Last week a friend responded to events in Baltimore (and in Ferguson and in Tulsa and in South Carolina and in Cleveland and on Staten Island and in the 100s of other less well known locations in which Black lives have visibly not mattered at all):
She's right of course (though I might extend the period involved for a couple of hundred years). And like most people likely to read here, she isn't the kind to actually give up.
In fact, burning buildings in Baltimore served as enough of a heads-up to the powers-that-be in that city to get some charges entered against the cops who had a role in Freddie Gray's death. So that's something.
But most of us aren't going out to riot. Been there, done that, but that's for very young people who move rapidly and believe themselves immortal (if not simply worthless). For the rest of us, there have to be other answers.
The Miami Herald's columnist Leonard Pitts is projecting a series of columns on what ordinary folks can do. Here's part of one, quoting his friend the Rev. Tony Lee's advice to a middle aged white woman:
That last is hard for anyone who has felt the adrenaline rush of releasing the rage and pain on the streets. And change almost never comes without people willing to take it to the streets.
But it also requires others -- lawyers, citizen advocates, financial contributors -- who build the infrastructure to keep the heat on the system when the protesters are resting at home. So what are we doing?