Hard to analyze how bad something is when you think history has just begun perhaps? And I get it, it’s a pandemic, and unprecedented protests, and the inclination of one’s panic-stricken brain is to process all threats as new
I’ve been covering protests for years, and I stay in touch with folk. What I’ve found is most anyone who’s had a gun pointed at them by the state shows signs of trauma, and further most folk don’t have access to therapy nor state structures in order to get a diagnosis.
Thing is naming your pain is really only helpful in a legal, financial or therapeutic framework in which one might expect some relief. Otherwise it’s just giving yourself another preexisting condition or one more untended medical issue to wrestle with.
Until quite recently one wouldn’t expect to see the kinds of people with access to things like therapy out in the streets during anything but performative protests; the middle classes tend to register their discontent in the daytime and the police tend to treat them politely
A story, for people who will understand how hilarious this is:
So a couple months ago i called around to pretty much every local cattle farmer. Got some dude who works off a flip phone, said he’d add me to “the list.”
I told him I wanted a half beef and also was in the market for pork if he had hogs, hoping that if I was a customer on the pork side I’d get preferenced on the beef list what with the whole supply chain breaking down and whatnot
Anyway dude (still don’t know his name) tells me he surely does sell pork and he’ll call me back sometime
I give it a reasonable amount of time and then I wander off to do my job and get shot in the face and promptly forget to call my guy back about the pork
(Hi folks who have been here, someone brought me whiskey and it’s just past midnight and we’re settling in for a serious deliberation of the concept of welfare in various nations, I’m back, love y’all)
So anyway in the US we have fragmented our social services, which is to say that depending on the source of money that might be federal, state, county, or city depending on the budget.
Also, lots of smaller bodies depend on federal grants to fund their initiatives!
I actually don’t know how to explain to people that some parents care about kids that aren’t their own legal responsibilities is I guess what I’m learning
It’s weird that some of y’all are just like “well MINE can stay home so that’s me done being concerned”
I mean I understand fear, god knows, but also if you’ve got some space maybe worry for the parents who have none? Like we live in a society or some shit?
Idk, probably the whiskey talking, it’s 2020, we can’t merely expect humanity from humans these days
Like how the fuck am I gonna buy food if other kids’ parents ain’t working at the supermarket, what planet’s economy do folk think this is? I’m lucky as hell that my job can be done anywhere but even my rustic farm-direct prepper ass couldn’t sustain my family without others
So. As I said this morning in Congress, today is the one month anniversary of the last day I woke up with two working eyes.
I have not gone a single day since then without doing interviews/panels/being a research subject/being a witness
Y’all. Getting shot is fucking TIRING.
Anyway I’ve also, y’know, been dealing with a new and fairly major disability. And if I can be so bold, and with much love to the well-meaning: it’s a pandemic and bad shit is gonna happen to your friends, before we even get into evictions and uprisings and whatever else 2020 has
You know what’s been great? People who’ve just been like “hugs I love you, lmk if I can help.”
You know what’s sucked? People telling me how badly they feel about this thing I live with. People demanding to help so then I have to think of ways for them to help them help me.
So, uh, I’m pretty sure this whole thing just radicalized my kids
And it makes sense because I also would suddenly be a hardcore anti fascist if police had shot out my mom’s eye when I was seven
But, like. If you think I’m hard, wait’ll you see what my girls do when they grow
My eldest was terrified that we wouldn’t be able to leave the house or that the officer who tagged me was gonna come finish the job and I had to explain to her that I’m white so the only time a cop will shoot me is if I’m working, so now she’s extra mad because that’s racist
And that’s complex for her cause she doesn’t want me to get hurt anymore but she’s grappling with the notion that everyone doesn’t get that and she’s trying to find words for her upset so her solution is that she now wants to go protest with Black kids as like a bodyguard
an update: I am permanently blind in my left eye, and the docs absolutely refuse to let me go back to work for they say six weeks. I’m definitely not allowed to be near smoke or gas.
Usually if I had to stay home I’d spend a lot of time amplifying folk but reading hurts today
I hat we think happened is I took a rubber bullet to the face. It exploded my eyeball, which has now been patched back together but who knows if it’ll need more surgery. My vision is gone no matter what it winds up looking like scar wise
But it wasn’t my photography eye so it’s not career-ending. I can still see flowers and sunsets, just maybe I won’t be able to tell how far away they are.
So I’m gonna keep reporting from Minneapolis until we figure out how to get me and my car home cause I can’t drive anymore
Good morning folks! I’m safe, awake and reviewing my photos. I don’t think I have much commentary yet because tbh I’ve only been on the ground for a few hours and I don’t have a solid handle yet. But some first impressions:
1. I don’t know where folk have landed on the word “riot.” I’m not sure what else you call a night with that much fire.
But I have seen a lot of buildings burn, and tbh there’s not thick violence in the air. Violence is nearly incidental to the strength of the statement.
In Missouri when the Delmar Loop got smashed up it was pure chaotic rage, borne of months in a police state. This was...more of a signal. A warning.
With that said, I was not in St Paul and I’m learning quickly that this place is five cities, not two