Congratulations to the organizers and participants who brought about peaceful protests in Gloucester last week. The local support for the Black Lives Matter movement—and conveying the message that recurrent police violence against Black Americans must end—is inspirational.
An outburst of remarks on local social media pages suggests that some Gloucester residents misunderstand the need for these protests. Over and over again I have read, “There’s no racism in Gloucester and certainly no police brutality.”
As a white person, the only way I will grasp the local situation is to listen to a black friend, colleague, or neighbor. Having done this and heard the stories, I know that Gloucester is by no means immune from racism. Regarding police brutality, the protesting doesn’t mean that there are accusations against the Gloucester Sheriff’s department. Instead the idea is to recognize that police brutality towards black people goes on systemically—that is, re...
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