"I am not Mike Brown. I am white. I am middle class. I am female. I am small. I am not considered a threat. When police see me they see someone who looks like them. They see their mothers, their daughters, their sisters, themselves. I am not at risk of being shot by police for existing while black. I am not at risk of being shot while unarmed. I am not at risk of being shot while armed with nothing more than a BB gun. I am not at risk of being shot for reaching for my wallet. I am privileged.
But I am outraged. And if you aren’t outraged, then you aren’t paying attention. This is America in 2014. This is our reality. It’s so easy to get jaded and to ignore these atrocities, to act like this doesn’t affect us. It’s so easy to get apathetic. In the past it was the youth who protested. Where is the rage of the youth? Where is our rage?
Like I said, I am not Mike Brown. But I am outraged."
"Looting? I thought these were supposed to be nonviolent protests"
I know it’s incredible! People are literally coming out of the woodwork to comment on this photoset to focus on the looting headline with “well yes it is nice they were helping people hit with the tear gas, but stealing is still wrong uwu” as if they’re back to kindergarten morality.
Like everyone who’s gone to boot camp I’ve been tear gassed. They put about 50+ of you in a gas chamber and toss it in. You have to stay there until your rank is allowed to exit. Before that though, you have to say your name, rank, and social security number. You then exit and file into ranks (again) outside and are not allowed at any point to rinse your face or eyes for the entire day.
That right there? Easily the worst part of boot camp. My eyes were literally swollen shut. I was blinded for a good 30 minutes and my chest hurt for days.
I have zero problem and not and ounce of judgement for people raiding a mcdonalds that can easily afford to repair damage for ANYTHING to help ease the shittiness that is being tear gassed. Esp because every one of us in boot were medically sound to deal with tear gas. Children, asthmatics, people prone to panic and anxiety attacks, the elderly as sooo many more are NOT going to handle tear gas well at ALL.
Or that smoke the police use either.
It’s easy to sit there and judge someone from the safety of your home and say things like “it’s just tear gas” or “it can’t be that bad”.
Fuck you. As someone who HAS been gassed, you need to stfu.
I remember all the preparation they did to get us ready for the gas chamber in boot camp. We were taught how to handle ourselves, how to control our breathing, not to touch anything, how to avoid the worst of the gas. But it still didn’t matter. I remember taking in that first breath and feeling like I had just been kicked in the chest. I remember a few guys in my platoon falling down and vomiting. We knew the gas wasn’t as bad on the floor but we were the fifth platoon through and the vomit kept us from bending over more than absolutely necessary. I remember a few guys, guys in peak health training to be infantrymen, breaking ranks and running for the door only to be dragged back in kicking and screaming until they said name, rank and serial. They were expecting it, trained for it, bragging about how it wouldn’t bother them.
I remember standing there with all of the mucus from my nasal cavity on the front of my ACUs and thinking to myself “This is the nonviolent option?”
Covered head to toe and my skin still itching I looked down at the silver wedding band hanging next to my dog tags and realized that the gas had eaten little pits into its surface.
I stood there and thought of all the news reports I had seen over the years. The uprisings and revolutionaries being gassed, the crowds running from men in masks.
That’s the moment I got it, staring at my ruined wedding band, that’s the moment I realized terrorism isn’t about bombs or who is using them. It’s about controlling people through fear. It’s about removing their ability to act reasonably, to make them seem like the monsters. Terrorism is about triggering people to fight or flight then blaming them for not being rational. It’s about power. Remove someone’s power to act with reason, and you remove their humanity.
All of this. Especially that last paragraph.
We are traveling with the band, 16 Sparrows. But I needed some alone time with my man so I rented this apartment right in the city. Wifi only exists at the doorway. Rovinj, Croatia