with founder Steve Rock
Photo taken 5/29/2020 in Albany NY BLM protest march by Stephen Rock
Welcome to the Brain Food Blog!
Recently I made the announcement of our new project and took down the posts on our social media that said "We are still working on a film for 2020 but we find that we feel that right now a message of peace and unity is more important." I didn't take these down because the time for action has passed, but simply that the show must go on.
However here on my website blog I feel I need to address why I march for the cause of equality and justice for all.
First to explain, I don't match up to any political party. I'm something of a mix of both liberal and conservative views. For example I believe states should largely govern themselves, I believe in legal gun rights and find exvessive gun laws to be only harmful to legal sales and in no way preventing criminals from getting weapons. I believe in equality, LGBTQ+ and women's rights, and that no one should be above the law including those who enforce it. I wish to see police reform in a way that mirrors what we see in other countries, with more training and education required to become and stay a police officer, body cams that are monitored by both internal police review teams and community oversight committee members, and for officers to be safe from any type of termination or retribution for reporting when their colleagues step out of line. I don't want to see an end to the police force, I have many friends that are officers and I have had both great and not so great experiences with the police, I understand that they are largely just normal people trying to do an uncertain and harrowing job. To want to protect one's community is a noble cause.
I also want to see education programs and community health and outreach programs that help to eliminate the creation of criminals in our youth, as no one grows up wanting to be a criminal. They become one to survive when they feel normal life is not something they have access to.
As a child there were two things I was brought up to believe. That all Americans should have been brought up to believe. Those two things are "We are all created equal" and "Liberty and Justice for All." It's in our highest documents. Here is an excerpt from the Declaration of Independence.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
The language is outdated and should be interpreted through a modern lens, just as any of document of significant age should, but the message of equality and freedom is right there. Yet everyday we see that we are not equal under the law, that some are somehow untouchable in their role of law enforcement, and others are strung along and made minor concessions to try to keep them appeased with their unequal situation. It is widespread, it isn't just one marginalized group, it is many. The proof is out there right in front of our faces all the time on every news channels and outside our front doors, and it has been for years. Long before the Floyd protests began, long before the current administration took office, long before I was even born.
I don't understand why. To me these ideas, Equality and Justice for All, are not things that should be a red or blue issue. These aren't political issues, they are humanitarian issues. Whether or not to build a road or to make an ordance to leash your dog or to zone a large scale business like a fulfillment center, those are political issues. To dispute whether someone can get married, where they can live, or if they can access healthcare or insurance is not, those are humanitarian issues. The politics shouldn't be involved as if we practiced what the founding fathers wrote, we all would already have these rights regardless of the circumstances of our birth or who we choose to love.
When I was a child, I was under the impression that my country was the greatest and most free, that I could grow up to be anything I wanted, and that was going to be the same for all other kids my age. Then I grew up and see things for how they really are, ugly and disproportionate.
These last few weeks I have been finally speaking out again after trying to change the world at a younger age and finding no traction, so I had given up. I made new signs for the modern day, as a "NO BLOOD FOR OIL" sign would be very strange next to the current ones, and I took to the streets to demand a better tomorrow. I took to my social media to try to help others understand why I am out there and why I am so passionate about making a better world for the kids of today and the generations of tomorrow.
I have been called many ugly things and defended my ideals, which if you live in the USA and you love this country should be yours also, from many people that don't seem to grasp what this is really all about.
I march today for this cause, but I march tomorrow for the next, and the next, and the next, until I see the country I was told was here when I was a child, and later found out it didn’t ever really exist. All I am seeking in this is to take the ideas and the words we should all cherish as Americans and make them reality. All I am asking for is for people to stop hiding their hate in their politics, to stop pushing their agendas for supremacy of any sort, and to start doing the right thing. The decent thing.
But also I must continue my path as an artist, as they say the show must go on. I have one more thing I would like to quote as i sign off on this blog entry. I present some wise words from Toni Morrison.
"This is precisely the time when artists go to work. There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal."
Here's to a better tomorrow. Please take care, be kind, and know that you all matter. What doesn't matter what you look like in the mirror or how you choose to live. There is only one race, the Human race, we just need to get our society and laws to finally reflect it.
Good Health, Good Luck, and MORE BLOOD!