Last night, live on TV, I saw heavily armed and armored military police and other law enforcement advance into a peaceful protest—peaceful, as stated by every one of the dozens of journalists witnessing.

This included mounted officers charging into a crowd that offered no resistance except to kneel or to back away.

If your main concern about these protests is that they aren’t “peaceful,” well, they are. Until authority responds in force.

If you want peaceful protest, make it possible. End the militarization of police. Demand your governor refuse military troops for law enforcement.

I saw, live, armored personnel carriers rolling down the streets of our capital. I saw video after the fact of a helicopter with US Army markings flying low over retreating protesters.

Where there is violence, there is increasing evidence that it is perpetrated primarily by provocateurs set on starting a civil war or by organized groups of criminals who move in after protesters and take advantage of the situation.

Maybe if the police weren’t so busy beating unarmed women and men in parks, all to enforce their authority, or to give a Nero tribute act a photo op, they could deal with the actual criminals.

What you saw last night was the sort of repression of dissent that Black people in this country live with day in, day out.

It’s just made visible and the whole world is watching. Finally watching.

I’ll never understand that experience, but I understand that I can’t understand.

I’m trying to do my best, as a white person, to bear witness to what’s going on now. And what’s going on now is that the repression of Black dissent and protest is growing to include allies of Black dissent, and soon perhaps to anyone who questions the order of things.

When the military is threatened so glibly, you should assume the worst.

Because soon, at last, your whiteness will not protect you. Not from the truth, not from the unchecked state, and certainly not from the judgement that comes beyond the grave.

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