So, you don’t believe your friendly, neighborhood Crip Dyke that the protesters have, yes, in the past thrown fireworks and set small fires of wood or trash on concrete (where they could not spread), but that we were getting more peaceful over time, the BLM organizers were calling for more peaceful activities every day she was there, and that they’d even gone so far as to call on people to just go home after the rally and skip the courthouse protests (though they did not repeat that call last night, I can’t say why, but seemed instead to endorse staying in the park and partying over the fact that the worst of the feds were in town for only one more night)…
…and that therefore all this violence by the feds was majorly, unutterably, supremely fucking undeserved?
Well maybe you just don’t like hearing things from a woman. This is why I gots you a REAL MAN and a YOUNG HOT GAY to boot to ‘splain the same things I been telling you, only this time on camera where your Crip Dyke will not put her face.
If you look super closely or at least have your eyes open and pointed in the general direction of your screen, you will see that this guy is badly affected by tear gas. When I came upon him, he was leaning on the wall you see with both hands because he could barely hold himself up. He was getting help from someone who appeared to be his very nice boyfriend and though we are not entirely sure about that, their obvious care for each other and cute affection make us think both
1. Yes, they are the boyfriend-boyfriend type,
2. Even if they are not yet the boyfriend-boyfriend type, when they finally decide that they are each others’ love-for-life we will totes be there for the wedding throwing rice or blowing bubbles or whatever the young hip gays do these days.
But aside from planning their very fashionable wedding in your mind, what I would like you to do is pay attention to how this person is fully on board with my version of events last night in these 3 important respects:
1. yes, we’ve always had a few asshats in the crowd doing asshat-y things like throwing fireworks.
2. We actually didn’t have any of that last night, to the point where there was not even a single instance of coordinated banging on the fence to make noise (and not to damage the fence). Like, this shit was peaceful. 100% peaceful. No excuses peaceful. I was actually surprised we could get more than 1500 people down there for a protest like this, with real, legitimate grievances that would anger any caring heart, and have no one engaging in any of the behaviors that they’ve used to justify past attacks. No one at all. I was so fucking proud of us before the tear gas flew and chaos came down. This shit wasn’t even 1% on the protesters. This shit was all on the feds. All of it.
3. Holy fuck, those assaults last night were BAD. Really bad. Mega bad. Even, if you’ll pardon the pun, MAGA BAD.
And look, not everyone who gets a whiff of tear gas is overcome. It doesn’t work like that. Remember your Paracelsus & shit? But that doesn’t mean it isn’t nasty. You can’t see how this man was when i first came around the corner and saw him, but I’m gonna throw up a picture of him because looking at the still image helps, I think, really show the damage and the exhaustion:
Look at the poor guy’s face. He’s been crying like crazy and had to get about 3 blocks away before he even felt like he could stop moving away from the gas and take the time his body needed to recover. Did you hear what he said he was doing when the gas came? Picking up trash.
Here’s a guy, obviously a good marriage prospect, knows the right people with the ACLU and everything, and he’s wearing a Black Lives Matter shirt and picking up litter while showing up for his fellow human beings, and this is the crime that your USA feds thought worthy of gassing a man to breathless, painful exhaustion.
And yes, let’s not miss out on the fact that he’s white, but lest you misinterpret what that means in terms of who is hurt by the Feds, you should know that lots of people of color were willing to be photographed at the fountain on the waterfront during the pre-rally, or during the march, like this delightful guy who taught me a bit of Korean:
…the sign means “solidarity”, by the way, or at least that’s what he told this white woman who would totes understand if the sign actually said, “Can you believe these violent, white fuckers?” and was just being nice to my face, though he did go to some effort on the back of the sign that means either he’s an honest guy telling the truth or he was **really** attached to his cover story:
When it came time to take photos at the courthouse protests, however, suddenly people of color and especially Black folk were much less likely to want to have their faces photographed. Who knew? I got Black men who let me take snaps of things like their cool Tuskegee jackets:
But not their faces.
So let’s just appreciate that if there’s a bias toward documenting the effects of Fed violence on white people in my reporting, this doesn’t mean that the violence is falling disproportionately on white folks. What’s actually happening is that too often only the white folk are safe enough to even have their injuries documented. Also, remember that bit about only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun? Well, our nice, white gay was wearing a COVID mask instead of a gas mask. Just sayin.
This is a story about people of color and the damage racism and biased, violent policing are causing within their communities. I will continue to seek out voices of color to speak on camera, as you might remember this cool Guatamalan/USian guy did a few days ago (in 2 parts, because I am A IDIOT and cut off the video at just the wrong moment).
but remember that person spoke before the Fed violence started that night. Getting anyone to speak on video after the gas flies is hard as fuck, and it’s completely understandable that it’s even less likely to find people of color who feel safe enough to do that.
So go ahead and empathize with Young Hot Gay; he seems a good guy and is worthy of your sympathy. But also remember that they’re willing to do this to a white guy picking up trash, and spend some time thinking about what they’re willing to do to people of color flipping cops off or pounding on fences when this is what they do to the sweet, generous white guys who clean up their cities for free.
There’s a reason we’re protesting, and we can’t let anyone forget that – at least this time – it’s not for the white gays who know people at the ACLU.