All afternoon, I waited for news that my older son was on his way down to protest the verdict in the Mesherle trial. (The good news is that he stayed home). This kind of outrageous sentencing is what often gets him ready to don the black and protest. And yet, it's the rioting that begins to seem more outrageous, worse even than the verdict.
Just now, I clicked on a few videos of the black donned anarchists breaking into Foot Locker. I've long thought that Foot Locker needs to good whack with a golf club. Huh? I mean, what has Foot Locker ever done to us other than charge us too much? I suppose we could say the same about Whole Foods, too, which was also looted. But seriously. Protesters. Anarchists. figure out how to make your point in a way that is serious.
Looking at the rabble rouse and strike takes away from the fact that a BART police officer took a relatively calm young man and shot him. Whether this was "unintentional" or not, he did it. I watched the video of Mesherle shooting Grant one more time, and the stillness of the scene is horrifying. To my mind (and I don't often think of using a taser or a gun), Grant just needs a pair of handcuffs and a yank on the collar to get him into a cop car. Later, he could be released back to his family, who could try to instill some better behavior in him.
Do I want to be on BART with a bunch of annoying kids? Absolutely not. It would piss me off and potentially scare me. But I don't want them dead on the platform, either.
That dead young man is the bottom line. As I watched the video, I realized I was coaching both Mesherle and Grant.
"sit down," I said to Grant. "Stay down. Stop talking."
"Don't do it," I said to Mesherle. "Don't. Walk away. Calm down. Let him calm down."
None of these things happened. We know what happened. And now the protesters are taking away from the fact of this scene. I want to talk to them, too.
"Stop acting like idiots," I will say. "Find a way to make your point so that we see your intent. Don't, whatever you do, make it about shoes."
Causes Jessica Inclán Supports
Women for Women International Goodwill Industries Lindsey Wildlife Museum Freecycle.org