Rules for Protests for People of Color in the United States of America

Clara Luper Diner

Sometimes when I hear white people talking about where and when people of color should protest, I am thinking maybe they want there to be “Rules for Protests for People of Color in the United States” that would go something like this:

You shall not protest on a bus, your protests shall not make a fuss

You shall not protest on the street, you shall not go where people meet

And when you protest in a town, where many white folk are around

Your protests there would sure be finer if they were not in a diner

You shall not protest at the malls, you shall not gather in the halls

You shall not protest on the highways or even block the smaller byways

You shall not protest on a ridge or do your marching on a bridge

You must protest where you belong, far away from every throng

And if you kneel upon the field, our eyes from football we shall shield

For you are there to entertain and not to protest or complain

And if you must protest at all, wear a ribbon, but keep it small

For those who fill a broadcast seat, you’ll be suspended if you tweet

You will follow all these rules in our churches and our schools

And if you don’t then we will fight to keep your protests out of sight.

About Mark Y. A. Davies

Mark Davies is the Wimberly Professor of Social and Ecological Ethics and Director of the World House Institute for Social and Ecological Responsibility at Oklahoma City University. He is the Executive Director of the Leadership, Education, and Development (LEaD) Hub North America of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church and an Oklahoma Humanities State Scholar. Mark has published in the areas of Boston personalism, process philosophy and ethics, and ecological ethics. Dr. Davies serves on the United Methodist University Senate, which is “an elected body of professionals in higher education created by the General Conference to determine which schools, colleges, universities, and theological schools meet the criteria for listing as institutions affiliated with The United Methodist Church.” He and his wife Kristin live in Edmond, OK in the United States, and they have two daughters. The views expressed by the author in this blog do not necessarily represent the views of Oklahoma City University or the United Methodist Church.
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