has put out the warning of groups canvassing residential neighborhoods, taking photos of homes with police cars in driveways. “We expect danger when on the job,” said one sergeant.  “But this is different.  They are threatening to burn down our homes and kill our families.”


It cannot be either/ or. We must respect and protect all life as we stand up for our black brothers and sisters. We must respect and protect our community. We must respect and protect each other.


The past few months spent with shelter in place mandates have pushed many of us beyond limits; homeschooling forced upon parents who may or may not be working, loss of income, loss of businesses, loss of normal activities including recreation and religious, loss of family touch, the loss of a sense of future. The constant changes on what is allowed, or not allowed, has caused more stress as people try to stay updated while being mindful of screen time. The national political scene with the upcoming elections, with concerns filtering to our own local governments and the huge hit to budgets making us anxious as we wait to see what benefits will be cut. And fear over what new taxes will be added next.


It can be unnerving.


A global feeling of complete unrest and anxiety is connecting us.

As one person suggested;

There will be pain and it won’t be pretty or comfortable.

But we are in the birth canal, birthing a new paradigm for humanity and giving birth is messy.

Don’t be afraid of the mess.


Make your voice heard yet let your actions speak louder.

Respect each other

Respect property

Respect our community

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Andy L.
Andy L.
3 years ago

Thanks Kamala for the thoughtful post. I caught the last two hours of the protest and was inspired and educated. I’m wondering if you or anyone else knows if any specific demands were made of SSFPD or the city government, and if there will be any followup dialog or actions. I would like to support fellow South City residents who are working to change city and police policies to make our city safer and more hospitable to people of color and other groups that are too often profiled and mistreated.

Other people closer to the issues than me are in better position to set priorities for our city, but in trying to learn more about what can be done to reduce police use of force, I discovered that according to the website, South San Francisco has only implemented two of the eight most important policies to reduce unnecessary use of force by police. One course of action might be to pressure the city government to implement the other six policies. (See details on the 8cantwait website)

3 years ago

Seems like the protest went very well. My information is everyone was awesome! Boy, do I owe everyone an apology! I really thought ppl were going to destroy our fine city. I couldn’t be happier that I was proven to be a dunce. I am so sorry, folks, for underestimating the heart of all the great protesters, police, and local government officials. Well done!

Dolores Piper
Dolores Piper
3 years ago

I appreciated this piece – well thought out. Remember Derrick Gaines was executed by SSFPD on 6/5/12, and there was no community outrage about that. A 15-yr old who ran from the cop and was cornered at the fencing of the Arco Station, and the barrel of the gun pressed to his throat and fired. This rogue cop, Joshua Cabillo went onto SFPD and has had at least three ACLU suits against him in San Francisco for continued aggressive and violent policing.

3 years ago

This was a very thoughtful, valuable and educational post. I thank you!