“Whoever debases others is debasing himself.”

— James Baldwin, “The Fire Next Time”

Months ago, after the filmed murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis law enforcement officers, many Americans believed that the matter was simply another tragic case of police brutality that would receive some intensive media attention and then go away in the ceaseless loop of 24-hour news cycles.

How wrong they were. The Floyd case unleashed a firestorm that has compelled the nation not only to examine current social justice and policing issues but also our shameful legacy of violence, inequality, oppression and discrimination, as well as the overt and subtle forms of racism and bigotry that persist in our society.

Jmore recently asked four local writers and thinkers to share their views on the seismic shifts taking place today in American society regarding race, equality, the Black Lives Matter movement and social justice issues.

Rain Pryor Vane

Rain Pryor Vane: Desert of Confusion

If anyone can relate to the struggle of Black people, it’s us, the Jewish people, writes Rain Pryor Vane.

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Del. Dana M. Stein

Del. Dana M. Stein: Speak Up and Act

“We must not just speak out against racial discrimination,” writes Del. Dana M. Stein. “We must act by working to provide solutions to the discrimination that Black people face.”

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Gail Lipsitz

Gail Lipsitz: Take a Selfie

None of us can breathe easy until all of us can breathe freely, writes Pikesville resident Gail Lipsitz.

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Will Schwarz

Will Schwarz: Seismic Changes in our World

Maybe the fact that the pandemic brought daily life to a halt allowed us to see more clearly what we’ve been ignoring all along, writes Will Schwarz, founder of the Maryland Lynching Memorial Project.

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