The Meaningful Addition to DC’s Black Lives Matter Plaza

Sign the Black Lives Matter petition to #DefundThePolice here.
Read more about the idea of defunding the police here and here.

So many people celebrated Mayor Bowser’s creation of a black lives matter plaza on the road that leads to Lafayette Park and the White House. I wouldn’t take that away from anyone. But like so many other liberal gestures, like police officers taking a knee, members of Congress wearing Kente cloths… They’re just that, gestures.

Without meaningful reform or laws or actions… The gestures are meaningless. in fact they’re worse than meaningless as they give a pass to a certain part of the population that believes that something actually was done and won’t understand why people of color keep complaining.

Saturday night when I was at Black Lives Matter plaza covering the celebrations and protests that were happening there I noticed odd things starting to happen. First there was a small group of people who brought pylons into the square and closed off half a block of the plaza to the general populace there. They started dancing and leading chance as other members started writing in chalk on the pavement. I wasn’t quite sure what was happening, whether they were setting up for some type of dance or event…

There wasn’t a lot to photograph there so I kept moving about the protest and taking my photos that was when I noticed a handful of people walking through the crowd briskly with paint rollers on long poles. I immediately turned and followed them.

I noted that the police very obviously stationed at the top of a building near the close portion of road were also very interested and had their binoculars focused there.

As the dances continued the people with paint rollers moved into the square and started their job following the chalk lines that had been previously laid out they started painting. Very slowly it became clear what they were doing.

Adding a simple equal sign, created from the Washington DC flag logo that was originally painted on the end of the Black Lives Matter wording, they created BLACK LIVES MATTER = DEFUND THE POLICE.

The addition was much smaller than the large black lives matter painted lettering but it added meaning to an otherwise empty gesture. It will be interesting to see if the mayor and police allow the addition to stay, and also of course if any meaningful change will happen in the police force that claims to protect our nation’s capital.

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