You cannot argue with feelings.
I don’t understand the pain of the violent protestors of the Michael Brown indictment. I come from a white-collar family in one of the wealthiest suburbs in the country.
I do not fear the police because I have never been given a reason to fear them. In my elementary school, I was taught to revere the police as heroic figures.
Being that I was brought up in that manner, I cannot fully understand the weight of the pain these violent protestors.
I don’t understand the violence.
At no point in my lifetime when I’ve been pulled over by an officer have I felt victimized. There are people in this country that do deal with that, and it’s not my right to say that those people are being irrational.
I once dated someone that was ridiculously afraid of spiders. I see spiders as tiny, slightly creepy but mostly harmless (I’m terrified of spiders for the record, but for the sake of the metaphor, let’s pretend I’m not).
The way we see the something like that is completely different. Because I am not afraid, I’m inclined to call her irrational. That’s the problem. You can’t call feelings irrational; it’s nonsensical to argue that someone isn’t allowed to feel a certain way about something.
People perceive actions and beings in different ways. Strong feelings are rarely logical. In a way, it would be a waste of time to try and understand what the few, and I reiterate, few people in that city are going through.
The potential depth of our life experiences is limited by many factors.
I can say I’m happy and proud that the protests on this campus were peaceful. Protests in that manner make me proud to be a part of this community. I don’t have to side with the protestors to recognize that peaceful protest is good, especially on this campus.
What I won’t do is condemn the violence, because the depth of my life experience does not encompass a feeling of unease towards law enforcement, and it is not fair to tell someone “Your feelings are dumb.”