Dear Ben,

I think I have had sufficient time to stop being a complete an utter bitch. I did everything wrong that a girl can do during a break up. I won’t list them all, for the sake of my fragile sanity.

I’ve been thinking about you a lot these past few weeks. There have been protests here. Pretty hectic ones. 11 students were arrested last week. Multiple were hospitalized with injuries. Countless students shot at and pepper sprayed. As a journalist, you are both involved and uninvolved. You are both safe and in danger behind that police line.

The mass media has taken a beating these last few weeks. The intense distrust of it from the side of the students is completely understandable, considering all of the misrepresentation and border line slander. This translated very well to student media as well. I was threatened with physical violence last week. By fellow students. People that I knew. People who I had held hands with when the police had circled us. People who I had warned of impending police attacks. People that I trusted and I had thought trusted me.

I was scared. For the first time. I was genuinely scared. I had faced down a riot vehicle with a water canon and smiling police officers in bullet proof vests, but as those students strolled around our office, looking for spies and snitches, I was genuinely scared. I could tell that the other journalist I was with was more scared than I was, so I put on a fierce face and Ā attempted to speak to the one male student. This did not work out as I thought it would. As I tried to convince him that I was a student just like him and I was seeking to represent students as they were and combat the dominant narrative of the mainstream media. I could see in his eyes that he did not believe me and that he never would. These students are angry, and as a white, middle-class student, I will never be able to truly understand that anger. That historical anger passed down from their ancestors. The poor black child is never going to be the same as a poor white child. Saying that race has nothing to do with poverty is an ignorant and insensitive thing to say.

I don’t want to try to condone their threats to you, because if I know you at all, you’ll want to protect me no matter the reasons why. I almost came home. But that wouldn’t have made a difference because the person who truly makes me feel safe is you and I can’t see you. I’m trying to respect your wishes but you make it very hard when I miss you so much. I mostly miss having a friend and a protector. I’m not as brave as I would like people to think. I was genuinely scared. I know I need to go for counselling, my editor suggested it a while ago, but all I really need is a talk with you. I guess I’ll settle for trained professionals.

I hope you’re well. I hope you’re not going through any of the same things that I am right now. I hope you’re not as far behind with your work as I am. I hope you’ve been focusing on finishing that degree and starting your life. I hope you’re happy.

Thanks for listening. I’ll be ok, pinky promise.


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