A Word on “Peaceful Protests”

It completely blows me how we have begun using the term “Peaceful Protest.” In my opinion, there ain’t nothing peaceful ’bout a protest. They are loud and disruptive even when we just sit in silence on the hot pavement for 8 minutes and 46 seconds remembering the amount of time it took for George Floyd to die underneath the weight of a cops knee.

Ain’t nothing peaceful ’bout that.

I distinctly remember the girl in front of me shedding tears as we sat in the heat. There was another person nearby that kept breathing loudly. I felt antsy and kept thinking, “This is taking a long time.”

Of course it was a long time – A long time to choke – A long time to gasp for air – A long time to sit and watch because you’re too afraid to help for fear of losing your own life – A long time.

There ain’t nothing peaceful ’bout a protest.

It’s disruptive to the spirit. We shouldn’t even have to be out there. And yet, here we are, yelling, marching, speaking, singing, chanting and sitting in anguish waiting for 8 minutes and 46 seconds to pass by.

Ain’t nothing peaceful ’bout that.

It’s disruptive to the world. Somebody won’t be able to drive their regular route. Someone will be annoyed by large numbers of people gathering to speak their minds. Others won’t understand why now during a pandemic. Doesn’t seem like the police care about killing us even though there’s a pandemic so why should we stop protesting?

There ain’t nothing peaceful ’bout a protest.

Secretly, I’ve been replaying the feeling of being surrounded by people, by my friends and shouting chants and feeling like that even if I shout as loud as I can, things still won’t change. Secretly feeling like burning the whole city down and knowing that the media would spin that too. Hating the fact that I cringed the first few times they dropped an F bomb in a chant and then later screaming F bombs as loud as possible because the reality of being of no value to prejudiced and discriminatory systems, organizations and the government finally dawned on me. They don’t really care about us, so “F” them.

Ain’t nothing peaceful ’bout that.

Even prayer becomes protest. I pray the Psalms that ask God to devour my enemies and their children’s children. I implore God to not leave my people desolate because we are His. I beg God to give us victory and to slay the giant that is racism and poverty and bigotry and health care disparity.

Everything about a protest disrupts. It disrupts the status quo, traffic, people’s mindsets, hearts and the atmosphere. It’s disruptive and rightfully so. It’s loud and rightfully so. It’s chaotic and rightfully so. It’s organized and rightfully so. It’s painful and rightfully so.

There.

Ain’t.

Nothing.

Peaceful.

‘Bout.

A.

Protest.

My heart has been vexed ever since… My spirit is disturbed… I haven’t been at peace since

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