On Protests + Riots
“Is the sheep preaching hate when he says, ‘I’m not going to let the wolf eat me anymore. If the wolf comes in here, next time he comes in here I’ll do whatever I have to do to keep him off my back?’ Is the sheep violent or is the wolf the violent one?”
Protests do not have to be peaceful to be legitimate. The expectation that they would be is a form of gaslighting. The prolonged effects of an imperialist, white-supremacist, capitalist patriarchy consuming Black and Indigenous lives and unceded territories as the cornerstones* of its function over the course of multiple, unspeakably violent centuries renders counter-violence both reasonable and inevitable.
Don’t buy the propaganda, don’t participate in the gaslighting which conflates counter-violence with violence. Stop flinching and calibrate, friends. It’s not about whether you or I condone it or support it - it’s simply that what we’re witnessing makes perfect sense and is, in fact, a reasonable, justified response to another of the murderous wolf’s innumerable rampages.
Don’t you dare forget it: the sheep never wanted it this way. The sheep only ever wanted to live and breathe.
George Floyd wanted to breathe. Do you understand?
Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Alton Sterling, Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice, Philando Castile, Trayvon Martin - they all wanted to live and breathe.
Please, tell me you understand. I’m begging you to tell me that you understand.
*[From Confederate VP Alexander H. Stephens’s Cornerstone Address in 1861: "Our new government['s] foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man." https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cornerstone_Speech]