We had a Black Lives Matter/Defund the Police protest and march in Ashland this weekend. My wife and I didn’t attend; her underlying health issues increase her vulnerability.
But we drove down to check it out. Hundreds attended. It was peaceful. Most — probably ninety-plus percent — were masked but social distancing wasn’t observed, so mixed bag. Holding our breath on that as the case count continues rising in Oregon.
Young and old, Black, White, Asian, and Latino marched. Later, as we talked about it during “Sixty Minutes”, my wife asked, “Why do we need to keep doing this? When will it permanently change?”
Good question, one that stayed with me this morning. The question prompted a recall of a 2007 Foo Fighters song and video, “The Pretender”. Dave Grohl said in interviews that 2007’s political unrest influenced him when he wrote it. Watching the video, well, you see the same themes as in 2020: protests, taking a knee, confronting police, violence escalating.
Big difference exist between now and 2007. Videos emerge almost weekly of police killing people, almost always Blacks, for little provocation. Too many times, it was brushed aside, hidden again and again. But as it’s happened, it’s just become, too much. The expression, “Black Lives Matter”, arose to express the gulf we see as Blacks were killed or had the police called by Whites for being black. The expression, “Being Karen”, became the code for privileged White people who called the police for such a list of shocking reasoning about why Black people weren’t supposed to be there, or why they were a threat.
“The Pretender” speaks to these things. All those things done by the police hat were hidden or protected are being exposed, again, again, and again. That’s the momentum that keeps this wheel spinning, and will until, finally, Black Lives Matter.
Send in your skeletons
Sing as their bones go marching in again
They need you buried deep
The secrets that you keep are at the ready
Are you ready?
I’m finished making sense
Done pleading ignorance, that whole defense
Spinning infinity, boy
The wheel is spinning me
It’s never ending, never ending
Same old story