It was my freshman year of college. The football team was on a Cinderella like run and had made it into the Division 1AA championship against Appalachian State, the defending champs. It was a hard fought game, ultimately going to Appalachian State. Disappointed; students started to pour out onto the campus, curious, me and my friends went to go see what the buzz was about, after all, we lost. The vibe on campus however, felt like anything but. Thousands of students are cheering and chanting, saluting a great season for our team. Not sure how or what started it, but the crowd went from happy to agitated pushing and shoving. Police came in on horses, warning students to settle down or go back to your dorms, ain’t gotta tell me twice, we were about to go about our business. Then comes a “Fuck the Police” followed by a beer can hurled at a mounted cop. And chaos ensued. Places trashed (you know, that we’re spending thousands of borrowed dollars to be), students arrested and expelled.
Again, this was over a football game….that we lost. This was after 3 Super Bowls and a World Series. These dumbasses rioted their own school that they’re still paying for. Privilege, at its finest.
Fast forward to now, I watch with horror as the events unfold in Ferguson, MO. This didn’t start over a lost football game, this started because a police department would rather turn their back on the community they sworn to serve and protect than turn in on of their own. Because a police department would rather use their power to make an example of Ferguson than let Ferguson serve as an example of the power of a community. I’m watching livestreams and vines, and its shocking this was a quiet suburb 2 weeks ago. People on social media who I’m usually chop it up with about sports and music are actually in the trenches, they aren’t militants, they aren’t anarchists, they’re parents, they’re bloggers. These cops throwing flashbangs, pointing military grade weapons at civilians, they aren’t soldiers, they’re suburban police officers and highway patrolmen. Ferguson could’ve happened anywhere, even in the quiet suburban town I live now. (Well I have faith in our elected officials, and in the local police who all live and are a part of the community they serve, such a novel concept ya think… that Ferguson would not happen here)
But alas, here we are. I wake up and check certain timelines for updates (who have more credence than cable news). I’ve donated to the cause, I’ve used my own platforms to encourage and inform, but still…I feel helpless. You wait and see if this will spark a change that will affect history or will this just go down as another #Occupy movement? How ugly can this get? Divisive positions are being made amongst parties, amongst races, amongst agendas and we’re already losing sight of what’s broken already. So as I watch people debate about who gets treated worse, the media skew facts to fit their agendas,
politicians get questionably quiet, the police dept double down and get more aggressive, a young black man have his legacy vilified, I feel like I’m back on campus again wondering what is all of this for? …..we lost.