I will never forget the night I became a Republican. It was May 30th, 2020.
I watched my husband take “the good Kevlar” out of one vest and put it into another. He left the house in BDUs and our 5-year-old was confused because daddy doesn’t normally wear all that tactical stuff. He’s a violent crimes detective so normally he’s business casual. But that afternoon was different. He got called in to work the planned protests. He was posted at the station, thank god. I was glued to the FB live feed from our local news station to make sure it continued to be a peaceful protest. As it got dark, he texted that they gave him a helmet and he was heading down. I burnt the kids’ Mac and cheese because I was a wreck. I managed to get them fed, bathed, and to bed. I came downstairs heading right for the remote to turn on the 9pm news and my sister called me.
She told me to pour a glass of wine and sit down so she could tell me how to see what was going on. I didn’t have any wine, sadly, but I could tell by her tone things were not okay. “What channel are you watching,” I asked. “Oh, this is not on the news.”
She has me get on Snapchat’s geo heat map where I could see all of the snaps of the people rioting. Cars on fire. Everyone chanting “fuck 12”. Just total carnage. People posting snaps with pride. It was at our mall. The place my husband works details. The center with my favorite Nordstrom rack. Seeing this violence so close to home was shocking. But it gets even worse. I take my laptop out to see what news stations are doing lives. Only one was but they kept running out of battery and they were a far distance away. Then somehow it’s 11 and I haven’t blinked. I turn on the news, switching between stations, and they keep playing the footage from the 4pm peaceful protest. GTFO! How are they not showing people what is actually happening?
Snapchat looks like the purge and they just aren’t even scratching the surface. I’m enraged and now it’s 2. Husbands still not home but these kids are going to be up in 4 hours so I try to lay down. I’m trembling since I’m close enough to hear the gunshots. He came home around 4. I dart downstairs, make him pizza rolls and take a shot with him of some old whiskey I didn’t even know we had and I listen. Dozens of police cars were destroyed, they were shot at, bricks were thrown at them, a car drove into a storefront. I could not believe what I was hearing. I couldn’t believe this was America.
The news the next day ran with the police starting the fight with tear gas. Which ended up being a false rumor. I go on social and my whole news feed is anti-police everything. People making the “madder about property” argument- as if my husband is property. Thank goodness our city’s chief and the mayor put their foot down and set the record straight. The violence was 100% started by the public. The new stations never showed any of the Snapchat footage I sent them or anything close to it. They kept showing a crack in the target window over and over.
I don’t know what it’s going to take to get people to wake up. The media tells a story, they aren’t reporting on facts. It’s not right.
I came from a family of Democrats. My grandparents immigrated here from Ireland and Finland during WW2. We’re not rich but work hard to build a nice life. We save our money and live within our means. In the last election, my Finnish grandma came out as a trump supporter. We were all really confused but now we get it.