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Protesting With A Gun

You probably know by now that two police officers in Ferguson were shot during a protest last night.

Congratulations shooter, you just made it really easy for the cops, the right wing, and everyone else who is anti-democracy to demonize the protestors. You have made the cops the victims, and you’ve undermined every single thing the protestors have been doing for the past nine months.

Two shots. That’s all it took to wipe out the tiny, tiny gains that were made in Ferguson.

Two shots. That’s all it took to make the citizens of Ferguson as guilty as the cops who targeted people based on who they are.

Two shots. That’s all it took to turn the victims of the racism in Ferguson into punks who must we policed more closely.

Two shots. That’s all it took to justify every can of tear gas and every piece of riot gear that any police department across the country decides to use in order to deal with protestors.

This shooter made things worse for everyone who lives in or around Ferguson. The cops, the residents, and the Department of Justice, who’s there to right the wrongs done there.

When a cop uses excessive force, or is caught committing a crime, it’s always an isolated incident, attributed to one bad apple. When one person among the thousands of protestors in Ferguson over the past nine months shoots cops, all protestors are violent criminals and must be treated as such.

There is a different standard for those with less power, and there always has been That’s just a fact. That’s a fact that Martin King Luther Jr knew all too well, which is why he insisted on nonviolence. I cannot believe that someone would take shots at police officers five days after the fiftieth anniversary of Bloody Sunday. The events that took place on that bridge would have been seen very differently, had a single one of those cops been harmed in any way by a protestor.

When you are an oppressed minority, you have to be exponentially better than the people oppressing you. You have to be patient, you have to be peaceful, and you have to be professorial because it is your job to educate everyone else on your own oppression. I know it sucks, but it is the job of the oppressed to turn members of the oppressing class into allies. That is the only way to end the oppression. It’s never worked any other way, anywhere in time or space.

The moment any single member of that oppressed group acts out violently, that entire group is viewed as deserving of that oppression.

What happened last night was awful. It was awful for the two cops who may or may not have been part of the problem in Ferguson. It was awful for the people fighting for equality in Ferguson, and it was awful for all black people all across the country because they must all now apologize profusely and in perpetuity for what the shooter did.

"What happened last night was a pure ambush. This was not someone who was trying to bring healing to Ferguson, this was a damn punk." – Eric Holder

Let the requisite apologizing begin. 

 

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