I missed posting to Facebook yesterday, just slipped my mind. I didn’t have any jokes, anyway. Just a lot of brooding dark thoughts and stuff. I’m marching with people again and I’m feeling anxiety every time I go out.
I don’t know what it is, and admit this is a bias, but a lot of the people I’ve met over the years screaming the loudest about fighting have never been in a fight in their entire life. Like, never taken a punch, or given a punch, or seen their own blood on someone else’s hands.
Like, they’ve seen a lot of TV shows, and documentaries or whatever, but have never had a tear gas canister blow up in their face, or carried a stranger away that needs medical attention, or watched a colleague get their face split open, or any of a number of horrible things. I’ve known a lot of people over the years who talk big games about getting in the street, but who never show up when the chips are down. The sort of folks who get other people hurt, because they’re all about other people making sacrifices on their behalf.
I am afraid when I go on marches, now. I do it anyway, unless my warning lights go off. I don’t know if those warning lights are right or wrong, but I know that stuff I saw and did during the Bush years gave me a perspective, right or wrong.
I’m not afraid or worried about me, though. At all. For multiple reasons, I’ll be fine. What I’m worried about are the people around me who may not have a clue, and who might scatter at the first sign of trouble and get someone hurt. I’m worried about the kids with all the bravado who break something, and then scatter so they won’t get in trouble. Like, the white kids who show up at a Black Lives Matter march wearing a bandana over their face, screaming, “Kill the NYPD!” who then run away, leaving behind an older black lady carrying a sign asking for justice.
I have no intention of being some kind of leader. All I want to do is help who I can, as much as I can, and do what I think works.
Every person I respect, including the old ones who fought for the rights that we take for granted, say the same things, that the key to all resistance is organizing, which is really a sharp word for community. Sometimes, it’s about choosing who to follow, and support, and a lot of the time, that’s the most important choice you can make in times like these.