My father and I were faithful that we could get through the traffic on 1-93. Unbeknownst to us the highway got shutdown by Black Lives Matter Boston. My cousin called me and said "Yo, there's protestors on the highway kid!" Others texted me asking if I was ok and if I was a part of the protest. The downpour of calls, emails, text messages, and social media posts were overwhelming. "Black Lives Matter group shuts down the highway," I hear on the radio.
My dad stares at me for a while. He could tell I was livid. I clenched my teeth and said, "Let's go home." I was on my way to a SUPER important meeting. A meeting that had consequences if I missed. I can imagine everyone's frustrations. I saw it on the faces of other drivers when we made a dramatic U-Turn. My journey home seemed like a lifetime. Not only was there traffic into the city there was traffic going out of the city. It was right then that I knew things just got real. I thought to myself (jokingly) "These fools really shut it down."
I hopped out the car before it came to a full stop in front of my house. I got online and read BLM Boston's press release. "Somerville/Milton/Boston Massachusetts -- Activists have shut down Interstate 93 Southbound and Northbound during morning rush hour commute into Boston to "disrupt business as usual" and protest police and state violence against Black people."
"The only way to spark change in a system is to disrupt it." My comrade Renee said this a few weeks ago and it makes even more sense now.
In the words of the youth, "You mad or nah?" If you are mad about BLM's highway shutdown, then these protests have fulfilled their purposes. Now, let us tailor that same annoyance, anger, and other emotions towards the real problem: INJUSTICE! This is a race issue. This is a justice issue. This is an American issue. When people begin to believe that then we can actually begin this long awaited process of change.
One reaction to the of the press release said "These are major routes for ambulances ...I know it doesn't matter to any of you guys but if someone dies because they can not get to the hospital that Blood is on your hands and you are no different morally than the police officer in Fergusan......"
Another man replied "When you elect corrupt people to serve us all, the blood spilled by the corrupt system is on your hands."
It really depends on the lens in which people view it. One thing is for sure - people have put too much trust and belief in a system that was built on nothing more than corruption. In this movement and in this moment, we have to be brave and bold enough to make moves that are unpopular to the masses. This is how you get people at the top, at the bottom, and in the middle to listen and get fired up about change.
America needs change but it begins right here at home. We cannot afford to suffer shutdowns on the highway especially during rush hour. However, the brothers and sisters of my city are dying and I CANNOT AFFORD that! Let us do something in a speedy manner so that we all do not have to suffer.
The next question is: How?
See BLM Boston Press Release here (via Facebook): https://www.facebook.com/BlackLivesMatterBOS/posts/277130462410823