Images of rioters breaching Capitol Hill, brandishing the most obscene racist and anti-Semitic paraphernalia, is etched into my mind. What if every Trump supporter was equated to seditious extremists? Judging a movement by its most corrupt is an attempt at undermining that movement, seen in previous letters criticizing the Junior Class for their Black Lives Matter support.
The insurrection at the Capitol provided undeniable proof that law enforcement has the ability to not shoot people who are armed and advancing, let alone unarmed and retreating. De-escalation is possible and should be expected, especially in non-violent situations. For anti-BLM people to utter the names of civil rights icons and point to peaceful measures is fantastical at best, as they were still victims of violence. The responsibility of maintaining peace does not rest solely with BLM activists. Preserving life is core to BLM.
It bears reminding that NO ONE has the right to tell the Black community what they are not allowed to find offensive, threatening, or triggering. No one has the right tell people who were abducted, separated from their children, renamed, rehomed, and forced into labor their “owners” didn’t want to do, how they are allowed to protest systems that oppress them still. I implore anyone to imagine, whether you have one child or ten, seeing a man force his knee on your child’s neck for eight minutes, on camera, calling out for his mother, then watch that man walk free with impunity.
Do you want to support law enforcement? Demand that bad ones are held accountable. Weed them out from the top to the bottom so those who honor the oath to protect and serve are no longer made a mockery of. Weed them out so not one more Black mother is left childless and not one more Black child is left parentless. Distribute funding so cops don’t do every job from picking up roadkill to violent crime. Demand refined training in de-escalation and response protocols for their own safety and the safety of citizens.
Finally, a message to the junior class: there will always be people committed to misunderstanding you. Speak the truth anyway. They will twist your words and attempt to gaslight you. Stand for justice anyway. You have a level of resolve and strength inside you that will bring change. I am proud to be your fellow resident; you are role models in this continued fight for justice.