I want to share some links before I start talking, because my voice is not the most important here:
I was starting to work on something else for this month’s blog post at the beginning of last week, before all of the protesting began. But to post what I was working on now feels incredibly inappropriate.
There is an instinct to say “the world has changed so much in just two or three days,” but that’s wrong. This is the same hateful country I’ve always lived in, people are just being more angry about it than I can remember in my lifetime.
The repeated killings and violence and injustice against people just for being Black is disgusting and outrageous, and it’s not anything new. It’s been happening throughout history, it’s just better documented now.
My town posted a statement that basically sounded like “look, our cops are actually good, unlike those other bad cops” but it didn’t feel serious. Sure, maybe we have good cops. My neighbor’s son is a cop and he seems alright. But I’m sure that there are bad ones too. I saw something online that said something along the lines of “If you have 10 bad cops and 1,000 good cops that don’t do anything about the bad ones then you have 1,010 bad cops,” and I think that is 100% a legitimate sentiment.
I’ve only been pulled over once, for a burnt out tail light, and I wonder how that situation could have escalated if I wasn’t white. To be fair, I haven’t heard of anything happening in my town what like the scores of senseless killings, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened or that it couldn’t happen, especially because my town has a wide range of races and social classes in it. My town also has far less affluent urban towns bordering it and just a short trip down the highway from Newark, a city that people from outside of New Jersey have often heard of because of its history of violence and the race riot in the 60s. I’m sure that unnecessary force against Black people is not uncommon just miles from where I live even if it does not happen in my precise town.
I will be the first to admit that due to my privilege I am undereducated on these types of issues, but I’m reading the words of people who know better than me and learning and I’ve donated what money I could. (I chose Reclaim the Block, Black Lives Matter Fund, and the Brooklyn Community Bail Fund if you’re curious. Here is a list of various local bail funds and tips for protestors.)
My reach here is small, I know, but I just wanted to make it plain that I think Black Lives Matter. How someone could think otherwise, I don’t fucking know!