Today’s Word is… INNOCENCE

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I am #MikeBrown

It was about 8-9 years ago.  I’m at the local pizza shop grabbing some food, next thing you know I’m getting rock bottomed.  I should’ve just had called for delivery. I’m immediate turned on my stomach and trying to get a glance at my assailant, I see two shiny shoes and an navy pants, it’s the good ol Boston Police.  I’m searched frantically by one as the other watches with his gun aimed directly at my royal blue du-rag, they grab my wallet and let me up and escort me out as the staff and other patrons wonder what the hell just happened here.  I’m stare at the two men, trying to discreetly read their badge numbers in case I got a broken rib of something.  Apparently I fit the description of someone who was reported carrying a gun,  they run my name, nothing.  A girl from the neighborhood passes by and says “oooh Tristan what did you you do” “Being black on a Thursday” I responded. Technically I was right, I wouldn’t fit a description if I was white, but I digress.  The first cop, a mid to late 30s white guy chuckles and shakes his head, the other a taller heavy set black guy wasn’t amused.  Thinking about it now I can see why he was offended, perhaps he didn’t like his blackness being questioned *shrug*.  Perhaps in one of the earlier forms of YOLOing, I became somewhat smart with the officers, my side hurt, I was hungry, and I was a straight A student at one of the best high schools in the city, I only dressed otherwise.  I knew I didn’t do anything wrong so why worry…

That was me. Two years ago.  Even in my early twenties, in spite of being routinely stopped and frisked on my own porch, even after being charged with a felony with no credence just because they could, (intimidation of a witness, it took thousands of dollars and months of going to court for them to realize, the “witness” wasnt showing up was because this “witness” didnt exist, charges ultimately dropped.  I was bailed after a weekend, other friends lost months of their lives for no reason). Even after I got the talks, “dont roll in packs”, “carry and articulate yourself well”, “never give them an excuse”, two years ago, I still didn’t want to believe. 

Then Trayvon happened.

Then Mike Brown happened.

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And countless others.  The former two that much more profound because whats more heartbreaking than the loss of young black life is society’s rationalizing of it.  That all it takes is smoking pot, or a menacing photo for masses of people to feel comfortable with your murder. 10 years ago, I thought that my honor roll grades, and respectability was enough. Two years ago, I knew better but I didn’t want to accept it.  Now, I see the light as it coruscates across the country and across the world.

  I’ll never be good enough for them.

My stocky frame, my melanin, strikes fear whether my du rag is in a knot or my Armani tie is in a windsor. I could’ve died that evening a decade ago and my fellow Americans would say “good”.  My parents would to turn on the TV or computer and see outsiders discuss how the world is better without their baby boy.  Maybe the officer would be arrested, maybe they’d be a trial, not for him but for me….in my 16 years had a lived a life worthy that one ought to be punished for ending it prematurely?  At 26, I’m still one bullet away from being a hashtag being on trial for my own murder. That’s terrifying.  I or anyone I love can be the next Mike Brown, the next Ezell Ford, the next Sean Bell and all I can do is try to be a good old boy and  pray.  Not I didn’t know this before, but as I’m watching “respected” officers tell lies, the media amplifying said lies all because the masses would rather a trigger happy white cop play judge, jury and executioner than cross paths with Mike Brown on the street, you see why whats going down in Ferguson is much bigger than Michael Brown.  You see why Twitter has been on fire the past week and a half.   This can’t be life, the game is rigged, people are done standing idly by while police and media figuratively “sprinkle a little crack on him” Dave Chapelle(c).  Yet and still, some people, even black people, don’t get it…..actually I feel like I need a fresh post to vent on that……To be Continued

-Stan-

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “Today’s Word is… INNOCENCE

  1. And the 3 black kids who jumped my white son who was luckily saved by an adult black man before losing consciousness when he was 11 years old because they thought he looked like the kid who stole a backpack? Or my white husband tormented by cops of all races because he drove a mustang in the 90s and racing was huge in our area back then? He was arrested 3 times for ‘suspicion’ and ‘resisting’ all because he wouldn’t let them search without a warrant. Why is it always just white people who attack black people? It’s not. It never will be. There are assholes in every race who think they are better, doesn’t mean it’s every race that’s an asshole.

    • Amy Juicebox

      sigh. ma’am. you are missing the point.
      entirely.

      1st – MOST crime is INTRA-racial. the case of your son is not the norm (not that it makes it any better). those were punk kids doing wrong to your son. and someone came to your son’s aid. if the case were reversed – a white man isn’t stopping 3 white kids on a black kid. sociological studies back this up.

      2nd – your husband was harassed because of his car, not his skin colour. most drivers (male) can attest to being harassed more due to the type of car you drive or the colour of it. both those things can be changed. skin colour cannot. and again, chances are in each of those situations – a gun wasn’t pulled, your husband wasn’t dragged out of his car, wasn’t handcuffed, wasn’t beaten or killed.

      3rd – yes, there are assholes in ever race. but you are deliberately ignoring that police are supposed to protect and serve. everyone. equally. me harrassing you is NOT the same as some in the position of power, protected by politics, unions and money harassing citizens based on stereotypes.

      if you don’t want to be educated – that’s fine. but please don’t be deliberately obtuse on the matter. when there is a rise of black police killing white kids, or white mass murderers are shot onsite for actually committing crimes – then lets talk.

      racism isn’t about skin colour – its about power and imposing it on will onto other people based on differences.

      • Your first point is a generalization and opinion, hardly fact. Unfortunately, here in a suburb of Atlanta, white children being harassed by black children is very much the norm. However, it’s certainly not all and there are still very decent people in our city. 2nd, yes he actually was dragged out of his car, yes he was handcuffed and thrown to the ground, and it was profiling regardless. It was a police officer throwing around their ‘power’ because they can. Perhaps it’s you, ma’am, who missed my point. I’m sorry you think it’s ok to choose what I’m ignoring or not.
        Obtuse, I most certainly am not. I see, in Atlanta, horrific crimes daily. My husband, now an EMT, sees far worse than I watch on the daily news. There’s a rise in crime in general – white on white, black on black, white on black, black on white, etc.
        The most recent and largest problem is indeed our officers and their training, or lack thereof, and hiring trigger happy individuals who have no business whatsoever being in their position, but to say it’s only the white officers is profiling in its own right, which I hate to say is no better. We, as a nation, must change who we allow to tote guns and who are appointed police officers or pretend officers who think they have the right to stalk kids in a neighborhood and call it crime prevention. It’s a power problem, not a race problem. It’s a gun problem, not a race problem. It’s so much bigger than race.

      • Amy Juicebox

        my first point is a generalization, but is actually backed up by a) my bachelor of sociology and criminology, a father for a police officer and facts:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Race_and_crime_in_the_United_States

        https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=96748

        i’ve also taken the liberty to pull stats from various sources (because trusting wikipedia alone is silly) in the city you are in in regards to the numbers. crime in general in your area is on the decline:

        http://www.city-data.com/crime/crime-Atlanta-Georgia.html
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_in_Atlanta
        http://www.atlantapd.org/uniformcrimereports.aspx

        you being closer to it than most (your husband’s profession) + more access to news than before leads you to believe what the atlanta police department reports dont agree with.

        i didn’t miss your point at all – you want to say that assholes are assholes (true), police included (also true) and that race doesn’t matter (definitely not true). the only people that having the luxury of saying that race doesn’t matter are people it doesn’t adversely affect on a daily basis. who aren’t called fucking animals on camera and treated worse than michael vick treated dogs.

        racial profiling is real.

        http://politic365.com/2014/08/20/in-ferguson-ag-eric-holder-says-that-he-too-has-experienced-racial-profiling/ (stats on NYPD racial profiling in the article)

        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2718722/Man-shot-dead-police-Walmart-picked-toy-gun.html

        not talking about race doesn’t make it go away.

        you and i do agree on one part: it’s a power problem. it’s a gun problem.

        when the people who hold the power and the guns are disproportionately of one race, SPECIFICALLY TARGETING another – so does race too become PART of the problem. it is not the entire or biggest part by any means.

        the racial component cannot be swept under the rug. it’s not getting any better by taking that approach – so perhaps having open and respectful dialogue, to learn and educate each other might be one way to go?

        but what do i know.

  2. Despite your over zealous attempt to discredit my comment, we actually agree on a lot more than that. It’s funny you mention open and respectful dialogue, I have been completely respectful. I live in Dekalb county a suburb of Atlanta. Have lived here my whole life, but I thank you for doing some research I already know. I have 2 family members who are officers, one a black female and one a white male. We speak about this at lengths because as a mother of three I want to educate my children on issues they can control. They cannot control their race or the race of others. Yes, race is an issue in this country but blaming races is a bigger issue. It creates as obvious division. It fuels a fire that has burned for too many years. I have to teach my children that race does not define someone’s actions, their love, their honesty, they as human beings do.

    I wasn’t and am not being disrectful but to assume I haven’t or my children haven’t been subjected to racial profiling let alone on a daily basis is ludicrous. Yes, I can say we have. It’s assumed I am racist because I’m white and therefore I am physically pushed out of the way or taunted in a grocery store when I smile in passing. When I was a single mother my house was vandalized and broken into because I was a white girl in a predominantly black neighborhood. I’m sure “get out white bitch” wasn’t meant for my neighbor.

    Your credentials are nice, that’s great for you and I’m glad you’re proud as you certainly should be, but I know people who are horribly racist with great degrees. The problem is what we teach, what we allow to be taught.

    I respect your comments, I hope I took them as they were meant since I wasn’t offended but encouraged by you. If I did and you meant to offend, I guess ignorance really is bliss.

  3. Oh, and Stan sorry for monopolizing your comment section. As you can see from my following you for a while and my multitude of likes, I do like reading what you say. Totally didn’t mean to start a feed in your comments 🙂

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