It Could Have Been My Kids. Or Yours.

I have two daughters in college, a freshman and a junior.

You’d love them. Everybody does.

So when I see this video of a policeman casually walking along a line of college kids who are just sitting there, pepper spraying them right in the face,

…and I think about this:

… I think how easily it could have been one of my girls. College students, doing what college students do, expressing their passion and their commitment, putting themselves — their bodies — out there to make the world a better place.

I think about how easily it could have been one of them.

And I cry.







3 responses to “It Could Have Been My Kids. Or Yours.”

  1. Big Sis Avatar

    More concretely, it could have been your niece…

    The even more chilling part is later (at least in the video I saw, there are a lot out there). The cops are starting to back away – and one cop seems to have his hand on another one’s belt pulling him back along with the rest of them. The one who’s being pulled is looking very nervous and is pointing his gun at the students. A nervous, scared young man with a loaded weapon is never a really good thing to have around. The fact that nothing was going on in objective reality to make him scared makes it worse (ashamed yes, but not scared).

    (I can’t put my finger on what makes me say that he was nervous, but it was the immediate impression I got from seeing his affect/behavior. Also, the careful way that pulling cop is acting, like he doesn’t want to startle him. But who knows if that’s what was really happening, but it’s how I read that little mini-scene. Meanwhile, I have read that the guns were “non-lethal”, but I’m not sure what that means, especially at such close range. They could certainly do damage to people).

  2. Olav Martin Kvern Avatar
    Olav Martin Kvern

    My first thought, after seeing this video, was to find the phone number of Lt. John Pike, Sacramento. It wasn’t hard. Heck, he’s even on LinkedIn. Probably has a Facebook page with pictures of his kids (I wouldn’t know). But while the individual should be publicly shamed, and, I hope, prosecution, he’s not an isolated “bad apple.” As Glenn Greenwald put it, “It’s easy to be outraged by this incident as though it’s some sort of shocking aberration, but that is exactly what it is not.” Actually, his entire post is good:

    Greenwald also links to digby’s post about the California protesters who had pepper spray applied directly to their eyes by police officers using Q-tips. Go read that one, too.

    What evolutionary purpose, do you think, is served by the Authoritarian Mind?



  3. Olav Martin Kvern Avatar
    Olav Martin Kvern

    Of course I meant “prosecuted”–the word just got lost in a rewrite.