“In this world everything is pardoned in advance and therefore everything is cynically permitted.”
A lot of well-meaning people let their passions run high so they take to the streets and they chant things and they join movements and they state the obvious, things like, “Black Lives Matter!” and they hope that people will get it but what they don’t get is that everyone knows this already. Of course Black Lives Matter. Black Lives Matter for target practice and incarceration statistics, and measurement against the bottom of the barrel and a sense of balance and proportion for those struggling and non-Black who can look to Blacks and thank the Lord above that no matter how bad things seem, no matter how bad things have gotten, at least, still, they’re not us.
Bullshit, of course, all, but this is the collective thinking that does exist nonetheless. And the only times that Black people themselves fail, and fail we quite often do, is when we let our own thinking fall in with the collective. When we say inane shit, bullshit like, “Before we worry about cops killing Black people, we need to worry about Black-on-Black crime” or “What was that 12 year-old doing with that fake gun anyway?” or “Eric Garner should have just stayed still and let them cops arrest him.”
Or, in other words, you mean to tell me that before I can worry about cops indiscriminately killing unarmed men, I’ve got to stop every nicklebag pusher in the hood from peddling his wares? Or, in other words, I don’t, because I’m large and Black, have a right to question why I’m being arrested? Or, in other words, as a 12 year-old, I can’t fucking PLAY?
But this is all beside the point. This is just me being mad. Mad enough to lose track of the point so… forgive me. It’s all a lot simpler than I’m making it.
You’re all reasonable people. You read. This means, by now in life at least, you’ve probably been shrewd enough to deduce that The Police, as a vehicle of governing, only exist to protect the interests of the rich.
Black people, on the other hand, because of our very skin coloring, should be imagined poor. This is a very fundamental necessity. Being able to identify the poor on sight is a great aid to law enforcement. It makes you aware immediately who you must show some modicum of respect toward, and who and you throw on the ground and arrest without provocation.
And now think of the rich. Not with envy in this instance, but practically, from their perspective. You’re not too far removed from Occupy Wall Street and you’re also aware, dimly, yet constantly, that the envy you do sense from the types of people you try your best to remain at more than a continual arm’s length from, could potentially, at any point, turn ugly. Since you were old enough to realize that, compared to a lot of other people, you kinda had it made financially, historical tales like the French Revolution and Marie Antoinette suggesting they “eat cake” always made you laugh but also, filled you with a mild but inexplicable dread. What if they ever did decide to come for you?
Thank god for the cops!
Race is very important in this country, even slightly more important than class. it’s very important that Blacks not only have our place in this society, but also that we know it and stay in it. And while it’s too much to ask that we be happy in it, grim reminders of the cost of straying from it, even for a moment, must be implemented and maintained at all time.
Therefore in “the land of the free“, Black people must be almost painfully regimented. We have three choices whenever encountering American law enforcement:
- Run for you life
- Put both hands up high/lay flat on the ground – and both or either must be done instinctively and without suggestion
- Shoot to kill
And while that third suggestion was mostly tongue-in-cheek, I hope that, by now, we’ve learned enough to know that we cannot simply reach for our wallets, or refuse to sell drugs to a cop that wants to buy drugs from us, or try to go home so that we can get married the next day.
Black people have to be simultaneously the least free and the most grateful people in America. Behaving any other way not only should get you killed but, by the standards of American law enforcement, absolutely must.