My 25-year-old niece, a childcare worker, writes from Portland, Oregon where she was a reluctant, and then committed, participant in the protests.
When I first heard about the brutal killing of George Floyd, I was heartbroken, but my attention faded into the noise of the news cycle. I’d heard so many stories like his. I was desensitized. The police felt like an untouchable entity, there was nothing I could do.
When the protests started, I saw the story as the news told it: rioters and looters antagonizing police. The peaceful protests were footnotes to the violence, a sensationalized retelling with more clickable headlines. The losses of corporations, here the Apple Store and Louis Vuitton and our malls, were stated as if they were true losses, losses toward which we should redirect our attention.
The one central point we could all gather around was George Floyd’s murder. But the police system that killed him sought to cheapen even that, citing an “underlying medical conditions” and “potential intoxicants in his system” (potential!)…
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