Tuesday, June 15, 2010

How "perfect" must we be for this shit to end???

UPDATE WITH OLD NEWS:  Seems the weak-assed, "manly-men" of the Seattle PD get-off on beating girls:



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As perfect as perfect can be...

H/T to Rippa for this shit:



Wonder how many white families have to "instruct" their kids to meekly stand fast, control themselves and not say shit to cops - except, "Yes sir," "No sir," "Three bags full sir" - just to be treated with dignity and respect.  How many white families have to go through that, "If you're stopped by a policeman, put both hands on the wheel, make no sudden movements and be polite" primer? And we wonder, what's up with OUR children? 

They don't respect US because, since Dr. King walked this earth, we have not been, and still are not "responsible for what we know to be true about our existence in this country" (a favorite and true Baldwinism) - and they know it.  They look to us to protect them but see - every day, in every way - how we can't.  And we, conscious of our own ineptitude, more often than not, blame - THEM! - for not being "perfect."

I have to admit that I'm as guilty as the next Black parent who - "gets" - that anything less might get them hurt - or worse.  Feeling ever powerless (particularly here, in the belly of the beast) in our "post-racial" nation, I have to keep telling my sons they have to be "perfect," or deal with the consequences (both financial and judicial) that the White Supremacist Capitalist Patriarchy generously doles out without blinking - leaving a trail that will follow them for the rest of their lives.

It's 20-damn-10, there's a society-identified Black man in the Big House ("fulfillment" of Dr. King's dream my ass!) AND a Black Attorney General - and still, the beat goes on...

17 comments:

Cinie said...

I didn't watch the video until just now because I didn't want to get mad...der. And, I agree that it's hard to raise kids to think they're free under a system of only symbolic equality for all. But, my question is, why was a single cop hassling people at what obviously is a pretty regular crossing spot? According to other sources, the policeman was in the process of detaining one teenage boy when the 4 girls subsequently crossed and he tried to detain them. Seems that if they crossed the street in broad daylight in full view of a uniformed officer they either were trying to bait him, or thought nothing of what they were doing. Either way, seems like he might have been better served to issue a blanket warning first, "the next person who crosses against the light gets a ticket, yaddah, yaddah," followed by the standard mini-warning about the dangers of jaywalking, blah, blah, blah. Cleaning up urban crime by flexing on one teenage jaywalker at a time seems a tad over the top, doncha think?

However, bottom line, imo, is, one, the kids should have cooperated, and two, the cop never should have punched the young woman in the face. Period. How you reconcile those two "oughts" on the ground, in the moment, is his job to figure out, though.

Deb said...

" Seems that if they crossed the street in broad daylight in full view of a uniformed officer they either were trying to bait him, or thought nothing of what they were doing."

I'd venture a guess that it was the latter, Cin.



Now if anbody knows (you do) I have personal reasons for saying that, whether the kids cooperated or not, punching that girl in the face, cannot be justified.

But, we do agree that "How you reconcile those two "oughts" on the ground, in the moment, is his job to figure out, though.

His reconcilitation was faulty, IMO, because I KNOW that his Mama told him somewhere - "You don't fuckin' punch a girl in the damn face!!!!"

I guess Black girls are excluded.

Deb said...

Cin, I was talkin' to my white-identified husband about this shit and he said, "What the fuck!!! He COULD HAVE just said - "Ladies, you are jay-walking. I'm going to give you a warning this time, but the next time - I'M GIVING YOU A TICKET!" - and kept it movin'.

I agree.

Cinie said...

Precisely! That's my take, too. Though, once he let the situation get out of control, he could have twisted her arm behind her back, kicked her legs out from under her, put her face in the dirt, his knee in her back, and his cuffs on her wrists and been done with it. Then he coulda gone after Miss NoseyPants. The punch was him showing how over his head he was, imo. He coulda/shoulda called backup, too, since it's not likely he had 5 sets of cuffs on him, and he was trying to detain 5 people.

He wanted to play John Wayne being John Law and didn't have a clue how to go about it, and that pissed him off. The overreaction was typically predictable, or predictably typical, at that point.

Deb said...

"That's my take, too. Though, once he let the situation get out of control, he could have twisted her arm behind her back, kicked her legs out from under her, put her face in the dirt, his knee in her back, and his cuffs on her wrists and been done with it. Then he coulda gone after Miss NoseyPants."

Da-y-yum!!! Hoping you didn't know how all you just said affects me, so I won't speak to any of it. However, I will agree with you that, - "The punch was him showing how over his head he was." - along with some anger that she dared not, "bow down." - predictably typical, IMO.

cinie said...

Deb, I love ya to death, you know that. And, I am in no way advocating that what I describe is what SHOULD have happened. None of it should have happened, imo. Seems like I'm having communication difficulties today, though. My bad. Sorry.

Deb said...

I do (least I think I do, at this point).

"Seems like I'm having communication difficulties today, though. My bad. Sorry."

Sorry's not necessary. We're full-grown - with our own opinions.

Working through this shit on a personal level, allows me to see other shit that the ordinary Joe overlooks - and the ORDINARY SHIT is plenty!!! Trust me.

Just gotta work through it - for me - is all.

Cinie said...

Hey, Deb, whatcha think?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4sLuB-r7wY&sns=fb

Deb said...

Halle-fuckin'-lujah!! You DON'T, PUNCH a woman in the damn face - WEAK-ASS! Glad SOMEBODY thought enough of this little sista to say - "Hold the fuck up!!" (I was gettin' a little worried for a minute there!).

I know you sayin', "Calm down, Sista! Hell, you know AIN'T SHIT changed!" But this shit's really stuck in my craw! Been working on another post about it for 2 days (thanks for the vid - now I got to re-write some of what I already wrote!).

I'm sure, once I get it out, my head'll stop hurtin' or somethin'! :-) What can I say? Under all that hard shit, is a feeling - some would say bleeding - heart, as mushy as all get out! (probably my biggest shortcoming)

ea said...

I have a comment to type for this post, but I am going to wait a bit--even though I have been waiting since Thursday night to type it.

HT said...

Deb, I understand your anger however, I think you are mislead about parents of white kids not warning their children. I did, and continue to do so. While I agree that living while black seems to be a horrific condition when it comes to authoritarian organizations like the police forces, they also harbor equal opportunity abusers. I can't count the number of times I've warned my son about this very same situation - he's a redhead naturally curly, and keeps his hair long for his band involvement. (his curls are so tight he can't get a comb or brush through them and his hair, while it hasn't been cut in years, just spreads out, not down). The boy (he's 21, so not so much anymore) is over 6 foot, and he's a strong bugger - all muscle and sinew. Add the arm tattoos, and he's a ripe candidate for police inspection, even though he's never been involved in any illicit activity, outside of toking a bit, and drinking underage. He's a musician, has awards for his scholarship through high school and college, and runs his own business - yet he is still stopped for walking down the street after midnight.
I agree that the response was criminal and should be addressed and condemned. Just wanted to let you know that white kids are not automatically excluded from this type of treatment.
Glad you're back!

Cinie said...

Did you see this, Deb?

http://www.gainesville.com/article/20100617/ARTICLES/100619480/1105/NEWS?p=1&tc=pg

Deb said...

Sorry for the delay ladies!

ea...¡Hola mujer! Toma todo el tiempo que usted necesita..puedo esperar.

HT...Hey & thanks! No, I'm not misled. The questions were rhetorical. But if they weren't, notice I said "How many" - not "If."

I've no doubt, as you say, "that white kids are not automatically excluded from this type of treatment." However, if we're honest, there's no comparison with what Black & Brown families MUST do from cradle-to-grave (or damn near!). Because, unlike the white kids - Black & Brown kids (and adults!) are automatically INCLUDED in this type of treatment in this country.

I appreciate your empathy in trying to understand my anger, but trust me, you do not. I'd go even further and say that you cannot.

Unlike Browns who are profiled daily for fear they're trying to get into this country from somewhere else, Blacks are wholly an American "creation," brought here as "beasts of burden" if you will. To oppress and use us as such, was the sole purpose for our existence here. When you're stolen/sold away as we were, there is no real connection to any other country (as my Brown brothers/sisters have) - any other experience, but that, which we've lived for over 400 years. And that experience has been, and remains, one of white supremacy.

Just as my mother, and her mother before her, and her mother before her trembled in fear & anger when they, or their children came in contact with whites of a supremacist stripe (or their Black overseers) - today, so do I. At times even moreso because, though the white supremacists remain, the overseers are now not only Black, but Brown too (one of the reasons I detest Barack Obama. The other reason? Because he traded on our over-400-year experience - one he does not share - to become Head Overseer-in-Chief).

400+ years of this shit is a long damn time. So no HT, I'm not misled. I know very clearly that though your offering sounds the same - it is, and cannot be.

Thanx for checking in - and commenting! :-)

ea said...

Pues, al momento de escribir de nuevo, tengo unas palabras solamente:

Pigs are thugs. Period.

Lo siento Deb, remember when we used to have paragraphs-long exchanges, near essays about different topics? I think that since I returned to the United States and got a little bit involved again in these types of issues, I've lost my writing voice. When I was removed from it, I could hypothesize and analyze and summarize.

I have travelled in various countries on four continents plus Hawaii, including during times of armed conflict. The only person ever to point a gun at me in my entire life (so far) was a white, male police officer in Albuquerque, New Mexico--I was standing on a corner mid-day or early afternoon. I guess I still have the ability to summarize, even if I did generalize--what I wrote at the beginning in English. Es lo que quiero decir al mundo.

Deb said...

No argument with you there, ea! In 50+ years, I can only remember two cops that I've not thought that about - TWO!!! And they were together at the time!! :-)

Sí hermana, recuerdo y falto su punto de vista.

I can understand how being involved in it, can sometimes make you seem to lose your writing voice (though I doubt you have). I've been trying to write a follow-up post on this thing for the longest - too involved - still not done.

Never had a gun drawn on me by a cop, but I've been through an unprovoked incident that continues to haunt me, not only for its indignity, but because it was NOT a white cop - pero un hermano marrón. ¿Racial, sexista - o ambos? No sé (estaría interesado en su análisis), pero es una historia larga que diré aquí un día.

So, you get NO argument from me on your initial statement al mundo!

So good to talk to you again.

HT said...

Deb, I do understand, although on a limited basis, but I do - and believe me, my son has experienced police brutality. I just wanted to point out that authoritarian agencies go after all people regardless of color. It doesn't matter to these guys. Yes people with brown skins are their major targets, and it's disgraceful and disgusting and not to be accepted or condoned. And agreed that people with brown skins need to be alert from the time they are able to go out unaccompanied and that is a reality that is disgusting and unacceptable. However, authoritarian types, if they can't find a brown skinned person to beat on, will choose a certain strata of other colors to abuse. In my case, the son is, as mentioned, red haired, but my foster kids were of First Nation heritage, and they were also subjected to unwarrated search and seizure of their property and pretty abominable treatment. No matter how bad things are for one group, they are worse for another, and my first nation kids never had a chance in life. They are okay now, but it was a tough time, and they were sometimes arrested for just being on the street. If you feel that I cannot relate, so be it.

Deb said...

Hey, HT. I never said you couldn't relate, I said:

"I appreciate your empathy in trying to understand my anger, but trust me, you do not. I'd go even further and say that you cannot."

"I just wanted to point out that authoritarian agencies go after all people regardless of color."

I'll agree that authoriarianism is a part of police brutality, but what I know to be true is that racism, has been, and continues to be the prevailing rudder that guides that ship here in America.

Yes people with brown skins are their major targets, and it's disgraceful and disgusting and not to be accepted or condoned..."

...nor lived.

Whether you mean to or not, your acknowledgement that people with brown skins are their "major targets" comes off very non-chalantly. As if that fact were an annoying fly, buzzing around you while you're trying to get to the picnic lunch. That's why I feel you "cannot" understand my anger - because I'm that fly, trying to get to that picnic lunch myself.

Canada's not "my familiar," so I can't speak to what happens there, HT. But I know they have no problem finding brown-skinned people to beat on here - which IS, and has been my familiar for all my life.

We were initially, I thought, talking about Black/Brown & white. But I will agree with you that First Nation people have a unique and altogether different understanding of the brutality - because it was THEIR land with which white men absconded, and wherein white men eventually rounded them up and partitioned them off because they were such "savages" - the supremacists' words, not mine.

As I see it, their experience is different from mine in that, when they caught on to the bamboozle - they fought back to the end - violently say some, valiantly say others. Either way, their "punishment" (as if it were white folks right to give) was to be raped, robbed and banished (for lack of a better word) from "civilized" (for lack of a better word) society - their history twisted into some "cowboys and Indians" freak show where the cowboys were ALWAYS THE GOOD GUYS, AND THE INDIANS ALWAYS THE SAVAGE BAD GUYS - AND OF COURSE, THE GOOD GUYS ALWAYS WON. Ever wonder why Dartmouth, a college purportedly established to make "good Christian, Americanized Indians" out of the "savages" has become such a white, Ivy league school? I don't.

" No matter how bad things are for one group, they are worse for another"

This is not a "my pain is worse than your pain" thing, HT. This is about the one constant in this country - whites - inflicting pain and oppression for the sole purpose of supremacy, and because they can. Unless and until that is owned, and a commitment is made to truly examine the motivation behind that and change (based on that honest assessment) - every conversation about race will be derailed with distractions that result in no meaningful moving forward.

We can agree to disagree. As I said, I appreciate your empathy, but I stand in my belief that you cannot. It's like someone saying to you, on the occasion of a death of a loved one - "I know how you feel" - and you smile and thank them for the sentiment, all the while knowing, they don't really KNOW, because they don't know what that loved one meant to you. But they can empathize if they've lost a loved one themselves.

Empathy's a good start toward unpacking racism, but it is not, nor can it be - the solution. If it were, we wouldn't be talking about racism today - still. Compromising truth so others are not uncomfortable is the only reason we still are.

Your "so be it" sounds very final. Was that about the point of disagreement?

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