how a lot of the people arrested in the subsequent weeks have been dopey white kids from the suburbs, who may not subscribe to any ideology and have probably seen Joker too many times.
I mean, the anger is justified, but it can also feel evangelical. My Instagram feed is filled with Orwellian “I see you” posts, which remind me of my adolescence in an Assemblies of God church where those who weren’t speaking in tongues and raising their arms while singing were “revealed” as those with lesser faith. On that note, all this makes me think of The Last Temptation of Christ, as Jesus is caught between the zealotry of Judas and John the Baptist versus the airy and more amorphous idea of Love.
Meanwhile, this has caused soul-searching on my own part. I see people post things that feel like struggle sessions, committed to a revolutionary line of thought that I admire and yet also find scary. How do I make this a better world? A more just world? I’ve mainly only had bad experiences with cops myself, and yet isn’t it a deterrent for criminal behavior? From my own childhood experience in an abusive household, the thing that got my drunken stepfather to step aside (after he’d already thrown my mother through a wall and kicked down the door of my sister, on the phone with a dispatcher), was the realization the police were coming. When I voiced this to a friend, her reply was identical to Lisa Bender of the city council: it’s a sentiment that “comes from a place of privilege.” While I understand that, it doesn’t sit well with me. I didn’t pursue an argument, but is my distemper an example of Robin DiAngelo’s “white fragility”? Some, with undaunted certainty, would say it is.
CHRISTOPHER “MAD DOG” THOMAS, 35
We’ve been protesting for years and doing things, where police officers have killed folks. And there’s not… A lot of times there’s not a lot of white folks out there, or any other race. You know, a lot of times we’ll be out there by ourselves. It was very interesting to see so many white folks come out and support and address issues. I didn’t have a big problem with it. I dunno, I think it’s good what’s happening in those white communities, right, like, that they are showing up.