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Black Lives Matter

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On Saturday, November 12, residents from all over the Setauket area gathered at the parking lot of the town’s train station to take part in the Three Villages March for Black Lives. In the early morning,  dozens of people stood bundled up in jackets, hoodies, and whatever else would help them withstand the chilly fall day. Gloved hands had homemade signs in tow. Standing not too far off from the rest of the pack was Barbara Coley, co-chair of the Racial concerns committee at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship and one of main organizers of the event. While many in attendance were newcomers, for Coley and members of her congregation this wasn’t their first time around the block. In July of this year, Coley and the congregation made the decision to put up a Black Lives Matter banner in front of the church building. Within a few weeks, the gesture of…

It’s easy to buy into America’s mythology, glorify the Constitution’s framers, forgive slavery, justify Manifest Destiny, allow genocide, proclaim emancipation and forget the disenfranchisement of millions. But history without context isn’t history, It’s ignorance. Perspective is key to understanding and coming to terms with America’s injustices. In a society that continues to be dominated by straight white men, perspective can be lacking. Its absence can be seen and heard in presidential candidates and leading politicians demonizing Syrian refugees. It’s easy to say that refugees of the Syrian Civil War want to spread radical Islam and change the American way because people want to believe it. Fighting against the tidal wave of propaganda is difficult. Getting over the cognitive dissonance from seeing a refugee crisis as a result of America’s foreign policy failures in the Middle East can be a bit much to ask for from a typical person, but this…

The non-indictment of a policeman who fatally shot 12-year-old Tamir Rice sprung the BlackLivesMatter movement anew in Washington Square Park tonight. As marchers from NYCRISEUP4TAMIR braved the sleet down Broadway protesting police brutality and systematic racism, the movement’s supporters agreed that the string of injustice since the Mike Brown case has hit a new low. “It is not okay,” Jawanza James Williams, an organizer for the youth activist group, Vocal New York, said. “To not even consider the fact that the state-sanctioned murder of a child, of twelve year old Tamir Rice in Cleveland, Ohio, is not racial. Because had that child been a white child, I guarantee you that at least three seconds would’ve been given to ‘put your weapon down,’ or ‘stand still’ or ‘freeze.’” The shooting had taken less than three seconds. “Even if the gun wasn’t real,” said Benjamin, a government worker who would not give…