What Do You Stand For?
“Why can’t we all just get along?” sounds good in principle, but only works when we’re dealing with differences of opinion – like which football team is best, Pepsi or Coke?, or whether grunge is better than rock or classical music. Calls for “more love, less hate” sound wonderful – who doesn’t want that? But if we don’t rise up, stand up, speak out, and take action against the oppression of our fellow humans, if we don’t stand up against police brutality and the killing of innocent people (or at least people who are innocent of any capital crime), if we don’t stand up against authoritarianism, then who are we? Can we even call ourselves “Americans” anymore? Didn’t that used to stand for something? Didn’t that “something” used to include a proud, staunch opposition to fascism? I am glad that most of the Greatest Generation cannot see the futility of their courage in WWII in some of your faces, words, and inactions.
I Need a Good Answer to This
Why is it wrong to judge all police officers by “a few bad apples,” but okay to judge all Black people or all anti-fascist protesters by the few agitators who riot and loot and distract from the message that “Black Lives Matter” or that hopeful belief that we are opposed to authoritarian dictatorship and fascism in this country?
Consider this: No one but the fascists gain anything when violence and lawlessness break out. So – who’s provoking the violence?
Defending Rights & Dissent, a civil liberties group, cataloged known instances of First Amendment abuses and political surveillance by the FBI since 2010. The organization found that the feds devoted disproportionate resources to spy on peaceful left-leaning civil society groups, including Occupy Wall Street, economic justice advocates, racial justice movements, environmentalists, Abolish ICE, and various anti-war movements. During the effort to violently target Occupy Wall Street, the FBI and the DHS conducted their operations against activists in coordination with banks, the local police, and the New York Stock Exchange.
What Will It Take to Make You STAND for It?
If the meek inherit the earth, it will be a scorched and uninhabitable planet. A Pyrrhic victory, indeed. Don’t just stand on the sidelines. Pick something concrete and constructive – and preferably positive – that you can do to effect change. Feeling lost? Unsure of what you can do? Join the club. Do some digging. Here’s are some ideas: What to Know About Portland’s Crackdown on Protesters and How You Can Help.
Get Your News from Eyewitnesses, Experts
I’d like to believe we have a “failure of leadership” in government, today, but I think that the opposite is true – we have masterminds orchestrating this Chess game, hoping you won’t notice until they smile and whisper, as they slip the noose around your neck: “Checkmate.”
Please click through and read the links.
First they came for BLM and anti-police-brutality protesters. Then for the #WallofMoms , then for the #WallOfDads , then for the #WallOfVeterans … Tomorrow, they'll come for you. Whose wall will you stand behind? https://t.co/rHFpyRD9WH
— HollyJahangiri, Author (@HollyJahangiri) July 26, 2020
At scene of shooting at protest downtown, a protester gave me his account of what happened.
"As we’re walking down passing 4th street, a blue car just comes swerving out into the middle of the street almost runs over a bunch of protesters…" (1/4)
— Mose Buchele (@MoseBuchele) July 26, 2020
Immediately, there was a piling on of people trying to discredit and smear the victim. But eyewitnesses and video taken at the scene tell a different story. Don’t get all your news third-hand. Don’t even take just my word for it – this is why I say, “Click through. Read.” Just try to be sure your sources are presenting the FACTS accurately. They can have a different opinion, but beware when they start to alter facts. Everyone has an agenda, here, and it’s time to figure out what yours is and who you stand with – but most importantly, why.
Sure, Garrett Foster was open-carrying an AK-47. He said some things about people who opposed the BLM protesters – called them “pussies.” He confronted the car driver who gunned him down – because that driver drove at high speed into a crowd, and Garrett was protecting his quadriplegic wife, who he’d been taking to the nightly protests for about 50 days. Now, these Trump supporters are saying, “Well, he deserved to die.”
But apparently, they had no problem with this:
Trump adviser Stephen Moore calls the Confederate Flag waving, armed protesters outside the Michigan state house the new Rosa Parks, "I call these people the modern-day Rosa Parks — they are protesting against injustice and a loss of liberties." Do these people look like Rosa?! pic.twitter.com/ixZIaYE6zE
— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@DeanObeidallah) April 18, 2020
Heavily armed protesters and #Trump's supporters in front of State House in Lansing, to force Democratic Gov. Withmer to end the #lockdown to prevent violent uprising. Meanwhile in #Michigan's hospitals #coronavirus deaths surged over 2.000. Vaccine for ignorance not available pic.twitter.com/poXCbU1yfs
— Riccardo Romani (@riccardinouk) April 16, 2020
What are they protesting? Public safety measures to slow a deadly pandemic. Not actual murder of citizens by the State. No, they want to go back to bars and restaurants. They can’t figure out how to cut their own hair. So they try to intimidate a woman Governor who is literally trying to save lives in the state she governs.
In Trump’s America, the 1st Amendment only applies to those exercising the 2nd Amendment. Unarmed demonstrators pose a threat to “law and order.” But if you’re carrying a gun, you can threaten elected representatives or menace civil-rights demonstrators. https://t.co/L56VHmH5Ew
— Dana Milbank (@Milbank) July 22, 2020
This thread (read the whole thread) from a man who’s very knowledgeable about guns, and proves there is such a thing as a responsible gun owner (we see far too few of them – it’s easy to forget they exist):
(1/??) A thread to disprove everyone saying “THOSE FIRST SHOTS WERE AN AK-47 CAUSE THEY ALL SOUND THE SAME NO MATter WHAT” #austinprotests
Let’s start with the gun Garrett owned: PSAK-47 GF3 with a side fold triangle stock…. (1/??) pic.twitter.com/fOmSEP3CnJ
— im gonna go by ashton now (@iamsenpappi) July 26, 2020
Even standing firm against nonsense on your favorite social media platforms helps, some – but don’t let it stop there. Make those posts public; share, so that others – inclined to be silent in order to keep the peace and not risk losing friends – may feel courageous, knowing they are not alone.
I cannot find it in me to be conciliatory about this, anymore. If we can’t push back, with facts and firmness, on family and friends, when they are drinking from the trough of nonsense, there’s no hope for change. I can only imagine how crushing it was, for Europeans and others who did nothing but wring their hands as Hitler and the Nazis rose to power in the 1930s. If you imagine you’d have handled things differently or better, now’s your chance.
And if you do nothing else, at least commit to voting against fascism in November. Make sure all your friends are registered to vote, too, and drive ’em to the polls if you can’t vote by mail. This goes for you Americans, and for those reading this from other countries where authoritarian rule is on the rise – vote like lives depend on it. Because they do.