Wednesday, September 9, 2020

The Day The U.S. Was Shot In The Back - RIRA Children, Youth & Education Committee Chair On Shooting Of Jacob Blake, Creates Art To Keep Pledge With Roosevelt Island Youth On Addressing Systemic Racial Injustices

Inspired by the June 3 Roosevelt Island March For Justice organized by Roosevelt Island young people, Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Common Council Children, Youth & Education Committee (CY&E)) Chair Adib Mansour pledged earlier this summer:

...  RIRA’s Children, Youth & Education Committee stands with you, demanding a permanent change and a better future for EVERY youth and citizen. I pledge that this committee will always be learning on how to bring change and increasing racial equity in our community and our city. As the chair of RIRA’s Children, Youth & Education Committee I am making the commitment that we will be engaging in activities and actions that support our black youth and make sure that we are addressing systematic racial injustices. As part of that pledge, our meeting will be held in 2 weeks time to brainstorm and generate an action plan....
Among the activities organized by Mr. Mansour were a Roosevelt Island Youth Virtual Conversation on Racial Justice and a series of lessons on Black Artists Through History.

Following the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha Wisconsin, Mr Mansour adds:
The Day the U.S. Was Shot in the Back.

As I made a pledge to the youth of our community that the RIRA Children, Youth & Education Committee I chair will do everything to shed light on racial injustice in our country, how can I turn a blind eye to an event that symbolizes this injustice?

I wanted to share this piece I created after Jacob Blake was shot 7 times in the back, in front of his children. In the art I created, our flag is backwards and riddled with 7 bloodied bullets.

This is not an event that affects only Kenosha, Wisconsin, but the entire country. We must stand up to racism and shout at the top of our lungs: Black Lives Matter. What is sad is that, according to Wisconsin Lt. Governor Barnes, "Jacob Blake was trying to deescalate a situation in his community”.

It broke my heart when the first thing Jacob did when he saw his mother in the hospital is cry, the he said “ I am sorry.. I don’t want a burden on anybody. I want to be with my children. And I don’t think I’m going to walk again, Mom!” This will stay embedded in my mind for the rest of my life. Justice and equality must be unequivocal, right now.
Here's more on the shooting and remarks by Jacob Blake from his hospital bed.

Also, after the shooting of Mr. Blake, Roosevelt Island held a silent Black Lives Matter March from Good Shepherd Plaza to Manhattan Park.

And video from the June 3 Roosevelt Island March For Justice.