Seattle’s New Youth Movement

For Martin Luther King day, the Garfield High School Black Student Union held a panel discussion on Seattle’s burgeoning Black Lives Matter movement. In their first major protest, thousands of Seattle students walked out of their high schools when the grand jury failed to indict Darren Wilson for killing unarmed black teenager Michael Brown.

The keynote speaker is John Carlos. Carlos is the former track and field athlete whose Black Power salute (along with Tommie Smith’s) during the 1968 Olympics caused massive international controversy.

4 thoughts on “Seattle’s New Youth Movement

      • I don’t believe the War on Drugs is only against the people of color. I participate in a program wherein we attempt to rehabilitate college youth through a 1 on 1 mentoring program to bring them back into living a productive life and eventually returning to school. The program has many requirements: they move from wherever they were living into a ‘safe house’ and must cut off all contact with former contacts in the drug community, if we discover any drug contact they are out of the program with one infraction, they take a drug test every week, they cannot miss a single therapy session or tutoring session and they must study good nutrition and be responsible for their own quality of life standards. Some of the nightmares these kids have been through send more than cold chills down my spine. I’ve mentored 12 such college kids who were removed from the university setting for selling hard drugs in the past 5 years (9 Caucasian and 3 of color) and all 12 are due to graduate this coming spring. They’ve worked hard to turn their lives around and most Friday nights and sometimes on Sat also, you’ll find them sprawled across our living room floor doing homework or just hanging out.
        My opinion is that the war on drugs will never be over until the US stops sending guns South of the Border. Although my husband is very ill, I’ve agreed to take on 6 more young people and the best news is that of the 12 students graduating this spring, 4 are going to remain locally to pursue their graduate degrees and have agreed to work with the program that has helped them. That’s actually what I wanted to see all along. The program to grown and graduating successful students wanting to help those who were still struggling.


        • Oh absolutely the War on Drugs affects white kids, as well. But as Michelle Alexander documents in The New Jim Crow, it’s absolutely decimating black communities. It also gives cops the license to stop, intimidate, search (and sometimes shoot) black men. In many cities, police departments are rewarded with federal money for high numbers of drug arrests, and this leads them to arbitrarily stop black pedestrians and motorists (often repeatedly) just on the off chance they might have drugs on them. They never do this kind of street sweep on college campuses or in white suburbs, even though a higher percentage of white people sell drugs (usage rates are comparable between whites and blacks.

          I think we need to follow the example of Portugal, which has halved addiction rates by shifting funding from enforcement to treatment and rehabilitation:

          A good start would be to legalize marijuana (which is far less harmful than alcohol or cigarettes) both federally and in all 50 states. 80% of all drug arrests are for marijuana possession.

          Liked by 1 person

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