Sunday I was trying to think thru something and so went back to this piece I really appreciate, “Leverage Points: Places To Intervene In A System” by Donella
Meadows and it hit me, again, how a lot of us are sleeping the demonstrations strategy of the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Meadows ranks the ways to move a system from the weakest, changing out specific people (e.g. elections) or the numbers of a system (e.g. tax rates), to the most powerful lever, the mindset that sits behind the overall culture. The murders of Alton Sterling and Philandro Castile by police followed by the murders of five Dallas police officers, again put the need for a new system front and center. In explaining mind shift as the most powerful of all system change levers, the actions of #BlackLivesMatter demonstrations become not just clearly courageous… but strategic and it’s that last piece, strategy, that’s not getting enough love. We should support and join the demonstrations as the highest level of system change i.e. mindset change because the demonstrations go right at the core idea of white supremacy: Black lives do not matter as much as white lives, ideas and comfort and Black lives really only matter when they contribute to white lives (this is also, a core idea of Critical Race Theory, the framer of which, Prof Derrick Bell, came right from this Hill District. Love and Light to him.) The demonstrations insist our lives cannot go on undisturbed while Black people are murdered by police. These reverberations are felt society wide, including in the halls of institutional power.