All lives matter! I believe this. That’s why I joined my neighbors at what is being called the Black Lives Matter protest here in our city of Rio Rancho. Imagine my shock when I walked up to what was supposed to be a peaceful demonstration, only to be jeered and shouted at by people who sought to deprive me of my constitutional right to peacefully assemble in my hometown.
I was appalled. I have been a resident of Rio Rancho for 33 years, I raised my children here, and my grandchildren are growing up here. Until last March, I volunteered regularly for RRPS. I take part in community events. I drive the speed limit, pick up my dogs’ poo, and put my trash cans away when they’re emptied. All in all, I’m a good citizen and have had a great life.
I’ve even run for office, and in doing so, knocked on thousands of doors and talked to a lot of really good citizens. Most, even of those who disagreed with my position, were polite and kind. They are real people, with real-life issues, who need support, not division.
What I witnessed on Saturday were not the people I know to be Rio Rancho, and I’m so disappointed with the behavior of those who let their fear and hate rule them. I mean, who is against stopping racism? Those who support racism, I guess.
They were shouting “All lives matter, all lives matter” while carrying guns and threatening us. Really? All lives matter to them? So much that they’re willing to shoot someone? Their fears were whipped up by delusional bullies.
The peaceful Black N.M. Movement event, on the other hand, was listening to speakers extol the importance of voting in upcoming elections and filling out the census. It baffles me that people could be so threatened by something so fundamentally American.
Funny thing is, this is the third event that Black New Mexico Movement has held in our city. The first two were not attended by “Back the Blue” followers, and there was not even a hint of violence. Go figure.
And, do they really Back the Blue? Not from what I saw. What if one of these “counter-protestors,” aka violent mob, had pulled out their gun and taken aim at a citizen of Rio Rancho? He would be forcing the police to then use deadly force. Then what? Also, if they really support the police, they wouldn’t be shouting in the officers’ faces with their unmasked mouths. COVID, y’all, geez.
The good people in uniform had less to fear from our peaceful group, protesting police violence, than from their self-appointed “supporters.”
It’s time for the good people of Rio Rancho to take a stand against violence of all sorts, and get out there and vote to bury racism back under the rock from whence it escaped. If all lives matter, Black lives matter.