Boy howdy. So much has happened since the terrible, horrible, not good, very bad week for pro wrestling. As a warning, this blog is going to have pretty much nothing to do with wrestling. I’m going to talk about the Black Lives Matter movement; I’m going to talk about the disgusting filth in police departments nationwide. I am going to put no effort into tying this back to wrestling because this is important and something we need to talk about. BLM.
Also, Full disclosure, I am a white man. I can never comprehend the struggle of being black, nor am I the voice that needs to be heard right now, but since you’re here, I can at least share my experience and use this blog to encourage you to seek out, listen to, and support black voices. I will include links to places you can donate to help the cause in the plugs section at the end. So with all that warning out of the way, let’s jump into it.
I have never protested in my life. Instead, I HAD never protested until now. I lived swaddled in the comfort of my privilege for most of my life. I had enough empathy and compassion to support people of color and LGBTQIA+ folks in words alone. But I never took any action. I didn’t even vote until this year because I hated having to be a cog in a broken system, I hated choosing between two people running for president who I felt were unworthy of my support, and “they’re all the same anyway.”
The privilege, the utter disgusting privilege. What a comfortable world to live in, right? I have no excuse for my lack of action. It was selfish and ignorant and privileged, and I will never go back. Anyway, I had to help; I had no choice. The disgusting, unfathomable brutality committed against the black community by police departments around the country was unforgivable. I needed to help, even if it was just a body in the crowd of protesters, so I went to downtown Seattle. Rather than recount the whole story, I’ll share what I wrote when I intended to speak at the Seattle City Council meeting last week (I was number 104 in line, and after waiting for 4 hours, I could not stick around, but luckily every other person ahead of me shared my concerns. This is what I wrote:
“I am a white man with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and am currently working on my masters in the same. I have worked as a court clerk for about a year and a half and have volunteered at numerous probation and parole offices. BLM.
Never in my life have I been more disgusted to be a part of a system so broken, fractured, and warped.
I was excited to help lift the voices of others by attending my first protest on Saturday. I was in an entirely peaceful crowd for about 40 minutes until SPD started rapidly advancing on protesters and pushing them to the ground. As I helped one of my fellow protesters back up to his feet and questioned the officer who did it, I was immediately met with pepper spray straight to the eyes. I felt scared, tormented, and betrayed by a system that I had put faith in for most of my life. But that is only a small taste, a fraction of the fear, anger, and betrayal my black brothers and sisters experience every day. BLM.
Since then, every single day of protests has brought light to more and more horrifying accounts of police abuse of power and misconduct with literally zero accountability. From macing a child to tear-gassing crowds unprovoked to turning off their body cams. This is not justice. The criminal justice system, like the people it is meant to serve, will never be perfect but must always strive to be the absolute best that it can be. That kind of growth can only be achieved through full accountability. Angrily lashing out at one’s accusers only perpetuates, and further ingrains, toxic behavior.
I am ashamed of what the criminal justice system has become in the hands of trigger happy instigators.
Since 2016 Seattle PD has added nearly 200 full-time officers and $90 million to their budget. This is on the heels of a 2012 DOJ settlement, where SPD was required to improve training and reduce the use of force. Seattle has been found in violation of that agreement in the past and looks to be keeping up its track record. Officers must be held accountable; government officials must be held accountable; the system must be completely reformed. FIX THIS.
“Black Lives Matter”. BLM.
I put this statement out on social media, and I had put a lot of emotion into it. I don’t usually talk about this kind of stuff publicly, but it felt valuable. I’m truly sickened by the things I’ve witnessed, and since I wrote that statement, it’s only gotten worse. This past Saturday, I was in another crowd of protesters who were “dispersed” with tear gas (or what some call aerosol pepper spray) and flashbangs. Again, another peaceful protest turned violent by the police. I was not hurt this time. I watched for signs that things were about to turn sour and did my best to get myself and my friends out of harm’s way.
Despite my efforts, two people I knew were harmed. The streets of Seattle (and other cities) have turned into war zones. The police are at war with the people they are meant to serve. It’s absolutely wild that when people call for an end to police brutality against a specific group, the police respond by committing acts of cruelty against EVERYBODY. It’s like that 4chan edge-lord who says, “I’m not racist, I hate everyone equally,” as if that makes him less of a terrible person.
The final thing I will say on this matter, at least for this blog. This is because I’m confident this will not be over two weeks from now. It is that if SPD’s goal was to discourage people from protesting, convince them that it was “too hard.” That it is “not worth the trouble.” Then they have failed because I know that I am not alone in saying that it has only reinforced the fact that cops are bad and the whole system needs to be torn down and rebuilt.
It is truly poetic justice that a police officer’s attempt to blind me only further opened my eyes. Open them to the kind of morally bankrupt people we have patrolling the streets, looking for their next victim. Like I said in my statement, I only had an infinitesimally small taste of what black folks experience every single day of their life, and that was enough for me to dedicate myself to fighting for them. BLM.
Black Lives Matter
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