The killings of innocent black lives is not new, the only thing that has changed is the way in which we are exposed to it. During the civil rights movement, there were no cell phones to capture real time footage of the repeated brutality our people experienced. There were no police body cameras to witness the injustices. There was a lack of technology but not a lack of effort to criminalize us

As we continue to fight against injustices and revolutionize with movements such as Black Lives Matter, we are fighting the same battles as those who came before us, but with different weapons. Not once have we questioned the tactics of those who came before us, or even stated that their attempts to bring about change were soft or unsuccessful. Instead, we have respectfully built our revolution upon the shoulders of those who walked before us

So why is it that those who came first no longer want to carry us on their shoulders into a new age of change agents? After the death of Alton Sterling and Philander Castile, protesters in Atlanta took to the highway to shut it down. Protesters were engaged in an hours long stand off on the ramp of the downtown highway with state troopers. Forming a line, the protesters were able to shut down a portion of access to the highway via that ramp

Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed wasn't so happy about the freeway being occupied and made an interesting comment. “We’re respecting their 1st Amendment rights. We’re the home of Dr. Martin Luther King. The only thing I ask is that they not take the freeways. Dr. King would never take a freeway.” Reed most surely knows the story of Selma, but dared to state that Dr. King would never take a freeway. He would, and he did, just as we did. We mobilized via social media and hashtags. They organized through churches and community organizations. Same fight, new tools

We use available resources, but refuse to rewrite the history books to fit your agenda. Mayor Reed wasn't the only one who questioned the tactics of this new generation of change agents and free thinkers. Civil rights icon Andrew Young, also wasnt too fond of the new tactics being used. While giving a speech at a local police station following the protest, Young called protesters "unlovable little brats." Now "unlovable little brats", though uncalled for, is something I believe we can turn a cheek to. But when it's a name being hurled at us by someone who was hosed down for doing the same thing and had his life threatened with crosses burned in his front yard, you would think his take would be different. What have we done so radical, Mr. Young for you to want to discredit us? What have we done to be dishonored to the likes of you, as we push for the same thing you once fought for? Equality. Justice. Freedom. Well the Atlanta NAACP wasn't having it and offered a few words a couple of us will agree with: Young should use his clout to demand changes in police practices in the U.S. or "go quickly and quietly into a well-deserved retirement." We are who we are because of people like Andrew Young, Kasim Reed, and people who have gone before us and made a way and laid a foundation for us to continue to build on and do the work. In continuing that work, there has to be a mutual respect among generations. As the times have changed, which has brought access and technology to places that have historically been off limits or inaccessible, we have had to adjust. In adjusting, we have had to embrace new ways to fight old problems. There is one thing that remains and stands true, Black Lives Matter. That is the one thing we can agree on, and the one thing we can all fight for. No matter how we fight, as long as peaceful and respectful, let us fight. Let us be the change agents and history makers we desire to be. It is now our time to step up to the plate and show you what we are made of

So Mr. Young, Mr. Reed, and my other beloved elders, let us and don't make us have to ask for permission


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