Black Lives Matter · Defund The Police

Dear White People,

Racism is just fascism that hasn’t caught up to you yet.

@absurdistwords · Mar 18, 2018

2020 US Police Riots

Two weeks ago, the Minneapolis police murdered George Floyd.

Since then, thanks to the internet and ubiquitous smartphone coverage, I’ve witnessed a nearly realtime stream – hour by hour, day by day – of graphic video evidence of the police instigating and committing violent attacks against peaceful people, protestors and bystanders alike.

In only the first few days, from around the US, a cop shoves a small unarmed woman to the curb, sending her to the hospital; a cop intentially opens their car door knocking down a protester in a hit-and-run; a cop shoves an old man with a cane, knocking him to the ground; cops pepper spraying, tear gassing, and beating people with batons for no apparent reason; cops fire tear gas canisters, flash bangs and rubber coated bullets directly at people’s heads, half a dozen people are blinded or entirely lose an eye; cops intentially targeting and shooting reporters, cameramen, and other members of the press, clearly identified as such, with paint and pepper pellets, while being broadcast live on TV; cops spit on a man already in custody while he sits handcuffed on the ground; multiple cops intentionally drive their cars into groups of protestors; a cop shoves an old man, knocking him backwards onto the concrete where he hits his head and lies unconcious, bleeding, as other cops walk past, …

A Twitter thread of incidents compiled by attorney Greg Doucette (@greg_doucette) has reached 444 at the time of writing this post.

The protests, and the police violence, are ongoing. We don’t know yet where this will all lead, in the short or long term.

I’m Convinced

I haven’t watched all 444 videos. After the first couple of days, it was already readily apparant that it was the police who were the agressors in the vast majority of cases, if not every one.

I am convinced by what I see. That the police and criminal systems in the US (and in Canada, differing only by degree and exact body count) are the source of so much violence and agression, not a solution to it.

There are no “bad apples” here, the entire premise is flawed. What are the police for? Who are they protecting?

It’s clear that no amount of “being peaceful”, obeying the law, or following orders, is sufficient for anyone to avoid violence, abuse, or murder at the hands of police in this system.

It’s clear, from the voices of those who have been fighting this fight for decades, that the existing police system is beyond reform, and that it must be defunded and dismantled if any progress is to be made.

And So What?

To Remind Myself

I write this partly to remember for myself, that I saw these things, and knew at the time they were widespread and wrong, and that I was angry about them.

Back when The Great Orange One, President 45, came to power in 2016, there was discussion around the rise of authoritarianism, and the shifting boundaries of “truth”. There was a suggestion somewhere (which I can’t find at the moment) to make a list and write down what it was you believed in at the time, so that as boundaries shifted, and goalposts moved, you could look back at this reference point and see if your own beleifs had been altered in the meantime.

While this seemed like a good idea at the time, I found it hard to act on. I believe lots of things, which specific ones should I write down? Well the time has come that certain beleifs have been called to the fore, and are in need of writing down.

Black Lives Matter. BIPOC Lives Matter. I must strive to be anti-racist. I must strive to be anti-fascist.

To Be Held To Account

If I believe these things, how will I act on them?

I don’t have answers to that yet, but if you know me, if you work with me, if you are a friend, client or customer, business partner or employer, and I act in a way inconsistent with what is written here, then it would be entirely reasonable to call me out on that.

If you don’t agree with what I’ve written here, then I would first of all urge you to investigate the issues on your own, and reconsider your position. Otherwise, don’t hire me, don’t work with me, don’t buy my games.

It’s catching up.

@absurdistwords · Jun 2, 2020