Here’s the thing–
A part of me doesn’t feel like my voice is the one that should be heard right now, so instead of posting or writing anything I’ve spent most of my morning researching, reading, and retweeting anything I can to shed light on the deeply problematic issues that this country is facing at the hands of police brutality and racism. My intent, primarily, has been to raise the voices of those who deserve and need to be heard.
— JESSE(they/them) (@BowtiesBooks) May 31, 2020
One thing that I’ve noticed in this time is that the news is doing this thing of telling half-stories, focusing primarily on this idea that all of the protests are filled primarily with rioters and looters who are destroying local businesses and stealing merchandise. They are completely ignoring the peaceful protesters and the disgusting level of brutality that is still coming from the police.
And this is happening in my own area.
I think it’s utterly baffling that in the span of five minutes I can find countless articles about the “cleanup downtown” and the “window breaking and theft” at the local Macy’s and yet none of these news sources bothered to mention the thirteen-year-old boy [edit: initial reports said he was 13, but have now been updated to say he was 18] and twelve-year-old girl who were shot in the face with rubber bullets and ended up incapacitated as they bled, the boy from his eye (which he will likely lose) and the girl from her mouth. Both of which took less than a minute to find pictures and videos of on Twitter.
Protestors rush to seek emergency medical attention for a young teen who was deliberately shot in the eye by U.S. security forces. #ICantBreathe #GeorgeFloyd #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd #BlackLivesMatter #Anonymous pic.twitter.com/L0MmEQopXA
— Anonymous (@YourAnonCentral) May 31, 2020
I am horrified and I am pissed.
And some asinine white woman had the gall to post that the show of police force only happened after a bunch of people were rioting and looting and thanked the police for cleaning up the protests last night. She’s a Trump supporter and COVID-19 conspiracy theorist, so her opinion really is rather shit in the end. But still. The fact that people like that exist, that they are speaking out and spreading their vitrol is so demoralizing and infuriating.
Nevermind that the majority of protesters are not looting and rioting. But of course, that doesn’t make for the news story that most seem to want.
Ultimately, this is not a time where I want to overshadow the voices of those who need to be heard right now. But I do feel it is necessary that I point out the ways in which some media warping the stories. This issue is, at its core, about much more than the violence comes from some people who are at the protests. It is about systematic racism and violence that has been perpetuated for generations that needs to stop.
It is about police brutality and the ways in which the massive displays of power and force incite violence from some police and some protestors alike. It’s about the fact that the people in power–the police–should know better than to incite violence as they have because they are supposed to have been trained to do so. It’s about the fact that instead of calmly arresting the few violent protestors, they are firing rubber bullets and mace into crowds where children are present.
To shoot into crowds and cause irreparable harm to people over vandalism is disgusting. It is inhumane. Plain and simple. To my current knowledge, none of the vandalism and theft involved dangerous fire or physical harm to others. The response from police, then, in turn, should have mirrored that rather than escalating it to the point that even innocent children were harmed. This child will likely never see again from that eye.
Here are some talking point guides I’ve been putting together to respond to help people respond to common hand-wringing they might encounter as they have those conversations. pic.twitter.com/FeAa0QlxyG
— Katerina von Campe (@KatQuilled) May 31, 2020
And just as a final note on the matter; this is what happens when peaceful protests like that of Colin Kapernick are ignored, belittled, and treated as some huge offense toward white men bawling and wetting themselves over not getting the type of entertainment they want out of a black man. Time and time again these kinds of racist and selfish people treated these serious issues like nothing.
And quite frankly if the racist conservatives of this country are going to treat people like this, proving that the peaceful protests we’ve all been asking for are never going to bring the deserved and needed change, I will say that I cannot expect people to sit back and continue to take the inhumane treatment any longer. The lack of progress, the repeated refusal to implement change is what caused this.