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2020-06-14 - 6:55 p.m.

My goodness, nearly a month since I was here, seems like the whole world has blown up. Not that I am at all upset over the protest. I don't even care about the rioting and looting. The brutality though, that I can not tolerate.

I am in MI and one month ago about 300+ people headed to the capital all decked out in their best go to war outfits complete with gun belts and riot gear. The police that met them wore plain uniforms, medical masks and stood like the queens guard in the face of violence, screaming shoving and all around poor treatment. They threatened the governor with hanging and promised to "exercise their 2nd amendment rights" code for violent overthrow of government, if they didn't get their way. They shouted "free speech" and "the government can't tell me what to do, this is a free country and I have a right to gather and protest." All the while those of us who understand what "pandemic" means kept to our homes and tried to protect our elderly and immuno-compromised family members from a virus that has no known treatment and a hi fatality rate in those populations. Never once, during any of these aggressive threatening protest, did the police arrive in riot gear. They didn't don even bullet proof vests in the company of massively armed people threatening the violent overthrow of the local, elected government. To be honest, the white folk threatening sedition should be a little insulted. The ruling party and police thought so little of their threat they didn't even make any attempt to stop them from brandishing their weapons. Even when the police were tempted to push back against the aggression their fellow officers pulled them back. These, they seem to say, are white people. They are the ruling class. These are not poor white people living among the black and thus subject to similar treatment as black folk. These are your suburbanites, affluent folks who can afford lawyers. People who can deliver a resounding "do you know who I am?".

Cut to one week later and I watch a man die, on camera. I watched as an officer knelt on George Floyds neck for nearly nine minutes. He wasn't in fear of his life, he wasn't waiting for backup, he was demonstrating his dominance. I have seen this man before, younger, but the same. This young man sat on a smaller kids head. He did it to be mean, to make sure the smaller kid knew who was boss. Now, all grown up, the same cold hearted bully kneels on a man to prove a point. To Floyd, to the people watching and probably to himself that he was the master of his domain. The officer didn't just bully Floyd and his audience, he also bullied the officers with him. When one of the officers suggested they turn Floyd so he could breath, not once but twice, both time the officer said no, and so Floyd died, right there, calling for his mother and knowing, even saying it out loud, you are going to kill me. He was right and that is something we should all be ashamed of. The people who stood watching helplessly as the officer murdered Floyd because they knew that they too might be killed if they tried to stop him are left feeling the shame we all feel when we can't stop something we know is wrong out of fear for our self.

When the protests began I knew it was our Selma. I knew that white America finally had a chance to see undeniable evidence (thought some still deny it) of the special treatment POC receive at the hands of the police. Then it got worse. The tanks, riot gear, rubber bullets, pepper bullets, pepper spray and tear gas deployed on peaceful protesters and rioters alike. Unarmed protesters throwing rocks at men in armor are suddenly a threat requiring all of the above and beat downs with batons. They beat the media and protesters but let the looting go on undeterred. They wanted the looting and damage so as to justify using their fancy war toys. Lots of documented provocateur and yet the powers that be sought only black people to push around. White people were injured, yes, and some even targeted but most of the violence was reserved for POC. The oh so scary POC. I read the comments on stories about how "they" shouldn't be rioting and looting because "it doesn't help their cause" as iff the protesters and rioters and looters were all the same people and there was some kind of organized action going on. After a football game riots happen, and we all understand that while the rioters are probably all football fans, all football fans are not rioters. The same people screaming "don't judge all cops by a few bad apples" also scream "they are all rioting and looting". It's insane.

And for the record. I think they should burn it all down. I think that POC have suffered enough at the hand of the white power structure. I think that systemic racism is a poison that runs so deep in our country that the only way to root it out may be to burn the place down and start over. That won't happen of course. There will be change, and the older racist will die off or become such a small minority that we will be able to get better but it will still take way too long and too many mothers will continue to fear "death by cop" every time their sons leave their homes. Even if they are headed to Harvard on a full scholarship because they will always be guilty until they prove their innocence. They will continue to receive special treatment from the police because even when the world is watching there are still plenty of people who can look at evil and excuse it because black lives don't matter to them. And they don't just believe they don't matter they believe that white lives are superior in all ways to POC regardless of all the data that says otherwise.

I dislike humans in general (there are individuals I adore) but the group "humans" are icky. I meet nice people, people who love their children, take care of their parents, volunteer at their church and by all measures appear to be good people who feel that POC are just more likely to commit crimes. They are afraid of black men, across the board. They are scared to drive through black neighborhoods and believe that black kids who do poorly in school are just lazy. The point to successful black youth to support their idea that the problems POC face are all self made. They are bigots at best racist at worse and they don't even know it.

I am lucky to have been born white. I might have been luckier to have been born a man but that is rant of another color. I will never have the experiences of a POC. I will never know that particular fear when I see those flashing lights. I ache for all the mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, since before this country was born who have suffered at the hands of European rule. Never, since landing on this continent, have POC ever had any amount of equality or equity or even humane treatment and still they have risen, they have given us so much and still so many of us remain ignorant, sometimes willfully, of all that POC have contributed to our society.

It is time for everyone to start paying attention. To educate our selves. To make sure we yell, even if it is just digitally,

NO MORE.

I wish you Peace

~alison~


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One month to change the world - 2020-06-14

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