As new members of Weavers Way, we were excited to obtain the June issue of the Shuttle and planned to read it cover to cover. With heavy hearts we stopped reading after the opening Editor’s Note on page 2, knowing it is our obligation to respond to what we see as harmful, inaccurate and discriminatory words.
In the second sentence, Ms. Plourde writes, “Philadelphia and cities across the country are dealing with the aftermath of looting and destruction…” Such a characterization is a gross misrepresentation of what is instead a passionate, hopeful, transformative movement that, with the leadership of Black citizens, many of them youth, can bring about the change that many who are members of Weavers Way and other co-ops have been anticipating.
Using the word “looting” as the primary activity of not just nationwide, but international protests against racism is a choice of words that cannot be overlooked. The word smacks of racism and a historical stereotyping. What is “looting,” if not what has been done to people of color ever since the first colonizers arrived on our shores? Overwhelmingly, protests in the past few weeks have been peaceful and the vast majority of physical harm has been police perpetrated and executed.
Ms. Plourde goes on to describe the murder of George Floyd as a “police-involved death.” Let’s be clear: George Floyd was the victim of premeditated murder carried out by one white policeman (who had over 10 previous complaints against him for violence) while his partners watched.
As new neighbors, we hope this letter is printed in the July newsletter, in the hope that further dialogue about implicit and explicit racism continues.
— Deb Gausmann and Craig Stevens