Politics as Imagination

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"When people took to the streets the night after George Floyd’s death, it was a righteous public manifestation of our pain and anger. As the weeks and months wear on, each wave of the uprising against state-sanctioned violence becomes more intentional, coordinated, and movement-driven. But, that first night was spontaneous, an insurmountable reckoning indicting the soul of our nation. It was impossible to watch police officers take George Floyd’s life, and to think about Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many before them whose lives were stolen from them, without crying out. Folks who look like me with skin like mine.

As the largest protests in our nation’s history continue to unfold, I find myself thinking of 2018. As part of the Ohio Student Association, I mobilized communities to pass a sentencing reform measure in Ohio, Issue 1, and I learned a crucial lesson even more relevant today: in politics, you see some things with your eyes, and you see some things with your imagination."

Read Prentiss Haney's contribution to the latest Culture Pulse for lessons learned and implications for this November's historic election. Learn more about Midwest Culture Lab.

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