Hello out there. I am once again going to digress for a hot minute from things like lady-gasms, lady-bation, or Orgasm Equality. After the ridiculously sad, unnecessary shooting and death of Anton Sterling in Baton Rouge by police officers, I woke up to the news of the equally sad and unnecessary shooting and death of Philando Castile also by a police officer. I watched the entire video that Castile's girlfriend live streamed to Facebook in the aftermath, and I spent even more time than the day before reading about it and engaging in social media about it. It was sad and shitty and it made me feel like I needed to be more active about supporting #BlackLivesMatter - more than a 'like' here and there, so I posted support. It's nothing much in the scheme of things, but I felt like at the very least, I could be vocal about my support for people of color to tell their stories and ask for the justice they deserve - I mean at the very least that's what I should do.
And, I think what kept me on social media so long searching and looking and reacting and all that was that I felt like I was seeing a tipping point happen. I felt like I was seeing that moment when all the civil rights work that people of color have been doing, the work that is largely not covered, not thought about, and often marginalized was actually making a dent in the mass of us white people that have been more quiet than not on the topic. I mean, that day, their work finally worked on me. I felt like like I hadn't done enough, hadn't paid attention enough, hadn't lended support enough, and so this day I tried a little harder - because I felt like it would be wrong not too.
The thing was, though, I saw other people speaking up more also. I saw a concerted effort from all types of people to keep this in front of our eyes, and I even saw it from people that I really didn't expect. I saw a lovely, heartfelt, even a little radically progressive video re-posted by a person I went to HS with that has posted kinda gross conservative things in the past and also from some other people I knew who tend to post some conservative rhetoric and never about things like #BlackLivesMatter. But they did now. It had become too real at this point. Inside the sadness that helped make this turn, it was also exciting. It all made me feel very emotional, so I can only imagine what this day felt like to people who had been on the ground for this cause for years. I really felt like, me and the other people I saw on my feed were the beginnings of that critical mass of largely non-affected majority population that every cause needs to turn in order for the country to take their arguments and sentiments seriously enough to change laws and cultural norms.
And then as I was watching a rerun of Jimmy Fallon on TV, I saw that Dallas police officers had been shot at an otherwise calm Black Lives Matter demonstration by some randoms shooting specifically at police from rooftops. Everything about it was sad. It was sad that people were killed. It was sad that children learning first important lessons about peaceful protest were put in the middle of a chaotic, deadly, scene, and it was so sad that a couple rogue people might erase so much of the progress that had happened that day. It shouldn't erase it, but a lot of people are highly emotional about the topic and tend towards finding ways to justify their racism,
So, today has been even sadder and even more emotional, and I just wanted to write about it. I still think progress was made, and I hope it can continue. Maybe there hasn't been too much backsliding. There has been a lot of reminders from all kinds of people that one can support good police work and also the cause for people of color to receive better and more humane treatment from police officers (because too often these two things are not seen as coinciding)...and that unnecessary loss of life is always sad, is always to be taken seriously, always deserves justice, and each time it happens, should help us move forward in a way that limits the possibilities of it happening again.
Anyway, here's to an America that is going through hard times. I believe we are headed towards doing the right thing, though, and I believe we will come out stronger, more just, and with a population of people who feel more whole.
Here's some more eloquent people, like Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Daily Show host Trevor Noah, talking about this stuff...