La Jollans stage ‘chalk-in’ on bike path in assist of Black Lives Matter
Neighborhood members turned out to the La Jolla Bike Path on Labor Day to make chalk artwork in assist of the Black Lives Matter motion.
“We wished to take a stand and name out how we really feel about police and vigilante violence in opposition to Black Individuals,” mentioned Ruth Leivers, a La Jolla resident and mom of three.
About 40 folks arrange on the bike path close to By way of del Norte. It was the second chalk-in occasion organized by Leivers. The primary was held July 4. Just a few days later, Leivers noticed metropolis staff cleansing the bike path; they advised her that neighbors had reported the chalk artwork as “offensive graffiti,” she mentioned.
Leivers mentioned she was motivated by a letter to the editor within the La Jolla Gentle a few man shouting and tearing down a 12-year-old’s art work selling range and BLM, amongst different messages.
“I felt we who’re against racism ought to do one thing and be seen in our personal group,” mentioned Leivers, a former trainer. “I’m a biracial girl. I’ve three youngsters, ages 12 to 17. What occurs to Black males, girls, ladies and boys issues to me. However it ought to matter to everybody.”
The Black Lives Matter motion grew after the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. A whole bunch participated in a June 12 march in La Jolla.
Contributors within the Labor Day chalk-in wore masks amid the coronavirus pandemic as they gathered at a desk adorned with a red-white-and-blue tablecloth. An info board listed books that debate racism and anti-racism, together with “Stamped From the Starting” by Ibram X. Kendi and his youngsters’s model, “Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You.”
“Black lives matter” was written in giant block letters; there have been rainbows and coronary heart drawings, and even a dragon. One resident drew a wave with the phrases “Trip the wave to equality.” One other wrote, “All lives received’t matter till Black lives matter.”
Some passersby joined in and added their very own artwork to the asphalt canvas. Others who didn’t agree with the message or the strategy accused the group of defacing the neighborhood or condoning the violence that has erupted at some Black Lives Matter protests elsewhere. One man described the “huge stunning yachts” at a ship rally supporting President Trump that he had attended.
“We tried to clarify that our peaceable protest was not in regards to the current White Home administration however in regards to the violence that every one Individuals are seeing perpetrated on the our bodies of Black women and men, ladies and boys,” Leivers mentioned. ”In La Jolla, we’re utilizing artwork to start out an essential dialog.”
Dr. Sierra Washington, an affiliate scientific professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at UC San Diego, attended the occasion and contributed to the chalk drawing.
“I believe it is necessary for us to interact in our group in regards to the motion for Black lives and stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters who’re being brutally murdered by legislation enforcement officers,” Washington mentioned. ”No group is resistant to this kind of systemic racism, not even La Jolla.”
“We reside right here, too,” mentioned Washington, who’s Black. “I’ve a 4-year-old son and I fear about when he’ll go from being thought of the cutest child within the neighborhood to being racially profiled as a public enemy. I don’t assume my son might be secure in any neighborhood till we tackle the extreme violence used in opposition to Black folks in America. I’m grateful for small group occasions just like the chalk portray on the bike path that convey us collectively to have the ability to dialogue in our personal group, as a result of change begins with a dialog.”
Invoice Hagey, who grew up in La Jolla, agreed that residents want to indicate their assist for racial justice. “It was enjoyable to satisfy and see neighbors and specific our concern for everybody by way of sidewalk artwork,” he mentioned.
La Jolla resident April Winograd, who has mentored younger folks in philanthropy and social outreach, mentioned, “That is such a good way to indicate that our values acquire that means by way of our actions, and typically crucial factor that we are able to do is to talk up and say, ‘That’s not proper.’“
Sharon L. Jones is a former training reporter for The San Diego Union-Tribune. She has lived in La Jolla for 20 years. ◆