So. I was just at the rally in downtown Chicago. I went out of a desire to better understand, which is simply put, how and why I end up going to any rally, even ones for causes I walk into supporting.
So. This one was definitely, so so. I was there 2 hours late, arriving at 7 for a 5PM start time. But for the hour I was there, I witnessed a sea of mostly young, mostly white people.
I went because the social media invite I had was structured around race, specifically, a rejection of racism promulgated by Donald Trump. I am firmly in support of anti-racism, and had never really supported Donald Trump’s campaign, so I thought, “Okay, this might be for me.”
What I witnessed was stupid and empty. There was nothing particularly productive or informative about anti-racism, and in particular, how this struggle can manifest under Donald Trump’s future presidency.
Then, I went to talk to a police officer. I asked her how long she’d been out here, if the protest location has moved over the course of the night, whether or not they had a permit to be there, and who the organizing parties were. Really, just basic-ass questions.
She told me that there were no permits for this event, and there was no clear organizer other than just “social media in general.” She also mentioned, either intentionally or accidentally to garner some sympathy, how the whole police force had been working double shifts for the past few weeks for the Cubs World Series events.
I believed every word she said.
I get that it’s frustrating when things don’t go your way, people. But this is a democratic society. If you are an intelligent human being, fully functioning as an adult in a democratic society, it is your essential responsibility to understand how and why a democratic election in your country became won, either by the movement you supported or another. Then, after that, it is your secondary responsibility to apply yourself in a politically productive way, to whatever you support.