If you’re on Twitter, you have probably seen the hashtag, and the outpouring of anger from suburban moms. If not—keep reading!
Paul Gazelka, the Republican majority leader in the Minnesota State Senate, started it all, when he asked: “Where’s the apology to the moms out in the suburbs scared to death about what’s happening all around them, and seeing the glowing fire in Minneapolis-St. Paul?”
State Representative Jamie Becker-Finn tweeted her answer:
I am a suburban mom. I don’t need an apology. I need the GOP Senate to support meaningful legislation to address systemic racism and police brutality. I need the GOP Senate to be more than just sad and sorry that #GeorgeFloyd was killed by police. #IAmASuburbanMom
And other suburban moms took up the banner:
@stashiastories I am a surburban mom. I have benefitted from my privilege. I am not afraid of protestors, and I’m not even afraid of the rioters. I’m afraid for my black friends and family members that are being targeted by the police. Old men need to stop speaking for me. #IAmASuburbanMom
@Rebecca Yarros #IAmASuburbanMom. I’m not scared of protests. I’m terrified my daughter will become a victim of police brutality because not only is she biracial, she’s also on the spectrum & struggles w/ directions. Stop acting like we can’t speak for ourselves. It’s demeaning.
@gemelket Hey, @paulgazelka, #IAmASuburbanMom near MSP, and I am terrified that police will murder one of the black teenage boys who live in my house. I’m also white—since that’s what you really meant to say.
Thousands of tweets followed, and continue coming. (If you are on Twitter, just search for #IAmASuburbanMom to read more.)
Protest is not just on Twitter. BuzzFeed reported on hundreds of large and small protests in small towns and suburbs across the country:
“There have been protests in Belfast, Maine. In Farmington, New Mexico. In Tuscaloosa, Alabama. In Bentonville, Arkansas. In Lubbock, Texas. In Idaho Falls, Idaho. The biggest anyone can remember in Paducah, Kentucky, in Bozeman, Montana, in Pendleton, Oregon, in Frisco, Texas, and in Ogden, Utah. In Tacoma, Washington, pastors knelt in the rain, pleading with God. In Bowling Green, Kentucky, three rolling days of protests. In Owatonna, Minnesota, a student-led protest lasted for 10 hours. In Tulsa, Oklahoma, thousands gathered on the 99th anniversary of the Tulsa Massacre. In Myers Park, one of the wealthiest neighborhoods of Charlotte, North Carolina, where black people were prohibited from owning property for decades. And in Petal, Mississippi, where protesters have spent days calling for the resignation of Mayor Hal Marx, who tweeted last week that ‘If you can talk, you can breathe.’
“These protests cut across demographics and geographic spaces. They’re happening in places with little in the way of a protest tradition, in places with majority white population and majority black, and at an unprecedented scale. People who’ve watched and participated in the Black Lives Matter movement since 2015 say that this time feels different. And the prevalence of these small protests is one of many reasons why.”