WARNING: There’s like, a lot of f-bombs in this piece, because that’s how I talk, and apparently I’m a sailor who hasn’t seen a woman or land in 30 years. Kidding, it’s not as bad as Good Will Hunting. Or how I talk…
I’ve been thinking about this for a while. I’ve been thinking, “should I write about this?” or “what do I say?”
I couldn’t come up with any coherent answer for myself, so I’m going to spew what will probably be my most angry thoughts I’ve ever written in this blog.
Yesterday, I had completely shut down, I was so upset. I didn’t talk to anyone. When Zach finally came home, it took a few minutes, but then I flew into a rage about police violence.
An INNOCENT man was murdered, it was captured on video, and no one will be held accountable. Because the man that was murdered was black. It blows my fucking mind. Wait, sorry, the guy that recorded the whole thing is being charged, my bad. It’s just weird, because he wasn’t the murderer!
Now, don’t think I’m naive. I KNOW racism is alive and well in this country (and most countries). I’ve seen it play out in the most disgusting ways, over and over, even in my liberal “safe havens.” For instance, in high school, our basketball team played another team that consisted of predominately black players, so our school responded by having basically the entire police force wait outside our school to make sure all those thugs didn’t beat everyone up, I guess. I also stood outside, harassing the police, who were harassing the basketball players, who were, by the way, perfectly nice, yet annoying teenagers, and DID beat us – on court.
And I’d also like to note, I yelled at the police, I stood firmly in my ground, and no one arrested me. Because I’m white.
I was also WELL within the laws of protest, but so are all these black people that are being murdered.
This is probably just the most dramatic personal event I’ve witnessed. I could literally write a Game of Thrones-sized novel consisting of all the “minor” infractions I’ve witnessed. I’ve had friends not be served in restaurants, I’ve seen friends be followed in stores, and at my own fucking wedding, I had anxiety that certain family members would be rude to an interracial couple, and I’d have to throw their asses out (because NO ONE should be made to feel like less of a person).
All of this pisses me off. And guess what? I’m just a WITNESS to all this. Sure, I face discrimination and degradation as a woman, and perhaps I’ll go into that at another time, but right now, I’m talking about race issues (besides, it’s pointless to compare injustices – they are all bad). I can’t even begin to imagine what it feels like to live it – every day. Every day, of your entire life, you live in fear, insecurity, and oppression because of the color of your skin (damn, am I having deja vu from before I was alive?). I’ve always said something, I always stand up for people, even if it means getting in trouble (which I did, a lot, as a kid). Because getting in trouble is OK. It’s not the end of the world. But murder literally is the end of someone. So stand the fuck up and say something.
And the only thing I can do about anything is complain. Make noise. Oh, and also, not be a racist asshole and shoot black people. And for anyone else reading this:
If you’re being quiet, you’re part of the problem. If you’re defending the police, you’re part of the problem. If you’re trying to justify this by saying it’s an artifact of “thug” culture, you’re part of the problem. Basically, if you’re not screaming at the top of your lungs at this injustice, you’re part of the problem.
Because this isn’t just a “black” problem. This is OUR problem. In fact, it’s not a black problem AT ALL. It’s a white problem. Because we’re the ones creating all the problems. Get it? Deal with it. Because I promise, this is going to get a hell of a lot worse before it ever gets better. We are committing crimes against our own people.
Last night, when the news came on, they talked about East High Schoolers (Denver) protesting. The news people were clear to mention that the police where peaceful and kind, and “never told them to go back to class” and walked along with them. I thought, fucking right, that’s their fucking job, do they need a fucking pat on their backs? But then, of course, in a very leading story-telling way, the entire story was about an officer being critically injured after being hit by a car ON AN UNRELATED ACCIDENT. Someone, not part of the protest, crashed into him. So the story was not about how kids were uniting, doing something they felt was important, but how an officer, who’s life is more important, was injured doing his job. I’m sorry that the officer was injured, because he clearly doesn’t like murdering black people, but the news made it seem like he died because it was THEIR fault. Also, don’t even get me started on Denver’s police force, which I consider to be one of the most corrupt in the entire country. It’s like they are competing with NYPD on who can be the biggest assholes.
I saw a quote on Tumblr yesterday. It said: “Stop demonizing riots. Without riots, you’d still be working 10-12 hours six days a week.” I told Zach, “finally! Someone gets it!” Normally, I think being peaceful solves a lot. But right now, it’s not. Being peaceful hasn’t solved anything for a long time. Why do you think hackers are the ones bringing rapists to justice? They are committing a technically illegal act, but they are doing something really great with it, and bringing REAL criminals to justice. It’s called civil disobedience, and it’s designed to change things when your civil culture is failing you.
And sometimes, the system needs to be completely broken down, torn apart, and burned so something new can grow. Right now is that time.
If you’re one of those people judging black people for protesting or rioting, you’re an asshole. Seriously, you’ve got your head so far up your fucking ass, it’s not even funny at this point. They are reacting to being murdered. They’re reacting to their children living in terror. They live in a constant state of terror. They don’t get to live your [apparently] terror-free life. I’d be so angry if someone I loved was murdered by a cop and that person would not be held accountable. Now, imagine that happens like, all the fucking time. Sure, it’s not always murder, but imagine being bullied and oppressed by your authority EVERY FUCKING DAY.
“You don’t have a peaceful revolution. You don’t have a turn-the-cheek revolution. There’s no such thing as a non-violent revolution.” – Malcolm X
Anne Frank said, “In spite of everything, I still believe people are really good at heart.” I believe this too, but it’s not enough to keep that goodness in your heart anymore. Wear it on your sleeve, so those that have no goodness know they are in the minority, that we’re watching, and we will make sure they never hurt another person again.
One time, when I was 13, a teacher was reading a lot of my poetry. I made a collection for an assignment. I wrote a lot of poetry about civil rights and international affairs with the USA at that time. I also wrote a lot on poverty, which was something I had the pleasure of experiencing when I was younger. My teacher responded, “You have really good insight. And clearly you’re sad and angry about a lot of things, but all your poems end on a hopeful note. You shy away. You don’t have to end there, why don’t you carry through?”
I replied, “It’s not that I’m afraid of having a poem end sadly, I just want people to know, that no matter how bad it may be, there’s still hope.”
My teacher argued me for a while longer, but, you know, I never stood down, even though she actually graded me lower.
I used to be a lot smarter back then. I’m even sassier now, so it all evens out, right?
I’m trying to figure out how to end this incredibly angry, and at times condescending, post on a positive note, but I’m struggling. I guess, what I CAN say, is that even though I was angry when I caught a glimpse of traditional media, that’s not how I live most of the time. Traditional media, like TV and newspapers, don’t reflect or influence the masses in the same way anymore. This makes me happy. This is a good thing, because the media really does nothing but outright LIE most of the time. Well, they tell some sort of truth, but it’s generally a very narrow one, that isn’t really reflective of reality. In my world, I’m living with people who are mad, telling the truth, and not backing down. The [FREE] internet makes a lot of that possible.
I’m sorry, but I will not end on that. Instead, I will end with Eric Garner’s last words, because they might as well be the words of millions in this country, and everyone needs to hear them:
“Every time you see me, you want to mess with me. I’m tired of it, it stops today… I’m minding my business, officer, I’m minding my business. Please just leave me alone. I told you the last time, please just leave me alone. Please. Please, don’t touch me. Do not touch me. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe.”
Until next time.