Why Salon's D. Watkins is done with your Twitter outrage and Facebook rants
Salon’s Editor at Large D.
Watkins has been called an activist for his writing and commentary on police shootings of young African Americans, including the killing of Freddie Gray from Watkins’ hometown of Baltimore.
While Watkins wants to draw attention to systemic issues like police violence, he rejects the “activist” label and is advocating for creating tangible, direct action instead.
“After Freddie Gray died, everybody had Freddie Gray shirts and signs and tattoos, and people was crying, ‘Freddy, poor Freddy.’ And it was sad.
It was sad.
But there's so many young kids who have realities similar to his that are around.
A lot of'em don't have mentors, a lot of'em don't really understand how these systems work,” Watkins explained.
Watkins, a New York Times bestselling author, released his third book, [“We Speak for Ourselves: A Word from Forgotten Black America,”]( http://www.amazon.com/dp/dp/1501187821/?tag=saloncom08-20) on April 23.
“When I was coming up, I wasn't around artists, and photographers, and professors, and people that worked in media.
These things weren't options, but if they were maybe I would have taken school more seriously, maybe I would have became a reader at an earlier age, maybe I would have stepped outside of my neighborhood to try to build some relationships,” he continued “I know a lot of these kids are starting to get it now, but there’s an opportunity for us to make these relationships before these people become hashtags.” Watch the [full episode]( https://www.salon.com/tv/e/768008/c/3948) to hear why D.
Watkins wants to lead tough conversations that make people upset and how we can talk about race in a meaningful way without dwelling on “phony” terminology like mirco-agressions.
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