September 7, 2016

On Protest (Part 1)

We are screaming to be heard. As one man protests loudly by saying nothing, he is condemned as being unpatriotic for demanding that his fellow citizens uphold the Constitution. Our protests turn into riots and standoffs when we are ignored. Why do we protest? Why do protests turn to riots?

The biggest smack in the face is the protests by those who already have power and privilege: an  actual white supremacist group forms an armed demonstration in front of the headquarters of a group that supports a fair and equitable society. The only threat to white people in the country is other white people. The speculation goes that had BLM done a similar demonstration, they would have been jailed or shot. I suspect this would be true. Another terrorist group performed a full blown armed takeover. Again, the speculation goes that had this been a group such as BLM rather than a white supremacy group, it is likely all of those people would have been shot and killed or injured within the first 48 hours. Instead, the culprits here got to go to trial.

We lie to ourselves and each other about how these things happen. We are told that protests turn to riots because the people protesting are not good people – they are criminals. They aren’t good people. The people in the armed takeovers? These are the good, law abiding people. White people commit just as many crimes as any other racial group in this country – we just don’t get caught. Or, if we do, we are let off the hook.We are told those who break, who lose their patience, are wrong. We don’t look at the threads and stories of we got to the eruption that leads to fires, property damages, and hospital stays. It doesn’t happen overnight. The process is not just one child being shot and killed and then a protest happens. That child being shot was not the beginning of the protest. That protest started years ago. These are loud expressions that will intensify as, instead of addressing the needs of the people who are literally begging to be heard, we continue to punish them for what we keep doing to them.

We are forcing their hands. It’s our fault. We put people in these positions and then abuse them. We fail them. And we refuse our responsibility to ourselves and to them.

The more the people are ignored, the more we will find a way to demand to be heard. Our country was not founded on meetings and handshakes. We were ignored for too long and took matters into our own hands. It was founded on revolution and body counts. Bloodshed, rape, and murder. We demanded a place in the world. We took it by force. And we were damned proud of it. We still are. We did not give two shits about those we screwed over in the process. And we still don’t. We demonstrate that to those with whom we share a country every single day.

 

Note: Originally drafted in 2016, Uploaded May 29 2020

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N. M. Baudelaire
N M Baudelaire

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