“This is my first protest,” I said. Susan and I drove towards the square, the sign Sophie made awaiting debut, it’s birth, safely strapped in our back seat. I’m not demonstrative, I don’t demonstrate. I ponder, get pissed. I tell the world exactly how I feel, quietly, on my couch, through words, written, not shouted from a corner, chanted, call and response, sung in songs of freedom.
“Say His Name!”
Get up, stand up, line the street, masked, six feet apart—more like four. Sign after sign, unique perspectives, personal messages, one hundred takes on the same problem.
“Love Trumps Hate!”
“White Silence equals Violence!”
“Black Lives Matter!” Of course.
Our sign: “Confederate Flags are Racist and Hateful!” This got attention. The flag is cherished, revered in Gettysburg. Angry push-back:
“Are you calling me a racist?”
“You’re the racist, Bitch!”
(Aside: “They look like teachers.”)
I’m left wondering, They look like teachers? Is that an insult?
A devolution revolution, the lowest common denominator, they’re fighting for survival in a disappearing world. Trump’s culture war is heating up, building pressure, ready to explode. Armed in camo, at war with the future, with the present, with me.
This doesn’t suit me. It’s not my bag. I should be home, writing. Socially distant, from all and everyone. Not confronting, arguing, squared off in the street with a guy with a gun, a guy without a mask. This guy’s dangerous in more ways than one.
We clocked an hour, our meter ran out. Susan gaining steam, fired up, ready to protest all weekend, plotting tomorrow’s rally. Me, worn down, tired of people, sick of crowds, missing the solitude of home, my couch, my keyboard.
I’m glad I went.
Through the roads of creation, we the generation gotta say: Black lives matter, people. Yes, they do.
Previously Published on jeffcann.com