First they ridiculed protesters, then they surrounded protesters, now they're shooting protesters. Specifically, one, whose name I do not yet know, is said to be in critical condition as I write this. Facebook is taking down live feeds of the protests, again. Big news sites are concentrating on the police being "threatened" by the people they're actively hunting, or focusing on there being "only one" protester shot. Twitter is all over the place, but the general theme is what you'd expect: shoot a guy, make it his fault. What we've seen reported an average of twice a week this whole goddamned year.
I grew up in North Carolina, a place largely unmatched in either natural beauty or human stupidity. The moment I could, I left the South. I was saturated with disgust for the hypocritical religious mobs, rampant ignorance and institutional hate, only to find that the whole damn world whistles Dixie. What fetid piper plays this awful tune that makes the hollow hordes dance, and curse, and kill?
The cousin-groping morons who want to "make America great again" have no idea that it has yet to live up to its sales pitch. This land was taken from indigenous people by force, and then the New World was built on the backs of people who were stolen, enslaved, and demonized. Token rights were granted and targeted marketing emerged, but slavery never ended. It only shifted shapes. That deep, dark hate I tried to move away from never left the world either, it simply spread its tendrils underground like a demonic root network, waiting for the right moment to stop caring who could see it bearing fruit in the form of hate crime. Now it's getting worse. The police are getting hand me downs from the military. There are genuine efforts to fill their ranks with the least among us, and we are in a nightmare that we foolishly believed was over.
It's like every police department in America has joined a human sacrifice cult. The gods of fear demand a lot of innocent blood and they are eating well these days. It's exhausting. It's meant to be. We're meant to get so tired of it that we give up and let them have absolute power in exchange for a fictional peace. And it's beginning to work. You are so tired of it. So am I. It's all too much, and it always was. It's vital to remember that we're the lucky ones, you and I and damn near anyone who can read this. On our worst days we still float in a bubble within a bubble within a bubble of privilege.
So give thanks if you barely have to touch the brakes at Border Patrol checkpoints. Give thanks if you can walk the street without being stalked and cornered. Give thanks if your last meeting with the police left you breathing at all. Hug your children like you'll never see them again. Kiss your lover like you just saw the bombs drop. Because that's how millions of people live now. We just don't know because the closest it gets to us is our social feeds.
Make no mistake: we in this bubble with our little problems are all so lucky. If you can protest without being executed, if you can walk through any neighborhood without being watched or followed, if you can walk home in a hooded sweatshirt and make it home alive, pick a lucky star and build a shrine because you are blessed indeed.
And if you're reading this from outside that bubble, if I just described your life? I'm so sorry. I want to know what to do.
And if you're waking up tomorrow and pinning on a badge and strapping on a gun? It's time to think about who and what you're really working for.
One point of view is presented below. I will leave you to make up your own mind, as always.