Image Tweeted by John Nichols @nicholsuprising

It Will Never Be Us

It won’t be us, as rockets flare in the sky over Tel Aviv. It won’t be us, as Palestinian hospitals form heaps of rubble in the West Bank. It’ll never be us.

It won’t be us, as we recount the history of the Hama massacre in 1982. It won’t be us, as Syrian authorities strip protestors of their clothes, homes, and dignity. It’ll never be us.

It won’t be us, as we watch Egyptian forces cordon off Tahir square, seeking to cut young Egyptians off from one another. It won’t be us, as cries of “justice,” “freedom,” “equality,” are drowned in the cacophony of cracking tear gas canisters. It’ll never be us.

In Ferguson, Missouri, it was a black youth named Michael Brown. Riots gave way to peaceful protests, cries of “justice,” “freedom,” “equality,” once again drowned in the cacophony of cracking tear gas canisters and the pop-pop-pop of automatic weapons fire. It is finally us.

Ferguson is a neighborhood not unlike the one I live in, except for the racial divide. But put that aside and my three kids are not unlike the kids of that neighborhood, playing ball in the street, riding their bikes, running through the sprinklers. Last night this neighborhood became the Maginot Line. A neighborhood just like mine.

“To protect, and serve” once related to the protection and service of citizens. I fear now it is, and has been, related to the protection and service of power.

Thomas Jefferson said, “Experience hath shown, even under the best forms of government, those entrusted with power have, by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.”

We’ve seen this across the world over and over again.It’ll never be us though. It can’t happen to us.

Well maybe it already has.

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Jason VanLue’s story.