To those resisting a return to ‘normal’ in Tampa Bay: You are not alone

Editor’s Note.

click to enlarge NOT GREEK TO ME: There’s nothing confusing about “Black Lives Matter.” - Dave Decker
Dave Decker
NOT GREEK TO ME: There’s nothing confusing about “Black Lives Matter.”

When it comes to the coronavirus, there’s now a clear and obvious push to get things back to normal. In some ways, the new issue of Creative Loafing Tampa Bay hitting stands on Thursday reflects that.

In politics, we’re talking about Joe Biden’s potential pick for vice president (a “woke cop,” is what our columnist called Orlando’s Val Demings). Our digital editor Colin Wolf is rightfully fired up about the fact that Trump will likely give his Republican National Convention closing speech at the same time that, 60 years prior, Jacksonville police allowed KKK members to violently attack Black protesters.

Two miles from CL’s Tampa Heights office, Chloe’s in Ybor Heights updating us on a new timeline and call for artists from the Crab Devil collective. There are even live music listings and a chat with Tampa songwriter Shevonne Phillidor, who spoke candidly about her absent father.

Dan Savage, Rob Bresnzy and the late Merle Reagle are all still giving you sex advice, astrology takes and the Bay area’s best crossword.

But we all know we’re still a long way from normal.

After facing pressure from media junkies, the Tampa Bay Times got rid of its mugshot gallery. Three months after a layoff, this office hasn’t hired back any full-time staff; we’re still asking for donations to our new Press Club designed to keep editorial alive.

Everyday, hundreds, if not thousands, of people are in the streets demanding real reform so that Black people might not live in fear of being beat up or killed by law enforcement. Last weekend, a “Back the Blue” rally and “Trumptilla” boat parade featured white power signs and Confederate flag attire. Local chain owners are feeding hungry families, and UberEats is getting flack for pandering to Black-owned restaurants. One of Ybor’s most beloved coffee shops even closed its doors.

Plus, Florida keeps adding new coronavirus cases like nobody’s business, and Tom Brady is in a Bucs uniform.

So, no, we’re not moving towards our “new normal,” and that’s more than OK.

Young people across the country—like Tampa’s Emadi Okuwosa, who we speak with for our cover story—refuse to leave the streets until change comes to police departments.

And this paper, short-staffed since mid-March, lives to tell another week’s worth of stories. We’re grateful for that opportunity, and we’re steadied by the fact that you’re along for the ride. There’s a lot to take in Tampa Bay, thanks for making sure no one feels alone.

Support local journalism in these crazy days. Our small but mighty team is working tirelessly to bring you up to the minute news on how Coronavirus is affecting Tampa and surrounding areas. Please consider making a one time or monthly donation to help support our staff. Every little bit helps.

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About The Author

Ray Roa

Read his 2016 intro letter and disclosures from 2022 and 2021. Ray Roa started freelancing for Creative Loafing Tampa in January 2011 and was hired as music editor in August 2016. He became Editor-In-Chief in August 2019. Past work can be seen at Suburban Apologist, Tampa Bay Times, Consequence of Sound and The...
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