I am an 85-year-old white man who watched Dr. Martin Luther King as he responded to being struck in the forehead with a rock by staggering and then singing.

We stood and sang and looked into the eyes of white people whose hatred I can still feel.

Fifty years later, George Floyd was murdered by police as other white cops stood by.

Same hate.

Cell phones may make the difference in this battle for human rights. Millions of Americans, led by young people, are responding to state violence, exposed by phone cameras, in a way that offers hope.

I wish we had cell phones and cameras in prisons.

For the past 25 years, I have visited and advocated for people in Illinois prisons. My best friends, outside my family, are all imprisoned. On a daily basis, everyone in prison, but especially those who are black and brown, are subject to disrespect and insidious treatment.

The prison culture is built on security and fear, not respect and rehabilitation.



The Black Lives Matter movement continues to show up on Milwaukee buildings.

Artists Ruben Alcantar and Chris Burke teamed up to create a mural of Breonna Taylor.

Taylor was shot and killed by police in Louisville, Kentucky.



Today would have been Breonna Taylor’s 27th birthday.

Breonna Taylor was killed by police not long after midnight on March 13 in Louisville. The officers were serving a “no-knock” warrant that allows them to enter a home without warning or identifying themselves.



Breonna Taylor was an essential worker.

An EMT with aspirations to be a nurse, she was one of the people whose daily labor of keeping people safe we have come to value anew in the age of COVID-19.

In March, Louisville Police Officers killed her after their choice to serve a no-knock warrant in plain clothes after midnight was met with gunfire by her boyfriend, who was startled by the intruders.

Investigations are ongoing, but no charges have been brought against the officers.

In a country reeling from being involuntary witnesses to the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, Breonna Taylor’s death does not fit the spectacular forms of police killing that we have come to associate with America’s nefarious lynching past.

As such, the Louisville protests on her behalf after Floyd’s death were belated attempts to rectify and recognize the ways that Black women are rarely the first thought in our outrage over police shootings. But Black women are surely worthy of more than secondary outrage.

Rendering Black women as the afterthought in matters of police violence necessitated the creation of the Say Her Name campaign in 2015, a perennial reminder that Black women are victims of state violence too.

Why does it remain so difficult for outrage over the killing of Black women to be the tipping point for national protests challenging state violence?



People are wishing Breonna Taylor a happy birthday on the day she would have turned 27.  Taylor was shot and killed by police officers who entered her home in March. Black Lives

In April, Taylor’s mother filed a wrongful death suit that alleging the police had no reason to enter Taylor’s home as the suspect they were looking for had already been placed in custody.

The police officers had used a no-knock warrant that allowed them to enter Taylor’s home without identifying themselves. Taylor’s partner, Kenneth Walker, thought the police were intruders and opened fire, hitting one officer.

The Louisville police then shot around 25 bullets, hitting Taylor eight times.