My city is in near-ruin. Over the weekend, the city was overtaken by what started as peaceful protests for justice for George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement and turned into violence. Friday night, looters had shattered nearly every window downtown and taken all of the merchandise they could get their hands on.
I was already shaken by the assault and aggravated robbery that had happened to me on Wednesday. I was no longer able to walk the dog without sheer terror running through my body every time I’d step outside solo. So on Saturday morning, my neighbors walked with me on my morning walk. We surveyed the damage. I was shocked to see that even my block, which normally seems to be unscathed by protests when they happen, was also hit very hard.
On Saturday afternoon, I drove myself and the dog to a park are we like to walk that feels a bit safer, though not 100% safe (no place is) to get some exercise. While I was walking, I heard a woman ask a group of three bikers if they were going to the protest. I didn’t know there would be another protest on Saturday after Friday’s destruction. I got on Twitter and sure enough, there would be a peaceful protest starting at City Hall at 1:30pm.
By 3:30pm, hundreds of protesters filed past my window in a very well-organized manner.
By Saturday early evening I looked out my window to see many, many police vehicles stationed on every corner and I knew it was going to get much, much worse. I called my parents and told them I was packing a bag and coming out for the night. It took me 15 minutes to grab my stuff and get out. Thankfully, I got out when I did because about 15 minutes after I left and got on the highway, the protesters had blocked all of the roads and highways out of the city.
Looters moved to surrounding areas of downtown and broke windows and ransacked many more places, including both nearby grocery stores, the Target and several apartment buildings. Oh, and one of the amazing museums was also robbed of many, many pieces of ancient ART.
I ask you, how is stealing art and big screen TVs helping this movement?
Last night, Sunday, the police chief called a 7pm - 6am curfew that will be in effect for “the next several days”. Appears that even though there were many arrests for people out after curfew, the peace was kept and things are quieter. But I’m still not so keen on going back to my downtown area where nothing is open and people are still angry.
I need to get meds and clean clothes, so I’m thinking about running home this afternoon and packing another bag and coming back out here. I’ve had a couple of offers from people to let me stay with them, but I don’t really want to interfere in their everyday lives right now. I don’t mind staying with my parents because (a) I’ve already stayed the last two nights, (b) we’ve broken quarantine, and (c ), they like me here (I think!!).
I’ve somehow been able to hide my black eye with makeup and my hair covers the bruising on my cheek, so I haven’t had to explain the damage and the fact that I’m terrified in my own neighborhood.
I’m struggling with everything right now. I’m saddened by the fact that we as a country have not moved past the racial issues we’ve had over the past 50+ years. I’m struggling with my mental state. I’m struggling with hanging out with my parents. I’m struggling with my employment situation.
And yes, there are silver linings to some of the above issues: I am getting my job back in two weeks and I’m blessed to have my parents around to have a place to go…
But I’m just rattled to the core right now.
UPDATE: I get that it had to get violent and extra messy for folks to be heard. I understand all of that. I also know that protesters are different than looters. I hear my neighbors of color loud and clear. It’s not that I’m not listening. I want to hear more.
I was also assaulted in these same streets just a few days ago. I am angry. I am hurt. I am scared to be assaulted again, but this time, worse. I know it’s not about me, but I also know that I’m my only protector.
And we don’t have a fucking LEADER. Jesus Christ. Look at the man. He is destroying this country and hiding in a bunker.
Fuck all of this.
Last updated June 01, 2020