A weekend of protests, and two nights of shattered glass and shattered illusions, leave us searching for answers in Raleigh. But first, let’s search our souls.
Ours is a City so often given to self-congratulation. We are the fastest-growing. We’re hip. We’re SO not like other cities with their poverty and racial issues.
We’ve got it all figured out.
No, we don’t.
We are two cities in one.
A surging city for whites and the highly educated. A city in crisis for many African-Americans and other people of color, who watch from the sidelines as “the market” rewards the already affluent and gentrifies historic low-income neighborhoods to the point of despair and destruction.
Working-class families, black, brown and white, are getting pushed out — even as they run our grocery stores and collect our garbage in the pandemic.
Easy answers are not at hand. Rather, we are confronted with the ugly truth. George Floyd lived in Minneapolis, and he was killed there by the police. There are George Floyds in every American city, dying every day. Raleigh included.
The only thing that’s clear is that business as usual, Raleigh’s M.O., is not good enough any more, and it never was.
Today, we need the opposite.