This is My Voice
By Richard Flamm Exhaustion and rage, one foot after the other, in a spin-cycle of processing American police brutality. When the camera phones started rolling a few years back and captured what Black communities had been decrying all along, it felt like a turning point - like the visibility would change something. Like cleverly-worded social media posts decrying racial inequity, police brutality, and the oppression of people of color would serve as some great moment of change.
I believed that when I posted articles years ago.
But things didn't change. Haven't changed. Have receded back into what I always perceived was a relic of a previous generations' issue. Watched men like Colin Kaepernick continue the tradition of Martin Luther King through peaceful protest - and I watched people who I thought were allies turn their heads in disgust. "Just play Football."
As a man of color, it is true that the documented murders of people who look like me is wearying. There's so much to say for what it's like to limit your jogging, watch for confederate flags, and grip your steering wheel when you know a routine traffic stop could be an excuse to kill you.
Honestly, what pricks my heart to anger now more than anything is not that reality, or even just the relentless video documentation of racism - it is the supportive voices of those things in social media and politics that has pulled my heart towards anger and despondence.
I read yesterday on Facebook that I shouldn't make any judgement calls about George Floyd because, "We don't know if he had a criminal history, or what the whole story is." I saw the rioters called "thugs" and the people who showed up a few weeks ago with guns to protest masks during a pandemic called "very good people." I have watched the boot heel of oppression pressed to the American people while we are told to "stop resisting." The colonists threw the Boston Tea party because they didn't want to pay taxes. Those people, white, felt their diplomatic and peaceful protests were not being heard by an administration bent on systemic over-reaching control.
Our country is founded on the idea that American's don't lie down for that.
You can have peaceful protest or violent protest, but God knows: we will have protest.