WTF Friday

I’ve been following a new energy bill that was proposed by Rep Pat Garofalo that slyly curbs the progress being made to energy policies in Minnesota. It would also allow energy companies to bill credit owners of solar panels that produce more electricity than they need instead of paying them cash, with the caveat that at the end of the year any credits they hadn’t yet used would be nullified. This is essentially legalizing theft for the benefit on energy companies and that not the only disturbing part of this bill.

His proposed bill would also cut the percentage of energy companies would be required to obtain from solar by the year 2030, essentially taking a step backwards in regards to MN’s transition away from fossil fuels. There are more aspects to the bill I don’t agree with but unfortunately the bill is no longer available to view as the link has been removed from the website.

What is even more disturbing is that his proposed bill wasn’t immediately rejected. There has been, and for now continues to be, quite a bit of debate regarding this. I don’t think there is anything to debate. Why go backwards just to make things easier on large companies who care more about profits than they do about the planet? The Senate bill was fine, this House bill is ridiculous.

On top of that we are also dealing with an incident that happened the other day where a 10 year old boy ended up with mace in his eyes, sprayed by a Minneapolis cop, while he attended a non-violent protest with the group Blacklivesmatter who were protesting the death of a bi-racial boy in Madison at the hands of white cop. I don’t doubt the cop was an asshole, probably a racist asshole, but I have to ask what a 10 year old boy was doing at a late night protest against, essentially, police brutality.

Now people are saying this could turn into a Ferguson or Baltimore style issue. All over my newsfeed I see calls for people to speak up against police brutality and racism. I see a ton of white bashing and accusations of white privilege anytime anyone says anything contradictory to the idea that this macing was a fully intentional assault by a cop towards a young boy. I also see all the people who are saying this is being blown out of proportion and the only reason racism is still around is because people continue to insist on drawing lines in the sand between races. I see people pointing out that more white people than any other race are killed by cops each year and it’s just that white people don’t bitch about it as much. What I don’t see is anyone willing to listen to anyone else who doesn’t immediately agree with them.

I know racism still exists despite all the steps taken to lessen it. I know sexism and classism also exist with no end in sight. I have no doubt that there are police that abuse their power and treat certain people differently because I’ve seen it happen over and over again…to me. I grew up in a decent, mostly white, suburb. I have no criminal record and am well-educated and peaceful. I have never had a single positive experience with police in my life. I have been condescended to by police, detained for no reason, been unnecessarily restrained and had vehicles searched with no probable cause. I’ve been given numerous tickets for actions I’ve never done and treated as a nuisance when I have called them for help, or flat out ignored by them. Not once have they actually helped me. I see a cop and I don’t associate them with a protector, I associate them with an aggressor.  No one wants to protest this on my behalf. Is it because I am a blonde haired blue eyed white girl? Does it not count because of that? How is that not racist, or maybe sexist?

Of course my saying that would most likely be met with the response that my white privilege makes me incapable of understanding the difference between interacting with the cops as a white girl or interacting with them as a person of color. Except, how is it really any different? I get pulled over for no reason and treated like shit in numerous states. I have made up actions held against me. I have my distress calls ignored or dismissed with little to no investigating. The one time I found myself thrown into the back of a squad car it was with excessive force and really tight handcuffs that cut off circulation to my hands despite my lack of resistance. If that’s “white privilege” you can keep it, it hasn’t done me any favors, either with police or in the court system or in the job field.

I stand firm on the opinion that the world is broken and racism will never end  as long as we continue to argue about it. I know it’s there but yelling  “blacklivesmatter” and retorting “white privilege” whenever anyone wants to change it to “alllivesmatter” only keeps racism alive and well. If we don’t all agree that everyone should matter and we need to start treating everyone with respect than we’re keeping the lines between the races firmly drawn in the sand. We all have a hand to play in this global issue, until we stop taking sides and learn to work together for the betterment of everyone, we all lose.

I hope that in the coming weeks MN can find itself on the positive side of things.