Yusuf Abdullah/ALOST


akoiki-passport2 – by Adesina O. Koiki
A Lot of Sports Talk editor-in-chief

WASHINGTON — As scores of United States citizens tear down their own mental walls in an attempt to educate themselves on the legacy of systemic and institutionalized racism in the country they hold so dear, sparked by the gruesome murder of George Floyd at the hands of law enforcement being captured on video, a good number may end up coming across a well-known quote attributed to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”

Americans at their wits’ end in seeing another extrajudicial killing of an unarmed black person, specifically called to substantive action after the murder of Floyd in Minneapolis and Breonna Taylor in Louisville, are now compelled more than at any point in their lives to lasso that arc with a rope and use their manpower to pull it toward the American ideal of liberty and justice for all.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, the landmark whose namesake is the civil rights leader many cite as their moral compass in talking about and trying to enact social change, was the site of a powerful demonstration as part of the 10th day of nationwide protests. From reciting the names over a loudspeaker of the many black people murdered due to extrajudicial punishment to expressions of pain and hope through poetry, hundreds gathered on a sun-kissed day to peacefully send a message to the world — including white people who are speaking out in bigger numbers than ever before, in our opinion. The video of Floyd’s death, the nationwide protests, the subsequent violence committed by agents of the state against peaceful protesters as well as the violence committed by infiltrators looking to sabotage the public perception of the otherwise-peaceful protests, have shaken the country to its core.

One of the many people who took in many of those sights and sounds on Thursday in West Potomac Park was A Lot of Sports Talk‘s DC Area-based photographer Yusuf Abdullah, a retired marine and Vietnam War veteran who also was a combat arms instructor at Andrews Air Force Base in Prince George’s County, Maryland. At a time when the juxtaposition of sports and politics — subjects that have always been intertwined despite ignorant calls to separate the two — is necessary for the universal understanding of and needed response to the generational impact of institutionalized racism, our company, founded by a black man who makes a concerted effort to include the works of black and brown people and women, is beyond grateful for the service to our country and the example of being a wonderful human being that Yusuf is. Thank you. (The son-in-law of one of our regular photographers, Ross James, is currently serving in the armed forces, and we can’t thank him enough for his service to our country!)

Above the byline is the photo gallery from Thursday’s demonstration. We not only hope you click on any photo above to open up the gallery and take in the scenes from the Martin Luther Ling Memorial, we encourage those of you serious about educating yourself and making a tangible difference but struggling to find a starting point to click this link, a anti-racism resource guide for white people.

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Tags : Black Lives MatterGeorge FloydMartin Luther KingProtestsWashington DC

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