Things I can’t sum up in a meme or a cute photo.
I’ve seen a lot of white friends posting pictures of cops hugging kids, or taking a knee. I think you mean well but please stop. There are several reasons this isn’t helpful.
- It’s saying that “not all cops are bad”. This argument is ridiculous. This isn’t a couple cops stealing or embezzling money. These are cops who are murdering people. This argument wouldn’t swing with any other profession. “There is no reason to not trust bakers just because a few of them put poison in their bread. #notallbakers” Maybe a couple cops hug kids or take knees but so what. The system is broken and that’s what the protests are about. Posting the pics takes away from the seriousness of what is happening and only serve to make you feel better.
- Posting the photo’s is disrespectful to the people who are protesting and the people who’ve been murdered by these cops. It’s like saying “blue live matter” or “all lives matter.” Sure, everyones life matters but not all lives are being extinguished and forgotten by authoritarian figures that you are now propping up with these photos.
- It suggests a desire to make things peaceful again. The peace that existed prior to George Floyds murder only existed in white worlds. Only weeks before Mr. Floyd was killed, Breonna Taylor was shot and killed in her own home while she was sleeping, by cops who were at the wrong address looking for a man who was already in custody. Ahmaud Arbery was killed by civilians while jogging. The men who killed him were arrested only after public outcry. Sadly the list of black people murdered by cops is long. The riots and protests are happening because they work. They make white people pay attention. Calling for peace signals a desire to be able to ignore again.
(guest post by Matt Johnson) Another thing that we could say a whole lot more about is Trump’s tweet claiming he will classify Antifa as a terrorist organization.
- Antifa is not an organization. It’s a political philosophy. It’s a shared understanding. It’s a movement. It has no central leadership. Antifa is short for anti-fascist. In practice, it’s anyone who works to dismantle fascism and expose white supremacists. Since it’s not an organization, there’s no structure to classify as terrorist in the first place.
- Trump has no authority to do this. While the state department can designate foreign organizations as terrorist groups, the law that gives them the power to do so cannot be applied to fully domestic groups. Even if Antifa was a real organization with a structure and members, the executive branch has no legal authority to designate it as a terrorist group.