The thing that strikes you the most about Aramis Ayala as the Po-Po roll up on her in her car is how fucking cool she is.
It was Obama-like really; unnatural, sorta preternatural almost.
Ms. Alaya has the rare quality of someone who not only knows that she’s about to hear some bullshit, but will suffer it because, hey, what? it can only, at worst, last a few minutes and at the end of the day, let’s not forget, she’s in total fucking control.
And this goes beyond the fact that she’s Florida’s first Black state attorney.
We saw Skip Gates, esteemed Harvard professor, lose his shit in a very similar situation.
This is the kind of cool that reduces assholes like the cops who stopped her into babbling liars, bugs really; mild annoyances, nothing to get excited about, simply to be waited out and then swatted away.
I mean, could you imagine if this boy who the body camera filmed was an improv comic?
Her plates weren’t “registering in the system” was the best he could do?
Meanwhile, Ms. Ayala had her license at the ready, took the officer’s names and you can bet real money possible profiling and Civil Rights violations are being investigated.
But it’s unfair to criticize anyone in the past who might have encountered the police yet didn’t behave with the aplomb demonstrated by Ms. Alaya.
First, not everybody’s a state attorney.
Second, most people get annoyed when we’re dealing with bullshit.
Some of us get hostile.
Hostility or perhaps frustration is, in fact, the more natural reaction.
It’s possibly even the more honest.
That’s why it’s impossible to fault Sandra Bland and even Eric Garner for getting treated like they were less than human.
They understood and were even affronted by something that very few Black people allow themselves to come to terms with; police are not authority figures.
How could they be when our taxes pay their salaries?
Police are civil servants, enforcers of the law, yes, but not the architects of it.
Police only find themselves in authority when either a law has been broken or when they suspect that a law has been broken.
Of course, the effort to wholesale criminalize Black people ties in to the cops’ official desire to behave in our presence as if we’re constant law breakers.
Then they sniff around us like animals hoping to find fear.
And who wouldn’t be afraid of deranged lunatics that can kill without discretion and allow for the fear which they produced to be used as an explanation to justify their own murderous actions?
Create tense situations involving Terence Crutcher or Philando Castille?
No problem, just kill them because of the tension and claim the tension itself made you afraid.
So yes, it is normal to be afraid of the unpredictable and armed.
But when you think about it, the fact that being either afraid or angry can get you killed, one hopes that pretty soon all crime-free Black people will adopt Ms. Alaya’s superhuman attitude towards the police; one that is at once borderline indifferent, slightly condescending and never, not for a moment, loses sight of who’s really in control.