The year is 2063. A young white girl is spending the weekend at the home of her aging white grandmother, who took part in the “protests” in Charlotte following the killing of Keith Lamont Scott at the hands of a black police officer who, by all available reliable accounts, was killed in self-defense by the black cop after Scott pointed a weapon at him. Morning comes and the young girl strikes up a conversation with her grandmother as she makes breakfast.
Young Girl: Grandma, thanks so much for letting me spend the weekend at your place.
Grandmother: Oh, it’s our pleasure to have you here, honey!
Young Girl: I’ve heard so many interesting things about you from my mommy, Grandma.
Grandmother: Really? What has your mommy told you about me?
Young Girl: She says you were part of the civil rights Black Lives Matter movement of the 2010s. She says you are a hero, Grandma! Is all of this true, Grandma?
The grandmother stops cooking breakfast for a couple seconds and gathers her thoughts. She looks up and turns her gaze to the kitchen window, looking out of it with a reminiscent expression. A single tear runs down her cheek.
Grandmother: Oh, it's true, child. It was one of the proudest moments of my life.
Young Girl: Wow! What happened, Grandma? What was the protest all about?
Grandmother: Well, sweetie, it all started when the police decided to murder an innocent person in cold blood. You see, Keith Lamont Scott was just sitting in his car reading a book. In fact, he was reading a collection of Plato’s dialogues. He was peacefully reading Plato as he was waiting for his son to get out of school so that he could pick him up. Then an evil black cop, who was clearly working for the evil white supremacists, approached Keith and shot him dead, all for reading a book.
Young Girl: That’s horrible!
Grandmother: Yes, it was sweetie.
Young Girl: Some classmates of mine say that Keith didn’t have a book but instead had a gun that he pointed at the police officer.
Grandmother: There’s a word for those people, honey: racist white supremacists.
Young Girl: What happened next?
Grandmother: Well, this brazen injustice could not stand, sweetie. So we decided to gather up peaceful protesters to peacefully protest this murder. I wish you could have been there, sweetie. It was a beautiful protest where everyone united peacefully to respectfully voice our complaints. It began as we marched on downtown Charlotte, shouting peaceful chants, like “No Justice, No Peace!” We then noticed that some stores like Wal-Mart were having trouble closing their front doors, so we peacefully broke the windows and stole money from their registers.
Young Girl: That’s beautiful, Grandma.
Grandmother: Yes, it was, honey.
Young Girl: What happened next?
Grandmother: As we moved towards downtown, we saw some cars and trucks on the highway. To let them know that we were holding a peaceful protest, we peacefully blocked the freeway and peacefully stole merchandise from freight trucks after letting them know where we would be meeting downtown. They thanked us for relieving them of extra cargo weight and for letting them know where the protest would be culminating in downtown. So we continued on, peacefully breaking windows and looting other places along the way to downtown.
Young Girl: I’m so proud of you, Grandma.
Grandma: Oh, sweetie. We continued on with the peaceful protest. A number of us noticed that there was a fellow white man in a parking lot. So we peacefully approached him and peacefully beat him up and peacefully ripped his pants off to peacefully protest the injustice that had happened. We also noticed a white supremacist photographer and we peacefully tried to set him on fire. You know, to protest oppression. We also peacefully set a racist police car on fire. It was such a beautiful peaceful protest, sweetie. Martin Luther King would have been so proud of us.
The grandmother shifts her attention back to the breakfast. Her granddaughter hugs her and thanks her for being a civil rights leader.
James Abbott studies political science in UT-Austin.