Chris and I joined a friend and her colleague in the protesting here in Manhattan yesterday for about four hours. We marched for about 60+ blocks, chanting, kneeling, attempting to make a statement about racism and police brutality. It was thousands of us; all the way down to Foley Square up to the 90s on the east side of Manhattan. It’s sad and infuriating that the news doesn’t seem to want to cover peaceful protests and instead focuses on a few bad apples that have to ruin it for all of us.
The most emotional moments of the protests for me were when we would put our hands up and chant, “hands up; don’t shoot!” When you hear thousands of people at the same time chanting that statement, over and over and over again, it just breaks you. It makes you feel their pain. It’s our pain, a shared pain, because oppression of one group is an oppression of all of us, especially those of us who are not “mainstream” looking or white. I felt so choked up the first few times chanting this. I could not even imagine being in this situation in real life, hoping to not have my own life lost with a senseless, needless shot of a bullet.
Then again, I suppose if you do not care about other people, about human rights, this would not break you. You’d just insist this isn’t about race, that this is about “tribalism” and that we’re all violently protesting. And you can go shoot yourself in the mouth if you really feel that way.