June 01, 2020
People seem to have forgotten about this color:
And about this diagram:
They try to paint everything as black and white. If you don’t agree with us completely, then you must be against us!
I wrote what I thought was a heartfelt post on Facebook (great idea, I know) to let others know what was going on in the Twin Cities, seek support, and point out there are shades of gray and not just one force at work in the destruction.
I was sick to my stomach when I realized my post was misinterpreted, and others jumped to conclusions without trying to understand the intent of my post.
TLDR: I didn’t want protestors to be blamed for all the violence. Yes, some protestors may be destroying things. Some of the destruction might be from people who just want to get in on the excitement. Some might be anarchists who want to burn the establishment. Some might be white supremacists trying to incite more violence and destruction.
Maybe I just should have said that?
I was trying to convey that there are MANY people with MANY motivations, and it’s not a black and white picture of “Protestors are destroying everything!” or “No, the white supremacists are destroying everything. It couldn’t possibly be our own residents!”
I was worried people who weren’t in the Twin Cities would immediately turn blinders on and not try to further understand the movement because of the destruction.
Again, maybe I should have just said that.
Instead I talked about how shocking it was to see the gas station across the street from me be set on fire. I said that it was jarring to learn places I used to go were now destroyed. Yes, I was upset about the destruction, but that doesn’t mean I don’t support the movement or that I didn’t understand why it was happening. I can be upset about the death of George Floyd and the destruction of places that hold so many of my memories.
When the Target by me was first destroyed, I knew that it was part of the cause and while it may inconvenience my life, I also knew that this is how disenfranchised folks feel everyday. The police precinct was symbolic. The old Rondo neighborhood was symbolic. While I don’t condone the destruction, I was not upset by this.
I am upset about the opportunists destroying things like a tuition-free school, non-profits, and libraries. It is obvious to everyone in the Twin Cities that these actions are not a part of the movement. These are the actions of opportunists who just want to fuck shit up for the sake of fucking shit up.
Yes these things can be rebuilt, and I know the pain I feel about the neighborhoods that were destroyed doesn’t compare to the pain of others. But I can still be in pain. It doesn’t mean that I value buildings over human life. It doesn’t mean that I value my memories of those places over a human life. I can be sad about both things, and I can be different degrees of sad about them, okay?
Everything that is happening in the cities right now hurts so much because I care about this place and I have a strong connection to it. It is where I got married. It is where I got my first adult job. It is where I laughed with my friends. It is where I shared meals with my family. It is my home.
Please, realize the situation is a lot more nuanced than it appears. Realize there are shades of gray.
I am heartbroken.