Peaceful protest

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. -Martin Luther King, Jr.

Sometimes it’s difficult to talk to a person who refuses to listen. So when all else fails, you write a letter and hope that the receiving party will find it in their hearts to hear you out. If I could talk to our allies in the Uhuru solidarity movement, I would say these words…

I feel your pain and I know your struggles. The same African blood that runs through your veins runs through mines as well. We are family, brothers and sisters, yet here we are behaving as enemies.

I commend Mr. Nevel and Ms. Cainion for stepping up to run for public office. The burdens that we bear as public servants are great, but the issues we face as a city are even greater. The magnitude of this responsibility requires us to be open-minded and willing to listen, even when we disagree.

This is the beauty of our democracy. It’s what makes us the envy of nations worldwide. Other countries must wage war to fight for freedom of speech and protections against infringement on our civil liberties.

Here in America, the cost of that freedom has been paid by the brave men and women in uniform who laid down their lives for this country. Our freedom was purchased by the blood shed from our enslaved ancestors and those who laid down their lives as drum majors for justice during the civil rights era.

There’s nothing wrong with a peaceful protest. For generations, people in America have been able to peacefully assemble and advocate for what they believe in. The problem is when our peaceful protest begins the limit the dialogue that is needed in this election cycle. The problem becomes an issue when candidates’ messages are silenced by overly passionate supporters.

I get it—you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired. We all share in your frustration with what’s happening in cities across this land. Big money developers are gentrifying our neighborhoods, displaying our families and nothing is being done to stop it. The cost of living is increasing, but our paychecks are still the same. The justice system has become unjust to a people, who have been systematically disenfranchised for centuries.

Generational poverty is a cycle that must be broken.  We can’t expect politicians to know what poverty looks like or feels like if they’ve never experienced it. So we must have a seat at the table to share our personal stories. In order for us to make a difference in the game that’s being played down at City Hall, we must first be willing to hear our opponents out.

We agree on more than you may care to admit. Our approach is just a little different. We can learn from one another. Government works best when we are willing to have engaging conversations about the issues facing the residents and business owners within our communities. Active listening skills are an important trait for every leader to have.

I look forward to being able to have a real conversation about the lack of affordable housing in south St. Petersburg. I look forward to us working together, as a team, to mentor more of our youth who are in need of positive role models. I look forward to overcoming our differences and building bridges of opportunity for our entire village.

God Bless,

Corey Givens Jr.

3 Replies to “Peaceful protest”

  1. Betty says:

    We listen to people whi speak the truth. Why should we listen to liars and sellouts. You dont understand. You want to do business as usual. Hiding behind the banner of God…check your bible again. War is a necessary “evil” to establishing peace. Many a times God has blessed and sent troops to conquer the enemy. And they always seem to when. Yrue righteousness is known by onky a few. So go back to your bible and find where you fit into the whole scheme of things. No…go back to your history books, sit with the ancient healers in our ancestral community and purify and exorcise the colonial demons from your soul. Poor baby. You’ve been sheltered from the struggle.

  2. Gazi Kodzo says:

    This guy is a scam artist with NO MORAL COMPASS! He has been caught lying about graduating from THREE different schools that he DID NOT ATTEND! He was caught laundering HUNDREDS of donation dollars into his personal account to buy designer shoes! And now he is sucking up to white voters by belittling a black community organization that is 50 years old! What Radio station has corey built the community? What health fare has corey done for the community? What commercial kitchen has corey given to the community? What campaigns for justice for black children murdered by the police has Corey lead? What Gym has Corey given to the community?

    The only thing corey can teach anyone is how to LIE on an application and steal hundreds of dollars from old ladies! You can’t mentor us on anything else! Corey and his over manicured speeches and letters to the editor are a mask for who he really is an opportunist crook that would steal candy from a baby if he hasn’t already!

  3. Cota says:

    How ironic considering you rejected the invitation that the Uhuru Movement sent to you for our forum this past Sunday on “What about the black community?” The stance you took then and the stance you’re taking now with this letter clearly show that you are on the wrong side of the question. It is so clear that you side with our oppressor. The U.S. is not a nation to emulate or be proud of when it is responsible for so much genocide. The Uhuru Movement has over 45 years of history and science and independent African economic institutions that serve the interests of the people. Jesse and Akilé are the only candidates whose platforms coincide with the mission of African liberation. You can’t say the same. Stop slandering our organiation when you have several contradictions of your own.

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