Yes, it’s true. I’m a terrorist.
Why? Because the government deemed me one.
Because I’m anti-fascist.
Antifa. There it is again. Antifa.
Anti-fascist. Against fascism.
Anti-racist. Against racism.
Always anti-fascist. Always anti-racist. Always Seattle.
Real talk here. I’m having a difficult time with what is happening in this country.
I can barely sleep, and when I do, it’s definitely not restful. I can’t tear my eyes away from what is happening in the news. I’ve seen the videos, I’ve read the accounts, and I’m disgusted. Embarrassed. Saddened. Angered. Ashamed.
Racism wasn’t cured with the passing of the Civil Right Act. It hasn’t been 60 years – not even a generation – which isn’t nearly enough time to erase hundreds of years – thousands even! – of systematic racism and abuse that black people experience in this country.
I’ll never experience what they’re experiencing. I’ll never have to worry about my life ending because of a missed stop sign, or a bad check. I can barbecue in the park. I can run through my neighborhood without a care in the world. I can even carry semi-automatic weapons into the Michigan courthouse, get in the faces of cops, and be home in time for dinner.
Did you ever realize that guns have more rights than women?
While you’ll counter my BLACK LIVES MATTER with ALL LIVES MATTER, then I ask you if that’s true, why do we care so little for the black life? Would your trade your whiteness?
You call yourself Pro-Life, but yet allow immigrant children to be locked in cages? Deny Americans health care?
Why do we care more for property damage than a man’s life?
Why is the police attacking peaceful protestors? The media? And then lying about it? The revolution is being televised.
This makes me a terrorist.
My life benefits from white privilege. I know this. I realize it.
I will always think back to November of 2008, where I benefited from this privilege and can’t help but wonder what if I wasn’t white?
It was the Friday after Thanksgiving, my friend Julie dropped me off in downtown Seattle so I can head over and pick up my race packet for the Seattle Half Marathon.
In-between Nordstrom and Pacific Place, there’s a mid-block crosswalk with a street light. As I was getting ready to cross, the signal turned to a flashing red hand, so I ran across the street.
A member of the Seattle PD, who’s directing traffic (remember, it’s the Friday after Thanksgiving,) sees me and yells “Idiot!”
When I get across the street, I wave my hand in the air with a “whatever” kind of motion, and continue on my way.
The next thing I know, he’s in my face YELLING at me to show him my driver’s license.
I refuse. I’m not driving, I tell him, I don’t need to show you that I’m a licensed driver.
I tell him that I don’t have to provide ID, but I’m more than willing to give him my name.
I tell him no.
He then tells me I’m an asshole for flipping him off, which I didn’t, and I tell him this. I tell him exactly what I did, and you know what? He’s fine with it. We shake and he leaves me alone.
But what if I wasn’t white? Based on the current actions of the SPD, I know for a fact that if I wasn’t white, I would have been thrown down on the ground, cuffed, and arrested for some trumped up BS charge like resisting arrest.
When the looting starts, the shooting starts.
No justice. No peace. No racist police.
After the 2016 presidential elections, racists and white supremacists were freed.
No more having to hide in the darkest corners of our community, they were now permitted, encouraged even, to come into the daylight and spread their messages of hate.
Flying the confederate flag.
Refusing to tear down confederate monuments.
Blue lives matter.
The police commandeering the Punisher logo.
Multiple members of the police and armed forces flaunting white power symbols and tattoos.
There are good people on both sides.
Make America Racist Again.
Years ago, I remember wanting to get a flag for my house and flying it. But when I finally got an actual flagpole, I never flew the American flag. I elected to fly the flag of Cascadia instead.
Even back then I knew this country had a cancer.
A few years ago, I stopped standing while the National Anthem was played before sporting events. It means nothing to me.
And the people who took offense at this action, also have no problem with changing the colors of the flag to match their favorite sports teams, or to wear clothes made out of the flag.
Nationalism is frightening.
When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.
I’ve avoided being a contributor to social media for a couple of years now. I deactivated Facebook, I stopped looking at Twitter. Besides being a time suck, I felt gross reading both of them. It felt like nothing positive was happening.
But I’ve been looking at Twitter again. I see what is happening. I see the bots spreading false information. I see the racists and the fascists spreading their propaganda about protests and riots.
And I wonder about those people I call friends and who are members of my own family. How many of them think that there’s nothing wrong with flying the confederate flag, or that blue lives matter, or that Kaepernick is a son of a bitch?
My lifetime is limited, and while I’m here, I don’t have time for people like this. I want to leave the world a better place than when it was given to me. And to focus of people than enrich my life, rather than those who use 911 as customer service.
Besides, how many people want to say that their friend/family member is a terrorist?
Well, guess what? That’s exactly what I am.