Shopping cart is empty.

Birchbark Blog

Where We Are Now

Louise Erdrich - Saturday, June 13, 2020
This year will always be a year of befores and afters. Here we are now, in the aftermath of George Floyd's killing. Here at Birchbark Books, we grieve with George Floyd's family. We stand with the protesters and are among the protesters. We are heartsick and furious. Our task now is to provide information that will help deepen understanding that will lead to real, true, change. However it is worded -- defund, dismantle, abolish -- we have to fix policing. A movement to do this has started here in Minneapolis and reverberated throughout the world. What we do now will help lead the way for others.

There are reasons that reform hasn't worked since Jamar Clark, Philando Castile, Breonna Taylor, and countless others were killed by police. Ricardo Lopez, Senior Political Reporter for The Minnesota Reformer, wrote an article addressing systemic racism in Minneapolis-St.Paul and why it persists in our police force. I can't say it better than Mr. Lopez: "Minnesota's Decades Long Failure to Confront Police Abuse"

Last Friday, the Minneapolis City Council passed a resolution to create a "Future of Community Safety Work Group". This group will study modes of public safety and seek experts who can help keep ALL citizens safe without resorting to harassment, intimidation, and violence. The result of Black Lives Matter, Black Visions Collective, citizen activism, and this study by the City Council is likely to be a policing initiative on the ballot next November. We need to know the issues and get out the vote.

When I first saw signs demanding Abolish The Police, I was confused. How could such a thing happen? I turned to The End of Policing by Alex Vitale. This  matter-of-fact book has helped me understand what an initiative next fall could look like. I can't recommend this book highly enough. Let's not lose the momentum that we have, let's not stop creatively coming together and growing, let's not be a city that allows things to go back to the way they were before. I want to be part of a true after.  

We have a few copies of The End of Policing now and will be getting many more soon from Verso Press. Please call and reserve a copy of this book. The word essential has gotten a lot of use lately, but when I say this book is essential I truly mean it. 

While you are waiting for The End of Policing, I also recommend White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide by Carol Anderson -- a book that brings clarity to history and sheds light on where we are now. At present, I'm reading From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor. I'm not done with this book yet, but Taylor is a formidable analyst and a brilliant writer. 

Shock, rage, sorrow and protest open a lot of hearts. Let's keep our hearts open to one another and make real change happen right here. 

Love and Justice,


Canoe Family

Recent PostsRSS


Jim Harrison neighborhood france Ha Jin Population Light in August mississippi Remarkable Trees health care reform Dartmouth cafe closing Canada Michael Jackson Minnesota The Blue Sky Milkweed Press Native People language revitalization Gary Clement Crushing Books The Birchbark House Victory Gardens Hillary Clinton NACDI:All My Relations The Game of Silence photography Tar Sands Nero Keystone XL Makoons pilgrims Mohamed's Ghosts thank you friends Rare Books Keepers of the Trees Louise Minneapolis trees Too Loud A Solitude incarnation coyote favorite book Kabul Poetry William Trevor buffalo show your love Bohumil Hrabal H2Oil Dogs north dakota Islam plants State Troopers Vic Glover Bleak House This Green World Mankato Powwow germany Love Beth Dooley customers Botany Gail Caldwell President Obama monkey in a dryer Video graphix tree books Aza ptsd The Wealth of Nature friends Peak Oil Brown Dog support ireland British Navy Interview post holiday reads ependent japan gratitude joy S.C. Gwynne Empire of the Summer Moon aquifer Anishinabe sweden Easter Island Climate Change Nemesis School Gardens cafe Green Team favorite tree More Remarkable Trees Ice Greenland anniversary Emily Johnson china Anton Treuer Afghanistan solstice, Thomas King the most romantic city in the world Hilary Mantel Our Knowledge Is Not Primitive italy Alice Munro Anishinabemowin Alan Weisman Tree Houses Small Bookstores as Commons The Farmer's Daughter Magers and Quinn National Book Award Ojibwemowin Unnatural Disasters Keeping Heart on Pine Ridge leaves and snow Women and Trees twins knowledge fresh water green adventure thanks Education Wolf Hall Collective Denial how good looking you are Book Review local economy World on the Edge Let's Take the Long Way Home The Transition Handbook Wastepaper devoted customers Zombies Gryphon Press Pembina The Ojibwe 2666 Bill Moyers Journal Wendy Makoons Geniusz Birchbark Books Ojibwe euphoria Patrick O'Brian Native Arts The Resilient Gardener Aubrey/Maturin Czech Writer spring Stephen Salisbury birchbark house series Fireworks Catalyst Up Late Again gardens Philip Roth boarding school Too Much Happiness Chitra Divakaruni Chickadee favorite dog The Royal Prussian Library post holiday peculiar touches of green and gold The Porcupine Year Kenwood Gardens E.L. Doctorow city of books Roberto Bolano Kate DiCamillo bill mckibben Peak Water book and dinner club