This Is Our Life

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Congressional staffers

Despite its ugly too-long backstory, it's hard not to be moved by the outpouring of solidarity and protests against police racism and brutality - still gaining strength, and even drawing some police. In recent days, Congressional staffers walked out en masse; in light of "the stark, staggering fact" that it doesn't yet exist, Congress moved to pass a bill that could finally create national data on police shootings; tens of thousands marched in New York and D.C.; and the four mothers of four young victims came together for the first time to powerfully declare "a history-making moment" in which "our sons are here with each and every one of you." On Monday, still more: Oakland protesters were arrested after chaining themselves to police headquarters. Medical students expanded their WhiteCoats4BlackLives die-ins across the country. Jews announced, timed to coincide with the start of Chanukah, a nationwide Chanukah Action to End Police Violence in conjunction with Black Lives Matter and Ferguson Action. The singular Samuel Jackson posted a video challenging "all those celebrities out there who poured ice water on your head" to join him in singing the 'We Ain't Gonna Stop 'Till People Are Free' song - 'I can hear my neighbor crying 'I can't breathe.' Now I'm in the struggle and I can't leave.'' And after cranky Cleveland police demanded an apology for his Sunday wardrobe - a T-shirt reading, "Justice for Tamir Rice and John Crawford" - Browns receiver Andrew Hawkins gathered the media to explain - adamant, heartfelt, tearful, simply and with dignity - his motive. So while there remains an impossibly long way to go, he, and all of it, should make us all feel just a little better.

“I was taught that justice is a right that every American should have. Also justice should be the goal of every American. I think that’s what makes this country. To me, justice means the innocent should be found innocent. It means that those who do wrong should get their due punishment. Ultimately, it means fair treatment. So a call for justice shouldn’t offend or disrespect anybody. A call for justice shouldn’t warrant an apology."

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Harvard medical students

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