It’s been a couple days since police violently clashed with water protectors in North Dakota on the same day a jury acquitted the Oregon ‘militia’ of all wrongdoing.

We’ve all read the think-pieces and reflected on the injustice, but that horrific juxtaposition is one that stays with you, and I am left days later still struck by how clearly divided this nation is.

What we learned on that day – for those who didn’t already know – is that we live in different versions of America, depending on the color of our skin.

Those of us who are privileged enough to be white know that our police forces, at their core, do not want to harm us. We can point armed weapons at police, talk back, threaten anarchy and war, and we will still walk away. What’s more – we might not face an ounce of punishment.

For others, any sign of defiance is a death warrant. Any gathering of one’s kind is an existential threat from a police force that never reflects their community.



Sydney Robinson is a political writer for the Ring of Fire Network. She has also appeared in political news videos for Ring of Fire. Sydney has a degree in English Literature from the University of West Florida, and has an active interest in politics, social justice, and environmental issues. She would love to hear from you on Twitter @SydneyMkay or via email at