These are contentious times.
While the deafening events of April 7 in Hemming Park are now fading into quiet meetings in lawyers’ offices, this mother is still heartsick. I saw scared kids—same age as my own—shell shocked and horrified by Officer Friendly’s alter-ego.
The numerous videos that were posted online immediately after the anti-military-action rally weren’t fun to watch. Police officers using force—punching, pulling, tackling, and throwing down other human beings—is always a horrifying sight.
Now that the dust has settled, we know that a progressive protester, wearing a mask, ran behind invading Trump supporter Gary Snow. Whether the action was accidental or intentional may be a question of fact for a jury, but we know the masked man snagged the speaker cord to Snow’s bullhorn, tangling the gigantic Trump flag and angering Snow. Then all hell broke loose.
And our young, mostly suburban, white protesters saw with their own eyes what happened when their “nation,” for a brief moment, turned into “a colony.”
Author Chris Hayes, in his new book, A Colony in a Nation, describes it this way:
“Depending on who you are, the sight of an officer can produce either a warm sense of safety and contentment or a plummeting feeling of terror.”
Our daughter felt the latter as her college town, Cleveland, prepared to welcome then-nominee Donald Trump for the 2016 Republican National Convention. Troops moved into the campus’s empty summer dorms, and the students were told to go home. Classes were suspended.
The “big, burly men with guns” unsettled her, she said. She told me she felt like her college campus had been transformed into an occupied military zone. I was glad she’d be coming home.
And then I was heartsick—for her, for her brothers, and for all of our young people. Our … More