Last night, I went to the Durham, North Carolina protest. It was very well organized and structured by local teenagers. Street medics were handing out masks and making sure people stayed hydrated. I saw a couple of people moved to the shade as they were baking in the sun. The legal observers were clearly visible and circulating around the edges of the crowd. Durham police had an extremely light touch; a couple of cruisers were a block away for traffic control. Half a dozen motorcycle cops were in a parking lot five or six blocks away as an on-call local response unit. There was no violence, nor confrontations as no one was looking for that to happen. The speakers were powerful and the nine minutes of silence as everyone sat on the plaza’s ground was profound.
I got home about half an hour before my 11 year old daughter’s bed time. I took a shower and threw on a t-shirt and shorts for the rest of the evening. My daughter gave me a hug and asked if I was okay and if I was safe. We had talked about the concept of a blue-riot earlier this week and that opened her eyes. I told her that I was fine as the Durham cops were not looking for a dominance display. She relaxed until she saw my wife’s and her mother’s phone number on the inside of my left fore-arm.
“Dad, why is Mom’s cell number on your arm?”
“In case I got hurt and someone needed to get in touch with mom, I wanted her number to be easy to find…”
“Ohh….” and at that my daughter was silent as she started to process that her dad was taking precautions in case he was beaten.
I held the silence for a minute, and then another one as her brain was working on overdrive.
“That’s not right. That’s wrong.”
“Yep, and I’m trying to help make things slightly more right”
“What can I do, Dad?”