This is me. On a Friday night, at 10:30pm. I’m laying on the asphalt, in the middle of “Chinatown” in Washington, DC. There’s a precise amount of silence as we all get settled onto the pavement. I’m there, in that moment, thinking about Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, and utterly countless other young black men who have been slain by the police. I was there, in my new coat, on the cold pavement, because I heard the protesters go by my hotel window. I was in DC for RESULTS training, and I was almost dead asleep, in my pajamas, contacts out, my roommate had just turned the TV off, and the room was pitch black. Then I heard them. “No justice, no peace. No racist police.” I jumped up and got out of bed, put my clothes on, grabbed my glasses, and went outside to join the crowd walking somewhere. I’ve never gotten out of bed like that. Ever.
It’s been a long time since I actively protested – marching and yelling and watching; the whole thing. Last time I was out in the night, it was to passively, silently hold a sign that referenced yet another unjust black death; Tory Davis’ who was executed by the State of Georgia, and was, most likely innocent, at a GOP debate here in New Hampshire. No one asked who Troy was, but I wanted to at least do something, anything, just anything. I think that’s what got me out of that bed so fast this time. I could hear them outside my window, they were loud, and I wanted to be loud with them.