I told this kid at the gas station today to change his pitch when approaching people about pumping their gas. I told him don’t let the first thing you say to anyone be I’m just doing this to stay out of trouble. I said don’t even implant the idea in this stranger that you’d otherwise be up to no good. A possible threat. I told him you’re not trying to stay out of trouble. You’re out here in the heat working. Trying to make money. And he is. He’s doing a service. I told him the language you use is important. You set the tone. Had no money to give the kid but gave him a bottle of iced tea. Please when you see young people out here trynah peddle some stuff or pump some gas or dance on the train, if they say to you they’re doing something to make a little money and ‘stay out of trouble’ correct them. They’re conditioned to say this nonsense. If you don’t know why it’s a terrible thing for them to continue to recite repeatedly, you prove we’ve lost already.



A silent protest in Love Park, downtown Philadelphia orchestrated by performance artists protesting the murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson. The onslaught of passerby’s  wanting to take photos with the statue exemplifies the disconnect in American society.  Simply frame out the dead body, and it doesn’t exist.  

Here are some observations by one of the artists involved in the event:

I don’t know who any of these folks are.

They were tourists I presume.

But I heard most of what everything they said. A few lines in particular stood out. There’s one guy not featured in the photos. His friends were trying to get him to join the picture but he couldn’t take his eyes off the body.

"Something about this doesn’t feel right. I’m going to sit this one out, guys." "Com’on man… he’s already dead."


There were a billion little quips I heard today. Some broke my heart. Some restored my faith in humanity. There was an older white couple who wanted to take a picture under the statue.

The older gentleman: “Why do they have to always have to shove their politics down our throats.” Older woman: “They’re black kids, honey. They don’t have anything better to do.”

One woman even stepped over the body to get her picture. But as luck would have it the wind blew the caution tape and it got tangle around her foot. She had to stop and take the tape off. She still took her photo.

There was a guy who yelled at us… “We need more dead like them. Yay for the white man!”

"One young guy just cried and then gave me a hug and said ‘thank you. It’s nice to know SOMEBODY sees me.’

Their ancestor didn’t care about black people, and they never will because that’s how they were raised! Nothing will change with them, we have to change within and stop looking up to them to help!!


every day they want you to shrink:

fit here, in my palm, in my shadow, don’t be bigger than my idea of you, don’t be more beautiful than i can accept, don’t be more human than i am willing to allow you to be and be quiet, you’re too loud, even your unbelonging is loud. quiet your dreams, your voice, your hair, quiet your skin, quiet your displacement, quiet your longing, your colour, quiet your walk, your eyes. who said you could look at me like that? who said you could exist without permission? why are you even here? why aren’t you shrinking? i think of you often. you vibrate. you walk into a room and the temperature changes. i lean in and almost recognise you as human. but, no. we can’t have that.

Warsan Shire, Be Small For Me. (via basedjane)