Tag Archives: Racism

Renton Residents For Change Seeks City’s Active Commitment to Anti-Racism

by Carolyn Bick


Joseph Todd has been pulled over six times in as many months this year. Every time he’s pulled over, he says, the law enforcement officer inevitably asks the same question.

“He pulls me over, pulls me to the side, and the first thing out of his mouth is, ‘Is this your car?’ And my answer, once again [is], ‘Yeah, it is,’” Todd recalled, describing his most recent interaction with a state trooper.

Todd, a Black man, is the City of Tukwila’s Chief Information Officer, but he lives in Renton. Todd said he doesn’t speed, and he certainly wasn’t guilty of what the officer accused him of doing most recently: driving without a seat belt on.

“[After he pulled me over,] I took my seat belt off so I could reach over and get my registration and everything out of the glove compartment, and then he proceeds to tell me he saw my seat belt flapping in the wind,” Todd said. “In my car, if my seat belt isn’t on, it pulls itself back into the wall of the vehicle.”

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“Let’s Go Get Our Guns and Shoot ‘Em”: SFD Battalion Chief Allegedly Makes Violent Remark Against Black Lives Matter Marchers in Shoreline

by Carolyn Bick


Tae Phoenix was across the street, but said she heard the words clear as day: “Quick, boys. Let’s go get our guns and shoot ‘em.”

And just like that, Phoenix found herself walking across the street to confront the man — later identified as Seattle Fire Department (SFD) Battalion Chief Alan Cox — who had allegedly made the comment to his two young children, after he learned that the group preparing to march down the block was protesting for Black Lives Matter.

Phoenix said she asked Cox, who was standing in his house’s driveway when he allegedly made the comment, what he thought he was doing, and why he thought it was okay to say something like that, particularly in front of children.

“He seemed a little surprised. … He kind of looked at me with this sort of very condescending sneer … and basically said, ‘Why don’t you just move along, lady?’ And he said, ‘lady’ like it was an insult,” Phoenix said.

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Rest, Healing, Celebration, Accountability — Repeat: Persistent Resistance

by Alex Garland


In these unprecedented times, change that once seemed improbable now appears inevitable to many in Seattle’s activist community who have spent years fighting for systemic and structural transformation. As protests and an expanding awareness of racial injustices endure across the nation, several of them find themselves hopeful of finally leaving behind a status quo that dehumanized and marginalized communities of color, LGBTQIA+ folx, and people with disabilities, to name but a few.

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Picket and Rally Draws Attention to Ongoing Racism in King County Workplaces, Including Metro

by Elizabeth Turnbull

“In the struggle for Black lives, we must also stand for Black workers.”


Waving signs reading, “King County Stop Union Busting,” and “Racism Is A Threat To Worker Safety,” protesters participated in a picket and rally sponsored by Organized Workers for Labor Solidarity (OWLS) on July 20. Held near the office of King County Executive Dow Constantine,  the rally included protesters demanding an end to racial discrimination in King County workplaces. 

“In the struggle for Black lives, we must also stand for Black workers,” said Anna Hackman, a professor at Seattle Central College and member of the American Federation of Teachers. “This racist, capitalist system that takes our lives at the hands of police is the same one that exploits our land and our resources and our labor.” 

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OPINION: What Teachers Should Know About the Experience of Being a Black Student in Seattle Public Schools

by Ramone Johnson 


My name is Ramone Johnson and I’m 17 years old. I’m from Illinois originally, and ever since I’ve been to school out here in Washington, any situation in school has been blasted way out of proportion. I want to share my experience to help students and teachers understand each other and learn to value every student and make schools a better environment for everyone.

I started recognizing I was being treated differently as one of the only Black kids in my Seattle middle school. The school administration and security guards came as hard as they possibly could towards me. If I called out the way they were treating me differently than other students, they would call me disruptive and send me out of the classroom. It’s like they wanted to prove a point when I refused to adapt to their environment. I watched them give some students extra time to finish assignments, and they wouldn’t do the same for me. What made him better than me? We were both students that needed help. Instead, they’d treat me like a terrorist. They’d have the cop and school security guard following me around all day and blame me for things I didn’t do.

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The Never-Ending Resilience Required to Be Black in America

by NaKeesa Frazier-Jennings


Early on the morning of Monday, May 25, my husband and I got out of bed while the sky was still dark and drove to the beach. We are both fans of a good day trip, but due to the recent recommendations for the people in our state to stay in and stay safe from the coronavirus, we had not taken one in quite a while. My favorite form of exercise is walking, and I prefer to do it outside while enjoying fresh air and the many beautiful sights to see and experience throughout the area that I call home: the Pacific Northwest. I have countless pictures of the beautiful scenery and look at them repeatedly because they bring me so much joy. However, with so many parks and trails being closed as of late, exercising for the most part has had to be done inside of my house. So, sensing that I needed an outing of some kind, my husband asked: “Do you want to get up at 2 a.m. one day during the Memorial Day weekend and drive to the beach to watch the sunrise?” He was not even finished with his sentence before I yelled out a resounding “Yes!”

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Ethnic Studies Educator Bruce Jackson and the Beautiful American Story Never Told

 by Ari Robin McKenna

This is the second in a series of articles featuring the words of local ethnic studies educators who are doing work to address systemic racism in our classrooms. To read the first, click here. To read the series intro, click here.


When Bruce Jackson was a child, his household was swept up into a greater story that still reverberates across the world today. His uncle, Zayd, was killed defending writer and civil rights activist Assata Shakur during a confrontation with police on the New Jersey Turnpike. A documentary about Shakur’s life ends with the following words regarding her chosen surname:

“It is a name that I took to carry on the name of Zayd Malik Shakur in honor of his family, and in honor of the forces of beauty and good on this earth which I’m grateful for. That is my name.”

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Reflections From a Cop’s Kid

by Roy Fisher


I am a cop’s kid. My father was the first African American to retire from the Washington State Patrol. Knowing what my father had to endure to reach that milestone, it is with a sense of pride that I write those words. Twenty-five years, I can only imagine what he went through. My father started a Black Law Enforcement group to support the many African Americans to wear the badge. I grew up with a profound love and respect for officers. My godfather, also a police officer, was shot during what he thought would be a routine traffic stop. The story goes that if the gun had been a larger caliber or he had been a little closer he would have died. While my father was never shot, he did total his patrol car during a chase. I have an intimate understanding of the risks associated with being a police officer. 

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POETRY: The streets are crying.

by Cecilia Erin Walsh 


daily burials without memorial. selective testing. 
arrogance and stupidity passing for leadership.
seclusion. isolation. hunger. masks on every face. 
furtive movements across the city. essential travel only. 
certain scarcity. overcrowded hospitals. 
layoffs. domestic violence and suicide rise. 
mental health crisis phone lines ring incessantly. 

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King County Officially Declares Racism a Public Health Crisis

by Emerald Staff


Today, King County and Public Health-Seattle & King County (PHSKC) officially declared that racism is a public health crisis. 

In a statement, King County Executive Dow Constantine committed the County and its public health authority to implementing a racially equitable response to racism, centering on community.

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