I haven’t seen as much coverage on the 6 blocks of Seattle taken over by the people who live there as I would like to. Like most writers I’m intrigued.
Some national news outlets are mocking them, claiming they have already run out of food and crime is on the rise, but mass media outlets sensationalize everything. These corporate news sources are funded by the same 6 billionaires who push for far-left ideologies to better control the population through full government control of every facet of life.
When things go wrong they push for more standardized education, big government health care, big government laws, big government everything, but what that usually achieves (from what I’ve witnessed in my lifetime) are higher disparities between the rich and the poor, the militarization of the unionized police force, more debt for everyone and less protections.
Cities couldn’t even protect black neighborhoods from opportunist rioters and looters just a week or two ago yet we’re supposed to buy the idea that giving over more control is a good thing?
See, to me local government is a great thing. Hell city and state governments work. The federal government on the other hand is too far removed from the every day issues that real life people deal with in different areas to fully represent everyone. What is a problem in California is not a big deal in Missouri, the struggles of people in Wisconsin are not the same as the people battling issues in New Orleans or Atlanta. Each state has it’s own sub-culture, its own history, its own people.
The federal government was originally created to unite us through military protection, commerce, and postal services. A untied body of independent states that worked together when necessary.
This has been argued since the country was founded. When local governments fail, people go to city or state, and when they fail the people they go to the federal government for help. That makes sense to a degree.
Enter CHAZ or CHOP (the name varies depending on the source). People in Seattle Washington are sick of police brutality. Residents and protesters have taken over a 6 block span and created their own society within it. It’s a great experiment. Conservatives who heralded the farmers who fought to keep their land and won are now criticizing this group, but part of me wonders if it’s not all the same cause.
What can we do when corruption is an every day aspect of most every corner of government and law enforcement?
Yes, there are hundreds of thousands of good police officers who really just want to serve the people, but how many of them are ostracized and reprimanded when reporting crooked cops? How many of them are afraid to “rat out” other Brothers in Blue because police unions have basically created a force that is less about community and more about enforcement.
When I was a kid, officers were required to live in the areas they policed. When my mother was a kid, police didn’t drive around in cars watching us, like some big brother entity, they got off their asses and walked the damn beat.
I know that if those practices were still in place we would not be dealing with the problems we are today. I’ve been pulled over by asshole cops who goad me. I was also taught to never mouth off to a cop, lest you get shot. Seriously. That was something I was taught by my parents early on. How messed up is that? That a person could lose their life for saying something a police officer doesn’t like?
Now on the flip side I’ve known and support officers who do everything they can to de-escalate tough situations. Officers who patiently wait through dangerous stand-offs and talk people down when they’re too high to know what the hell they’re doing.
I remember how the media twisted the Michael Brown situation to create more turmoil. I was there. The riots got within 1 mile of my house and I was grateful to the officers who stood guard on our streets. BUT what the national news outlets showed was only half of the damn story.
I knew people who knew that boy. They were fucking terrified of him. A lot of people in that community were, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t deserve his inherent rights. Even if he went for the officer’s gun, they left his body lying in the street for over 9 hours like he was road kill. I don’t care who you are or what you do, that is not legal police protocol.
When the riots started police were told to stand down, though. They knew they fucked up. They knew they mishandled the situation. So they just stood back and let people throw feces at them. They watched as angry rioters flipped over a police car and lit it on fire. They stepped back when stores, homes, and streets were destroyed by the anger and rage that was caused. No one reported THAT either: that the police stood down.
The next night, after people saw their broken community, they asked the police: Why didn’t you do something?
Think about that.
Imagine being an officer, a good officer, and having to choose to either put your life on the line for people who now hate you just for the job you’re doing, or to step back and allow chaos and destruction to rule.
The next night they tried to control the looting and destruction, the violence and the mayhem. Then people said: How dare you hold us back!
It was a damned if you do damned if you don’t situation. But no one cared because they dehumanized the individuals wearing the uniforms, those people (most of them well-meaning) who joined the force because they wanted to help others.
No one knew what to do and the media only portrayed the police as villains and the people destroying their own community as heroes. I never wanted to go back to that. Not ever. There were so many missing details. Public servants were dehumanized and opportunists heralded. It was sickening.
So when a group of people, like those in Seattle, take back their community I don’t wish to ridicule them. If they’re policing themselves and taking care of each other, isn’t that what we originally intended for this country. To have communities that ban together, work together, help each other?
Reports have come in that they set up a border and won’t allow anyone in without showing their ID. That they’re arming their own force of individuals to patrol the streets. Most of these articles present this as a bad idea, but isn’t that what our current government already does?
This is why I trust LOCAL news over federal. Local accounts and reports from the people closest to that area or within it say it’s amazing. Those living within CHAZ or CHOP are finally rebuilding the sense of community that was destroyed over the past few decades. Instead of relying on big government to solve problems, they’re handling them themselves. That’s something that conservatives have pushed for years…accountability…consequences.
And there will be for these people. Like there are for everyone.
It’s swinging full circle. An “extreme leftist” movement might just see eye to eye with the “right-wingers”. That would be awesome! Coming together instead of dividing.
If their gardens won’t grow, there will be no food. If they don’t get rain barrels or something set up, they won’t have much water to go round.
This experiment is something to be watched with a hopeful eye. I never wish ill on anyone. I don’t want these people to fail because their ideals of socialism don’t have to be destroyed in order to learn and grow, just realistically faced. If crime rates get out of hand, safe spaces won’t be able to protect them and they will have to adapt.
First hand knowledge will give them real-life wisdom. The kind that poor kids like me learned early on because we had to fend for our damn selves. It’s the same kind of experience that taught George Orwell (a man who once heralded imperialism, then turned socialist, then decried government control of anything) to fear totalitarianism and mob rule.
Nothing terrifies me more than mob mentality. People who declare thoughts or words a crime, people who justify destruction for political principles, so there is a lot to be concerned with here as well, but on the whole it’s easier to dox someone online than it is to physically attack them and that’s why I hope this ordeal will give the people of CHAZ or CHOP (or whatever it is) more insight into why our system is the way it is. Or how it can tangibly be improved/fixed.
It has been suggested that they want to start over. Be rid of the US entirely, destroy all its history and create a new government/society.
That’s a fun idea but if they do so, they lose the constitution and all its amendments. The odds for a takeover by someone even more power hungry than our elected officials go up, much like what happened in Egypt and basically every middle eastern country that fights its government and is taken over by extremists who ban all music, dancing, movies, and implement the worst of sharia law.
The people of CHAZ/CHOP need to be smart and organized, because no matter how hard they try to uphold justice there will always be someone working against them.
Experience is the best way to learn. Many of the young people just discovering adulthood today were raised in a world of bubble wrap and safety warnings. They were handed trophies not because they asked for them, but because their parents wanted them to feel good about themselves. And now here we are with a group of idealistic adults that are finally gaining experience with real world hard work, danger, and perseverance. It could open many eyes, or close them.
I’m closely following this situation and invite everyone to put their politics aside. Think of the humans before the movements they so grandly hide behind. Here are some amazingly conflicting sources that don’t really seem to know much of anything about it: