There is a man in a white house that sits on a drained swamp. He sits like a toad and he spits poison into the air, hitting as many people as he can, out of spite, out of hatred, out of the belief that only toads are worthy to rule.
There is a cult that serves a book. And the book’s title is Law. Supposedly, it has the wisdom of the People™ in it, but it turns out, it’s really just a reflection of history. The cult of police feels that they hold the social contract together and without them, it all descends into chaos
This means the cult uses the Law as it sees fit and the courts have stated, under the title of “qualified immunity”, that if the courts did not expressly forbid the cults to do something, all things are permissible.
For decades, the government outfitted and trained this cult as soldiers of the People™ and because of this, the cult can’t see people anymore. They recognize only People™ which appear good and pure (and don’t really exist) and the Enemy, who they must stop for the good of the People™ (who don’t really exist).
There is the White Brotherhood [ever read “The Brotherhood of Mt Shasta”?], who feel they are wise and holy and righteous (and male) and they want to put the people who ‘stain’ the white of the White Brotherhood in their place. And that place is in service to the White Brotherhood. Or in fields. Or camps. Dead.
Then there are people.
People tired of this storytelling bullshit and all the different narratives. Because people have died and are dying. Not a story. Not a convenient fits-in-one-episode resolution in sight.
They’re interested in justice. For George Floyd. Breonna Taylor. For Ahmaud Arbery. And everyone who came before them. For the people who weren’t reported, who weren’t named. They recognize that this culture has to change.
Sometimes they are putting their message forward with sheer number of people and angry words; sometimes with damage to the things society cares about. When your culture places money over lives? You show them that their money means nothing when people rise up.
These are people who are driven and experienced and are teaching those new to the cause how to get it done. They know that the people against them — the folks in the white house, the cult of policemen, the White Brotherhood — want and will manufacture any excuse to suppress their movement, the people’s rightful and righteous anger.
These people are working hard to co-opt the police, capture / uncover the white supremacists, and confront the idiocy of the white house. Many sources report their work to de-escalate violence, save stranded cops, put out fires, and even corner white supremacists.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
I’m looking at you, people who identify as white.
- Amplify the message
- Get out videos and articles that amplify the positive that the people protesting are doing (even the cops and don’t forget local reactions).
- Highlight when white supremacists and cops and the white house are doing something wrong but do NOT fall into the trap of property damage = evil people. That just feeds the other narratives, which rely on “good people don’t do this” to justify killing people.
- Do the work to make sure that the message you are relating is NOT triggering the very folks you want to help. There’s a difference between “hey! This person did a crime!” and “Do you want to watch the video of someone being murdered for the nth time?”
- Support your allies
- If you are physically able, get out but BE SAFE. Covid rules still apply (masks etc). You also need to know how to deal with the likely scenarios (like police kettling or disarming violent instigators without getting hurt). Every white-identified person in the line of fire reduces the chance of a the police killing POC.
- If you are emotionally able, make sure to support other POC during this time. That might be a check-in. It might be sending food at the right time. Like the physically able, you should stand in the metaphorical line of fire if white people start to target POC in their comments on social media (and, holy shit, this happens a lot)
- If you are financially able, sent funds to the appropriate places. Black Lives Matter and numerous other movements in all cities affected often provide good up-to-date links.
- Get trained. AWARE is a great org. Southern Poverty Law Center. Learn discarded history.
- Bring your Voice against Power
- Call or confront representatives at all levels. There needs to be a complete restructuring of law enforcement for the 21st century and that may mean no or vastly reduced police.
- Call or confront people who are advocating violence, whether it’s due to white supremacy or them just wanting the “status quo” returned. The “status quo” ends up with people killed.
- Dream a better world.
- Not a color-blind world. A world recognizing the grievous harm done and still being done and addresses that. Dream of a world that can start healing.
But most of all? Take a side. Stand up in the face of oppression. And don’t back down.