This is America: Local leaders, activists and educators of color try to make sense of it all

click to enlarge Demonstrators gather in Spokane on June 7. - YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
Young Kwak photo
Demonstrators gather in Spokane on June 7.

The Black Lives Matter demonstrations are believed to be the largest protest movement in U.S. history, with tens of millions of Americans participating in rallies in all 50 states. And it’s not nearly over: In Portland, for example, protesters have taken to the streets every night since late May, and in recent days, unidentified, camo-wearing federal agents have snatched protesters off city sidewalks and whisked them away in unmarked vans without explanation. In America. In 2020.

It’s a show of force that the Trump administration plans to deploy in other cities, even as state and local officials vowed to fight back and likened the federal response to authoritarianism.

There's a lot to unpack, and we turned to local leaders, activists and thinkers of color to reflect on this moment in American history. We didn’t tell anyone what to write, but we did suggest they consider what had them angry, inspired, hopeful or disheartened. We also asked: What do you wish people understood better? Find their powerful answers below.

THE ESSAYS:

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About The Author

Jacob H. Fries

Jacob H. Fries is the editor of the Inlander. In that position, he oversees editorial coverage of the paper and occasionally contributes his own writing. Before joining the paper, he wrote for numerous publications, including the Tampa Bay Times, the Boston Globe and the New York Times. He grew up in Spokane Valley...