Wake up the world for the conflict of justice

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I live outside D.C.  I work blocks from the White House.  I have protested in Lafayette SquareSt. John’s Episcopal Church is a historic establishment.  It provides feeding ministries, holiday gift drives, and refugee assistance.

Five blocks away from St. Johns is a sister parish within the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, the Church of the Epiphany.  Every Friday it transforms the chapel and multi-purpose room into a Jummah service for Muslims.  I have prayed there.

The D.C. Episcopal church embodies true Christianity.

What we’ve seen in the last 24 hours is profanity.  It is blasphemy.  In the words of Bishop Mariann Budde: it is an “abuse of sacred symbols.”

True Christianity is not the Attorney General ordering a crackdown against peaceful protestors.

True Christianity is not tear-gassing Episcopal Priests off of their Church’s portico so it can be used as backdrop for a fascist photo-op.

True Christianity is not holding “a Bible” the President has never read while praising D.C.’s “Overwhelming force. Domination.”

True Christianity is not deriding Americans demanding justice as “lowlifes, and losers”, “scum,” and “thugs” who deserve to be shot by “the unlimited power of our Military.”

Per Presiding Bishop Michael Curry:  “The Bible the President held up and the Church that he stood in front of represent the values of love, of justice, of compassion, and of a way to heal our hurts.”

“His action did nothing to help us or to heal us.”

Yesterday President Trump wreaked literal and spiritual violence against a historic church providing water and fruit snacks to peaceful #BlackLivesMatter protestors.   This echoes the worst of violence against black churches during the Civil Rights Movements.  And today, like then, too many “religious freedom” loving white Christians are silent.

I will not be silent.  Not when the very Bible the White House profanes condemns this hypocrisy of leadership:

There are six things that the Lord hates,
seven that are an abomination to him:
haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
and hands that shed innocent blood,
a heart that devises wicked plans,
feet that hurry to run to evil,
a lying witness who testifies falsely,
and one who sows discord in a family.

(Proverbs 6)

By contrast, here is a one of the most holy displays of faith, mourning, and leadership in my lifetime:

Our nation is wounded.  Frankly, it has always been wounded.  If we are to call ourselves disciples of Christ we must take action to heal.

And if you don’t know how to take action?  Start reading.  Here’s a list for beginners.  Google has more.  Go get to work.

Comments

  1. I have never been able to fully wrap my head around the hypocrisy of many leaders of the “Christian Right” supporting a man like Donald Trump. Surely they could find some other (any other??) individual who would work with integrity toward their policy objectives without being so untethered from Christian behavior? The apparent political stunt with St. John’s as a backdrop seems pretty incongruent with one of the basics from the Sermon on the Mount – to “do not your alms before men, to be seen of them…” Not that there was much “alms” about it, and I suppose the President (like us all!) will “have [his] reward” in the end, but it’s frustrating to watch sacred sites, traditions, and principles be manipulated and twisted by such a profane individual.

  2. Thank you, Carolyn.

  3. Jack Hughes says:

    It’s the worst kind of virtue signaling. From the same man who once attempted to quote from “Two Corinthians”. You can’t signal virtue if you have none to begin with.

  4. He held a book he hasn’t read, in front of a Church he doesn’t attend.

    For. A. Photo. Op.

    He had the military violently clear a peaceful assembly.

    For. A. Photo. Op.

    He didn’t go there to pray or to speak to unify the Country. He went there to pose.

    For. A. Photo. Op.

    When asked to comment on tRump’s religious beliefs, Republicans were quick to say that it would be wrong to comment on another’s faith, something they did regularly with President Obama, whose Christian faith they repeatedly said was a mask for Islam.

  5. Dee Kay says:

    Is this turning into a political backdrop?
    I was thinking this might be a joke but it isn’t, or is it?

  6. I’m bombarded by this framed leftist narrative from the Media every day. Then I come here for a respite and have to be confronted again by that crap. This stuff keeps us divided. Why do you want to do that? Where are the peacemakers, because I am sorely in need of peace and love.

  7. Geoff - Aus says:

    Will America be a better place after this? How do you get better?

  8. Marrissa says:

    First, THANK YOU for demonstrating. Second, thank you for the local witness on what happened in DC. Third, thank you for wrapping up with resources to get to work. It’s time to level up.

  9. Not Sayin' says:

    No, Ellis. There IS not peace and love until there IS peace and love. Simply avoiding the problems won’t solve them.

  10. “And today, like then, too many “religious freedom” loving white Christians are silent.”

    Amen! Shout it from the rooftops. Also, now that everyone has photo and video cameras on them in the cell phones, we can see with our own eyes the scale and magnitude of these Republican politicians, pundits, and their “conservative” media allies’ lies about the events that are happening. We can see with our own eyes that the crowd of *peaceful* protestors at Lafayette Square were dispersed violently with tear gas and/or smoke cannisters (it makes no substantive difference at all, contrary to the protestations of those in “conservative” media) and with police in riot gear hitting peaceful protestors and the press with shields and batons, and pushing them out with mounted officers. We can watch police marching down the streets smashing the windows of parked cars and even destroying shops, presumably to have more damage that they can blame on protestors to bolster their credibility or justify their police brutality.

    This is the age foretold in scripture when their misdeeds will be shouted from the rooftops. They are now broadcast for the entire world to watch as they brutalize the citizenry in violation of our civil and constitutional rights, all in the name of the ideology of their Republican Party.

  11. For a little bit of context: Statement from United States Park Police acting Chief Gregory T. Monahan about the actions taken over the weekend to protect life and property, made June 2.

    The United States Park Police (USPP) is committed to the peaceful expression of First Amendment rights. However, this past weekend’s demonstrations at Lafayette Park and across the National Mall included activities that were not part of a peaceful protest, which resulted in injuries to USPP officers in the line of duty, the destruction of public property and the defacing of memorials and monuments. During four days of demonstrations, 51 members of the USPP were injured; of those, 11 were transported to the hospital and released and three were admitted.

    Multiple agencies assisted the USPP in responding to and quelling the acts of destruction and violence over the course of the weekend in order to protect citizens and property.

    On Monday, June 1, the USPP worked with the United States Secret Service to have temporary fencing installed inside Lafayette Park. At approximately 6:33 pm, violent protestors on H Street NW began throwing projectiles including bricks, frozen water bottles and caustic liquids. The protestors also climbed onto a historic building at the north end of Lafayette Park that was destroyed by arson days prior. Intelligence had revealed calls for violence against the police, and officers found caches of glass bottles, baseball bats and metal poles hidden along the street.

    To curtail the violence that was underway, the USPP, following established policy, issued three warnings over a loudspeaker to alert demonstrators on H Street to evacuate the area. Horse mounted patrol, Civil Disturbance Units and additional personnel were used to clear the area. As many of the protestors became more combative, continued to throw projectiles, and attempted to grab officers’ weapons, officers then employed the use of smoke canisters and pepper balls. No tear gas was used by USPP officers or other assisting law enforcement partners to close the area at Lafayette Park. Subsequently, the fence was installed.

    Throughout the demonstrations, the USPP has not made any arrests. The USPP will always support peaceful assembly but cannot tolerate violence to citizens or officers or damage to our nation’s resources that we are entrusted to protect.

    Link to the USPP website: https://www.nps.gov/subjects/uspp/6_2_20_statement_from_acting_chief_monahan.htm

  12. snapdragon says:

    The statement from the USPP is a lie. Tear gas was used; there are pictures of the canisters. The protesters were peaceful. Feel free to watch some video.

  13. Eric D. Snider says:

    I am so, so tired of church members like Eilis who have been indoctrinated (by church leaders, but that’s another subject) to believe that anything “liberal” is automatically bad. It’s so dumb, so thoughtless. To steal a line from someone else, I implore you to get better at one of these two things: having thoughts or being quiet.

  14. If the “historic building” that the USPP is referring to is St. John’s Episcopal Church then Chief Monahan is lying. St. John’s was not destroyed. One room in the basement was damaged; most of the damage was caused by smoke and water.

  15. Snapdragon, your pictures notwithstanding, the police are not wearing gas masks, which would be required if they were firing tear gas into the crowd.

  16. They used OC, oleoresin capsicum, an oily substance derived from chile peppers that is often used in topical ointments and “heat” creams for arthritis relief and muscle pain. When it gets into the eyes, noses and lungs, however, it triggers searing, debilitating pain, coughs, sneezes and mucus secretion.
    Park police did use gas masks.
    The protestors were peaceful.
    What is the point of drawing a distinction between “tear gas” and OC if the results are the same?

  17. Vajra, I’m interested in the truth, generally, and I’m interested in the truth of this specific event. I’m inclined to believe a statement made by the head of USPP, since it would appear to be very counter productive for him to lie when there are probably hundreds of cell phone videos and pictures of the event. You can assert anything you want, but you saying it doesn’t make it true. Might you offer some proof? I’d love to see pictures and videos that prove your assertions. In fact, I’ve watched some videos that seem to indicate that the majority of people at that particular event were NOT violent rioters. Unfortunately, it only takes a couple of bad actors among the protesters to turn a peaceful protest into a riot. Oh, and I did not draw any distinctions, I merely said I didn’t see any gas masks being worn by police in the videos I watched.

  18. Snapdragon says:

    The NYT, the Washington Post and the Guardian, to name just three, all have eyewitness accounts of people who were tear gassed, Are they all lying? For what reason? https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/episcopal-priest-describes-being-gassed-and-overrun-by-police-at-lafayette-square-church/2020/06/02/c5dbb282-a4ed-11ea-bb20-ebf0921f3bbd_story.html

    The peaceful protestors have a point. Where are the videos of violent protesters just before Trump made his walk?

  19. Annie, I’m interested in truth. Period. I’m not sure I understand what “truth, generally” means to you, but definitionally it means usually, but not always. I was going to give you additional citations, including one from the CDC, but I’ve decided not to be your clerk because you’re ok with what happened at St. John’s: the use of military force against peaceful demonstrators to allow tRump to have a photo-op. You could look it up.

    I like what Maya Angelou said: “When someone shows you who she is, believe her.

  20. Geoff-Aus says:

    Annie,
    Good to see that you are still looking for truth. Sadly you are in a post truth world. You are now in a trump world where officials lie for trump. I can’t find about gregory t monahan, but his version doesn’t relate to the facts.
    Not relating to this question but to integrity of government.
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-06-04/jim-mattis-criticises-donald-trump-over-protest-response/12320210

  21. Truly we do live in a post truth political world. Hopefully we can all keep seeking and finding the eternal truths that will make the world a better place. Blessings to you all.

  22. Kevin Christensen says:

    Amen.
    Whereas the Wannabe Dictator asserts the Second Amendment rights to bear arms, he does not not favor the First Amendment rights to free assembly and protest and free speech. Amanda Marcote at Salon pointed out the very different responses to armed protestors trying to imtimidate legislators into letting them dispense with masks and social distancing during a deadly pandemic, and the protests of deadly police violence. “Yet police in these situations didn’t show up in full riot gear. They didn’t shoot tear gas at anyone. When protesters pounded on the doors and got right in cops’ faces, officers just stood there stoically, unwilling to do harm to these particular citizens, who were almost all white and big fans of Donald Trump.”
    https://www.salon.com/2020/05/27/i-cant-get-past-the-differences-between-the-minneapolis-blm-protest-and-anti-lockdown-protests/
    The incident with the tear gassing and flash bombs and mounted police and batons and riot gear so the President could hold a Bible like a “Trump steak” as (Maddow aptly described it) is actually terrifying for the prospects of Democracy.
    Annie Applebaum’s essay in The Atlantic, “History will Judge the Complicit” is chilling, looking at how different people responded to authoritarian governments in East Germany and Vichy France, and has a nice contrast between Linsday Graham and Mitt Romney recently reacting to the same moral choices.
    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2020/07/trumps-collaborators/612250/

    I take heart from the descriptions of the church in Alma 1:30
    30 And thus, in their prosperous circumstances, they did not send away any who were naked, or that were hungry, or that were athirst, or that were sick, or that had not been nourished; and they did not set their hearts upon riches; therefore they were liberal to all, both old and young, both bond and free, both male and female, whether out of the church or in the church, having no respect to persons as to those who stood in need.

    Not exactly an endorsement of Trumpism, is it.

  23. One of the scribes came to Jesus and asked him,
    “Which is the first of all the commandments?”
    Jesus replied, “The first is this:
    Hear, O Israel!
    The Lord our God is Lord alone!
    You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
    with all your soul, with all your mind,
    and with all your strength.
    The second is this:
    You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
    There is no other commandment greater than these.”

  24. Nate GT says:

    George Floyd died unjustly and his death is emblematic of the unfair way in which blacks are treated by the justice system, which is in grave need of reform. I’m very sympathetic to the protesters. Trump is fanning the flames of division in this country and his forceful removal of peaceful protesters for a photo-op with a Bible was an absolute disgrace, as has been most of his presidency. Saying “All Lives Matter” is tone-deaf and insensitive. I’m liberal, with some progressive tendencies.

    That said, let’s not get carried away too much with the embrace of the protest movement against injustice against blacks. Black Lives Matter is circulating a petition to defund the police. That’s extreme. And wrong. How can law enforcement happen without government funding? There is no functioning system at all without police departments. Let’s also be cautious about siding with the woke crowd. Lots of extremeness and oversensitivity among them.

    I sometimes feel like the goal in the minds of the woke crowd is to have a sort of constant complaint about racism and injustice against minorities. If complaints have been exhausted, many try to find minutiae to add to the list of complaints. While there is certainly racial injustice and need for increased awareness and sensitivity, especially among whites, there is also a need to remember that pointing out injustice is a means to an end, not the end itself. At some point we have to stop thinking about racial differences and focus on individuals, as opposed to who is or isn’t part of what minority group, and things that unite us.

  25. At a meeting I attended, a colleague mentioned an incident she witnessed at a coffee shop she visited while traveling on business. The barista was an African-American woman. A customer came to the counter and demanded a white barista prepare her beverage. The next customer a white man told the Black barista how sorry he was to have witnessed this. He also told her she should not have put up with it and she should tell that custom off. He left after leaving a large tip. My colleague, when it was her turn, asked the woman how often customers asked for a white barista. She answered every day. Some days more than once.

    Every. Single. Day.

    I don’t think I’m qualified to describe her pain as “over-sensitive.”

  26. Geoff - Aus says:

    Nate, you were going well until the but /that being said moment. If you look on the black lives matter site thay have a petition to collect racial data on the virus. Cant see one on reducing funding to police forces but the fact that black men are 3 times as likely to be imprisoned as white, and many of these are because of poverty, (can’t pay, bail, can’t pay fines, can’t pay for lawyer. Might some of the money spent on police, be spent on paying for legal aid, might it pay for programmes to divert people from prison? America has highest rate of imprisonment in the world, and many of the black men in prison haven’t been tried yet. Money might be used better than just to fund more law and order, which affects black men more?

    Then you go to the woke croud who you claim will keep looking for problems even when there are none. Well there are very real problems, so you don’t know that and it isn’t relavent at present, but I assume you are trying to undermine them. I assume woke is a pejorative for someone from the left.
    So that paragraph is also garbage.
    Not sure you information source, but not trustworthy.
    I am not in America but have been wondering how Trump news (fox) have been treating the last weeks? Perhaps they may be the source of your misinformation?

  27. Nate GT says:

    Geoff, I’m channeling Obama, who back in October 2019 criticized overly sensitive folks on the left for waging war on people on social media over a slightly off-color joke or comment. Fox News is propagandistic trash, you’re right. But the woke crowd is more likely to damage the Democrats’ chances against Trump than anyone else.

  28. Nate GT What do you mean by “woke”?

  29. To say that Black Lives Matter monolithically wants to defund police departments is simplistic and inaccurate. There are some who do, but the truth is more nuanced.
    https://www.google.com/amp/s/time.com/5848318/black-lives-matter-activists-tactics/%3famp=true

  30. Jared vdH says:

    Before you deride an idea as “performatively woke” how about actually learning about what it means? Defunding or Abolishing the Police is not about anarchy or completely abolishing Law Enforcement. It’s about end of policing *as we currently conceive of it*.

    It’s about ending our fixation on making every kind of social deviancy a crime whose only answer is imprisonment.

    It’s about taking important social issues out of the hand of police where the only tools they have are guns, handcuffs, and prisons, and instead providing community resources to correct these social ills.

    For example:
    – Decriminalizing homelessness and instead providing affordable housing and mental health resources for the people who need it.
    – Providing access to treatment and recovery support to help people escape drug addition instead of just throwing them in jail
    – Instead of paying cops to patrol public schools and send kids to juvie we would instead fund schools to pay teachers better and reduce class sizes to improve kids lives so that they don’t end up in juvie at all
    – Giving people a living wage for the hard work that they do so that they don’t have to resort to desperate “criminal” means to feed their families.

    I was going to include some links to outside articles to provide some additional reading on the subject, but don’t want to get caught behind the spam filter. I’ll do so in another comment so that you all can see this message and then my links once they exit moderation.

  31. Jared vdH says:

    This post contains the links I mentioned earlier:
    This twitter thread I believe provides a rather concise summary:
    https://twitter.com/TravelingNun/status/1268510966116954114?s=20

    Defunding the police is not a new idea unique to this crisis. It’s been proposed years ago. Here’s one article from 2017 about what it would take and what it could cost.
    https://www.citylab.com/equity/2017/07/the-price-of-defunding-the-police/533232/

    This summary from the New York Times looks at the more recent calls to defund/abolish the police:

  32. Geoff-Aus says:

    Jared, agreed

  33. Nate GT says:

    Here is a tweet by the DC chapter of Black Lives Matter criticizing a decision by DC Mayor Muriel Bowser to paint a massive Black Lives Matter slogan on 16th street in DC:

    “This is a performative distraction from real policy changes. Bowser has consistently been on the wrong side of BLMDC history. This is to appease white liberals while ignoring our demands. Black Lives Matter means defund the police.”

    We should be very cautious about voicing full support for the actual Black Lives Matter movement. Lots of extremeness there. Defunding the police is not the way to go, folks.

  34. Jared vdH says:

    Nate GT, did you even look at my comment? Care to actually engage or are you just here to virtue signal for those who oppose Black Lives Matter? Cause that appears to be all you’re actually doing.

  35. Geoff-Aus says:

    The comments section on “persecuting christians” seems to have closed. Is that intentional?

    Nate, What is the purpose of your last comment, particularly in the context of Jareds later comment, which explains part of your problem. The first part is just to show that all people of colour do not agree on how to address the systemic racism in both the police and judicial system, based on race and poverty.

  36. Nate GT says:

    Jared Vdh, sorry, I actually hadn’t seen your post when I posted. From what I’ve seen of the Black Lives Matter movement, I haven’t seen any sort of vision of what laws and law enforcement is supposed to look like if we defund the police. There simply appears to a general anger at the police and a blaming of them for a long list of problems. The slogan, “defund the police” needs to be rephrased and clarified as to what that is supposed to mean or recognized as extreme and irresponsible.

    Your proposed solutions seem more rational than what is proposed by the Black Lives Matter movement, but hard to implement. There are no easy answers. But a part of the answer to police brutality and systemic racism has to be individuals taking personal responsibility. Don’t commit crimes. Don’t resist arrests. Don’t hang around a bad crowd. Work hard. Learn. Be a community builder.

    Lastly if we must support the protests (I actually see them as dangerous because they spread COVID-19), we must strongly condemn in no uncertain terms looting, violence, aggravation of police, and arson. It is absolutely disgraceful that so much violence has sprung from the protests. Some is from white supremacist groups motivated by accelerationism, there has also been some police brutality and police unnecesarrily provoking peaceful protestors, but most of the violence, theft, and arson is from miscreants and extremists (many undoubtedly on the left) getting caught up in an uncontrolled fervor that needs to end soon. Go home now. This risks ruining liberalism and handing another election to Trump.

  37. Jared vdH says:

    Nate GT,

    “From what I’ve seen of the Black Lives Matter movement, I haven’t seen any sort of vision of what laws and law enforcement is supposed to look like if we defund the police.”

    It’s funny, you know, they have a website for that. From your rhetoric it sounds like you haven’t done that much work of your own to begin with.

    We demand acknowledgment and accountability for the devaluation and dehumanization of Black life at the hands of the police.

    We call for radical, sustainable solutions that affirm the prosperity of Black lives.

    George Floyd’s violent death was a breaking point — an all too familiar reminder that, for Black people, law enforcement doesn’t protect or save our lives. They often threaten and take them.

    Right now, Minneapolis and cities across our country are on fire, and our people are hurting — the violence against Black bodies felt in the ongoing mass disobedience, all while we grapple with a pandemic that is disproportionately affecting, infecting, and killing us.

    We call for an end to the systemic racism that allows this culture of corruption to go unchecked and our lives to be taken.

    We call for a national defunding of police. We demand investment in our communities and the resources to ensure Black people not only survive, but thrive. If you’re with us, add your name to the petition right now and help us spread the word.

    It’s right there in their petition. Defunding the police isn’t about eliminating the police department. It’s about reducing their budget in the same way that education budgets have been defunded, or health and human services have been defunded. It’s not about reducing the police budget to zero, but reallocation of scare resources away from the police, who have been obviously misusing it to buy armored personnel carriers, and instead put it into school budgets, hospital budgets, community reinvestment budgets.

  38. Jared vdH says:

    Nate GT,

    “But a part of the answer to police brutality and systemic racism has to be individuals taking personal responsibility. Don’t commit crimes. Don’t resist arrests. Don’t hang around a bad crowd. Work hard. Learn. Be a community builder.”

    Have you even seen the now hundreds of videos of cops abusing people who are not resisting arrest? How do you define a “bad crowd”? Apparently Mitt Romney must have fallen into a bad crowd since even he’s joined in the protests this past weekend.

    How are you taking personal responsibility to end police brutality and systemic racism? What have you personally done, other than turn a blind eye? How did you feel about the armed protesters who stormed state capitols a month an a half ago to demand an end to the stay at home orders as compared to the current protests? Unless you can honestly say that you were willing to tell them that they were “getting caught up in an uncontrolled fervor that needs to end soon. Go home now.”, then I believe that you may still have some work of your own to do.

  39. Nate GT says:

    Jared vdh, I’ve read the statement. It clearly says defund the police without any clarification of an alternative. This is a radical and dangerous idea. Law enforcement is an absolute necessity. I support police reform and having an independent oversight body that holds departments accountable. I support demilitarizing the police. But defunding is a non-starter. Plus with which party do we stand any chance of police reform and measures to lessen the effects of systemic racism? The Democratic party. The Republicans are (with the exception of Mitt Romney, kudos to him) under a racism-denying delusion. But guess what? The Republicans are using slogans like “Defund the police” and images of arson and looting to paint liberals as extreme, unhinged, and out-of-control and improve the chances of US voters giving 4 more years to a criminal and racist president. If you support liberal causes and workable measures against systemic racism (not just empty idealism) then you condemn the extremists and their actions. I blame individual officers for unnecessary provocation. But I don’t blame them for dealing harshly with provocateur and threatening protesters and thugs and criminals among them.

    What am I doing to end systemic racism? Preaching pragmatism and trying to help the Democrats actually win by denouncing extremism in the Black Lives Matter movement and all violent, thieving, and arsonist protesters. That’s our only chance. Let’s not eff this up.

  40. A Turtle Named Mack says:

    Defunding the police doesn’t mean eliminating police, but re-imagining (drastically?) what they are for and how they go about that job. Defunding means reallocating some of the resources (money) to areas that have been shown to have a greater impact on crime reduction – such as mental health, homelessness, education, or domestic violence awareness and prevention. Many of my white neighbors will claim that a police presence makes them feel safer, and that they need someone to call when they feel unsafe. But it’s important to note that for many of my black neighbors, a police presence DOES NOT make them feel safer, and that calling the police when they feel unsafe often leads to bigger problems – sometimes death, sometimes just a lot of hassle, but usually no resolution.

  41. Nate GT says:

    Here’s the thing. Whatever nuances people are claiming are built into the Defund the Police slogan are 1) not readily apparent in the Black Lives Matter movement platform 2) are guaranteed to be lost especially on much-needed moderate voters this fall. Trump and his campaign will exploit the extremeness of this slogan to the max. It needs to be denounced and changed to Reform the Police. I’d fully back larger police reform chanting the slogan and reallocating money to urban restructuring to promote greater equality of opportunity and treatment. But liberals and democrats have a responsibility to decry extremism. Even Biden’s campaign released a statement today saying that he does not support defunding the police. Now is not the time to push Democrats to back extremist inarticulate slogans and messages. They’re currently our only chance against a party that will continue to turn a blind eye to police brutality and systemic racism.

    I find it unnerving that people on here insist that we recognize hidden nuance in Defund the Police and then refuse to recognize the bad apples among the protesters and call them out squarely. I denounce arsonists and looters and everyone else should too.

  42. Jared vdH says:

    Nate GT,

    Thing is, I’ve honestly seen fewer “bad apples” among the protestors than among the police, especially when accounting for numbers in proportion to the two groups. There have been way more peaceful protesters than riotous ones and way more riotous cops than peaceful ones in my estimation. Perhaps it’s a perceptual thing that you and I will never really agree upon, but your fixation on one and seemingly casual brush off of the other does not feel just.

    Do I think arson and looting during these demonstrations is bad? Yes. Is it as bad as 250 years of actual legal slavery, 100 more years of brutal, murderous oppression along with literal arson and looting of Black homes and businesses, and then 50ish years of improved but still morally reprehensible conditions along with figurative arson and looting of Black lives and livelihoods? No. So while I do not support the arson and looting happening during the some of the protests right now, I do empathize with the motivation.

    As for nuance and slogans, I don’t really care that much about the slogan and I don’t really care that much that Biden refuses to embrace it. However, “Build The Wall” and “Lock Her Up” chants also made a lot of people “uncomfortable”, but they voted for Trump anyway. Those chants are still happening as well. Why does the right get to keep their slogans, but the left can’t?

    As long as the substance is there, I don’t really care how the Democratic Party chooses to brand it. But at least from the Pelosi and Schumer press conference today, I don’t know that they truly understand the substance either. It came off more as cosplay than seriously addressing the issues.

  43. Nate GT says:

    “Why does the right get to keep their slogans, but the left can’t?”

    It’s supposed to be on the side of reason. The right has lost its mind.

    Change that you want (and I want similar change as you, don’t get me wrong) can only come through a political party in power. The Dems are all we have.

  44. What would do more to push understanding, inclusion and acceptance forward in a world desperately in need of it, would be for someone, anyone, on either side of these debates to simply say:

    “Wow, i hadn’t considered that before. I need to think hard about my assumptions and my beliefs.”

    That is all.

  45. Nate GT says:

    Sean,

    I’ve been debating people online and in person for well over a decade. It is important to take a stand. There is a time to concede, and there is a time to dig in. It is said that people don’t and won’t change their minds, especially not in an online debate. Usually not immediately, particularly over larger issues (mind-changing tends to happen in peripheral areas that are still linked to larger ideas and beliefs). But has anyone ever said something that you initially disagreed with that caused you eventually to change your mind? Debate and discussion is important and vital for us to be able to process the world around us and our interactions with the people in it. People’s attitudes and opinions are in constant flux. I believe it is important for us to formulate opinions, test those opinions with others, root our opinions in evidence, try to influence others, and adjust our opinions if they cannot be backed with enough evidence.

  46. Nate,

    I hadn’t considered that perspective. I need to think about it. Thanks