The Bear and the Maiden Fair

The jig is so far up that it’s usually only Cosmonauts who get to see such rarefied views. It’s something that someone like me has peeped for a long while now, as pretty much the bulk of my blog posts can attest. But none of that matters to now. Because I’m opting out.

thejigisup

This is the first feeling I had watching the near end of Election 2016. A swimming metaphor. When you swim for a city team, like I did back in the day, there are invitationals. Swim meets you as a team get invited too. It’s all done on a point system; individuals efforts added together to make up a whole. Team with the highest points wins. Simple enough.

As a kid I learned to deal during the times when your team doesn’t win. I, naturally was one of the fastest swimmers on the team. You train and train and taper and train and break all your personal times and win all your races. You put in the work and and the time and the effort, but your team doesn’t end up winning. That’s how I felt initially.

Tired, spent, exhausted. Dispirited, feeling like all the efforts done over time were for pretty much nothing. Despite the voter suppression, intimidation, we showed up an showed out. There were some wins sprinkled in there, but the overall result: disappointing. Some people are afraid, angry, crying, going into crisis and all kinds of things. Pas moi tho. I’m doing what I do when the shit hits the fan.

I coalesce. I gather all the things that have fared me well in the past (I’m still here, aren’t I?) and I hold them close, and wrap them around me in a hard, strong, tough everlasting shell. I don’t know if that’s a healthy response, but I don’t care. I know what works. I hunker down, ride it out, execute Plan B-J and beyond as needed.

I don’t want to merely survive. I want to live. Most of you know that I’ve been talking about expatriating myself from this country. It’s been slow going for many reasons, mostly my illness. When moving to a whole other country one has to consider so many things. I have pets. I have certain healthcare needs. I am on disability – does the country of my choice allow for me to still receive my income? And so on. Daunting. But doable. So I’ve been going at my own pace.

Then along came Brexit and I had to reevaluate, since Scotland had been at the top of my short list for awhile. Now I’m left to wonder about my disability payments and travel plans in the new era that’s about to kick in. Real talk I wouldn’t have been ready to ditch anywhere sooner than 2-3 years, so navigating that under this impending regime was factored in. (Remember, Plan B etc).

But I digress. Sorta. This post is therapy for me so really if you’ve made it this far, kudos. I’m prolly gonna keep rambling, ya been warned.

Opting out. What does that mean exactly? Nothing really exactly. But since I’d already opted out of a lot of certain things, there’s not too many left. Mostly, I’m done working for anyone else but me. Oh sure, I know myself, I’ll slip up now and then, but for the most part I’ll stay my course. I’m a natural born Teacher and Helper so going against my nature has been difficult already. But I’ll manage.

See:

White women, to the tune of 60%, voted for Trump. Those numbers indicate that it wasn’t all Republican women. Received 5×5: whiteness trumps gender. Now, on any given day, that’s been a “no duh” for me. But even I, who has done her best to not soil my eyes with audio or visuals of DT has seen and heard far too much. This is what I saw:

Misogynist. Sexist. Sexual Predator. Rapist. Child Molester. Pedophile. He brags on all of that. Has a court date in December regarding the rape of a 12 year old girl and a 13 year old girl. He is highly inappropriate with his daughters. Peep their body language around him. It might seem familiar to you, having had to duck and dodge hands and advances as you go about your daily life. He brags on his sexual assaults and speaks freely on his predatory practices. So much so, that for Oh So Many Of You the last straw was the thought of him grabbing your wife or sister or daughter’s pussy and then bragging to the world about it.

Except that wasn’t the last straw at all was it:

Interesting to watch all the celebrations and white women so excited to put their I Voted stickers on Susan B. Anthony’s headstone and woo yayy. I’d say she’s rolling in her grave, but I think not. She was famously racist and used white supremacy as the basis to garner support for her suffrage. She wanted nothing so much as to be on equal footing as white men and was insulted to her very core that Black men had the vote before she did. Use Google. Learn if you don’t know.

So she’s prolly dancing a jig in her coffin as white women got in formation and aligned themselves with their white men. What about that 40% you might ask? What about them indeed. While you might have taken your own self to the polls and voted against a racist sexual predator, you did little to nothing to talk to those in your life who you knew where going to do the opposite.

You didn’t put the work in. You didn’t. In fact your numbers dropped from 2012 when you racked up 42% for Obama. Also speaks volumes. And I repeat: Message received.

Enjoy the world you have ushered in, you are ill prepared to survive it, ladies. Me, in my coalesced state will make it through, as I have before. It’ll be shitty and my Buddhist faith and Pacifism will be tested. I’d like nothing more than to scratch your collective eyes out, but I’m gonna maintain.

There’s a lot of talk in the Black twittersphere about “we got work to do”, and “we’ll continue to fight” and all that. Wonderful. Do you booboo. I’ve had the life sucked out of me these past few years, and I have little energy left over for anything more than making sure I’m gonna be ok.

Operation Selfish Bitch is underway. It’s also my birthday today so yay I get to do whatever the fuck I want. I’m stretching that sentiment out for 365 days. So hit me up next November 9th and we can have a conversation.

None of this will change anything much, however. I haven’t been doing a whole hell of a lot. During Ferguson October I symbolically handed over the torch of Fighting, Protest and Battle to the younger set. I’ve been doing the simple small things to help out when I can. So rolling back in those things isn’t gonna shatter the Earth.

But what it will do is make sure that I go on to live the life that I want to live. Wherever that might end up being. I may have to pare things down and look more locally: Since New Mexico was also on my short list. Basically, I have options. So many don’t and won’t as this real life Handmaid’s Tale starts to kick in. I count my Blessings.

I also remember Octavia E. Butler’s novels Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents. Should probably read up on those three books. It might help you in surviving what is to come. Some of you are probably laughing and shaking your head at my supposed hyperbole. Just like y’all laughed and shook your head at the notion that a reality television hack could ever make it past the primaries.

I’d tell you to Wake Up, but remember, I’m done Helping and Teaching. Lie on this bed you have made. I hope you choke on it actually. I leave you now with a little ditty that sprang to mind as I saw events unfolding last night. It’s a lil bit rapey. But hey, loud and clear: that bothers you not, right? So Enjoy.

The Bear and the Maiden Fair

A bear there was, a bear, a bear!
all black and brown, and covered with hair.
The bear! The bear!
Oh come they said, oh come to the fair!
The fair? Said he, but I’m a bear!
All black and brown, and covered with hair!
And down the road from here to there.
From here! To there!
Three boys, a goat and a dancing bear!
They danced and spun, all the way to the fair!
The fair! The fair!
Oh, sweet she was, and pure and fair!
The maid with honey in her hair!
Her hair! Her hair!
The maid with honey in her hair!
The bear smelled the scent on the summer air.
The bear! The bear!
All black and brown and covered with hair!
He smelled the scent on the summer air!
He sniffed and roared and smelled it there!
Honey on the summer air!
Oh, I’m a maid, and I’m pure and fair!
I’ll never dance with a hairy bear!
A bear! A bear!
I’ll never dance with a hairy bear!
The bear, the bear!
Lifted her high into the air!
The bear! The bear!
I called for a knight, but you’re a bear!
A bear, a bear!
All black and brown and covered with hair
She kicked and wailed, the maid so fair,
But he licked the honey from her hair.
Her hair! Her hair!
He licked the honey from her hair!
Then she sighed and squealed and kicked the air!
My bear! She sang. My bear so fair!
And off they went, from here to there,
The bear, the bear, and the maiden fair.
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bear_and_maiden
*Use of “Cosmonaut” instead of “Astronaut” and imagery of a Russian bear: Totally on purpose. Wait and see! Hope you been brushing up on ya Cyrillic :)
If you don’t know, now you know; Russia: We Did Work With Team Trump During Campaign
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The Aftermath

We lived in “The Valley”, he and I. Our neighbors thought we were married. But we weren’t. We used to get a giggle about that, him being gay and whatnot. Out walking my little Yorkie, enjoying the Southern California sunshine, arm in arm. He was my best friend and we loved each other, so I guess people sensed a closeness that went beyond “just roomies”.

Then the towers fell. Over there so far away and the phone calls to the East Coast family to make sure… I was lucky. So many were not. This story isn’t about that because it isn’t my story to tell. Because, as I said. I was lucky. We both were.

I want to tell you about this young man. Hard working, a man of Faith and Family. We got to know him on our daily walks, because we’d stop in now and then on the way back and get a Slurpee or some snacks or items of convenience. I’ll call him Vikram (not his real name) and we got to know him and his family who ran this local 7-11 franchise.

I knew they were Sikh; Vikram wore his turban with is long hair entwined inside and they were good people. He was a happy person, and had a great sense of humor and adored my little Yorkie. Good people. Hard working Americans. I loved their openness and we always felt welcome there. I mention that only because of the drama and static we’d get in many other places – stores, restaurants etc – when perceived to be a WM/BW “couple”. Welcome to California.

A scant few weeks after the events of September 11th, we stopped in and I froze in horror. Vikram was behind the counter as usual, but he was horribly transformed. His face was swollen and bruised. He had bandages covering cuts, and had some teeth knocked out. Gone was his turban and instead he wore a baseball cap.

We asked him what had happened, but even as the words left my lips, my heart was sinking. We knew, we knew… He had been working like he always was and a white male customer had attacked him. Flew across the counter, grabbing him, beating and kicking him. You know full well what this man was screaming at Vikram while he was hitting him, so I won’t repeat it here. I could tell from just the injuries that were visible, that had not a family member been there to get the guy off of him: He very well could have been beaten to death.

I didn’t want to cry, listening to him telling us of his ordeal, but I couldn’t help it. This man was changed in other ways as well. Gone was the happy light inside him. He was… different. I remember my best friend and I apologizing, and saying we were so sorry that his happened and what could we really say?

I was so ashamed of my fellow Americans. We had watched horrible things unfold in the aftermath. The anger, the hatred, the whipping up of emotions on nerves already worn raw with mourning and loss. We’d already seen people with turbans, “arabic clothing”, hijabs etc, being attacked in damn near every city across America. I had nothing. I was hollow and empty and weary.

At that time I worked and took classes at Cal State Northridge. About a 30 minute bike ride from our place. I’d bike past the Sikh temple and admire the brightly colored flags and ribbons fluttering around the archway entrance. All that was gone, however. Replaced with draped American flags and red white and blue ribbons. My heart clenched to see this. I wondered how many others, like Vikram, had experienced attacks and harm coming their way. Having to use patriotic bunting as a shield against hatred aimed at their place of worship.

Ignorance, bigotry, racism. It flowed across this country and we drowned in it and went to war and killed and killed innocent people who had nothing to do with any of this. This is my story. This is what I remember and will Never Forget. This is why I hide away (as best I can) every 9/11 when it rolls around.

I can’t abide the forced “patriotism”. I can’t abide the bullshit. I can’t take people making this day so Sacred, that normal activities that go on without mention on any other day of the year, take on this false sense of significance and are scrutinized, commented and remarked upon.

This day is already hard for so many, for they have to remember those they lost. How on earth could they ever forget?

The tune this country is playing right now was written in the ashes and the dust clouds of New York City 15 years ago.

I won’t dance to it. I won’t sing along.

So I send my Love and Support out to those trying to remember smiles now only featured on faded photographs. I send my Love and Light to those who have to go about their normal routine today and fear – however wittingly this time – what Vikram experienced.

So I hide here in the southern sunshine of a different State and I Pray and Think and Hope.

aftermaththinking

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Who wills,
can.
Who tries,
does.
Who loves,
lives.”
-Anne McCaffrey
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Support The Team, Win The Game

Some of you out there are forgetting not only what’s at stake, but are also forgetting how to even play to win. I’ll be using all kinda sports metaphors in this post – most likely mixed in with my usual Words Of Wisdom and – so get your life. Buckle up, adjust your thinking caps, your reading chapeaus and get ready to take notes.

Because there WILL be a test on this come Tuesday, November 8th, 2016.

I’m not what you would call a “political person”. For example my twitter handle isn’t Democrat Diva or have my net avatar in spaces be some artistic version of the Obama Yes We Can logo. I don’t talk politics a lot. However. I AM a dyed in the wool Democrat. I’m Black. I’m a Woman. iVote. I show up every time and vote down the ENTIRE ticket, fill in the full ballot, flip that ish over and check to see if there’s stuff to vote for on the other side. What I’m saying is this:

I Participate. I show up for ALL the games. I support The Team.

I’m not going to get into too many specifics here, because really, what I’m talking about is the Big Picture. The Long Game. My Buddha Blessed FUTURE here. I ain’t got the time to squabble with people about stuff I know exactly what I’m gonna go do No Matter What anyways.

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Listen, I feel your pain. Rod of The Black Guy Who Tips Podcast (#TBGWT) felt our pain too, and conceived of this awesome concept: Meh The Vote. Basically, “… a political campaign to motivate people to vote in these 2016 party  primaries. This campaign is targeted at those in the electorate who feel dispassionate about any of the candidates they have to choose. from.”

I loved this idea, heck, I even bought the T-shirt.

But I’m getting a little ahead of myself.

What I’ve been seeing out there in these political streets is people stanning for their favorite player in quite often such horrible ways. From stalking, harassing, abusing and even becoming physically violent with anyone perceived to not be backing their fave.

It’s utterly appalling and I’m not here for that at all. In particular because what gets lost in all this hate and madness is what we are actually supposed to be doing here in the first place. I see a lot of Americans out there right now swearing up and down that if their candidate doesn’t make it to the big game, they simply won’t vote at all.

Which begs the question. Well a lot LOT of questions, really, but mainly this one:

Why Are You Here?

Are you here to make sure that the Democrats solidify their hold in all areas of the government from top to bottom? Or are you here to to just go to your fave’s rallies, come home and spend hours and hours trolling, harassing and jumping in the mentions of those – usually your fellow Democrats, usually Black women – spewing all sorts of filth from death threats to racist slurs….. I mean do you even KNOW how this works?

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I knew that this election was going to be a hot mess, and like so many of us – especially Black voters – I was not enamored of who my choices were going to be – still not, By The Way, lest you believe that I’m on Team Hillary or on Team Bernie.

Guess what team I’m on.

Team Democrat that’s who.

I’ll do what my people have done for decades: Supported the party that has for the most part been able to understand what our particular wants and needs are. We come in coalition with other similarly minded People Of Color and we ROCK THE GODDAM VOTE. Turnout among Black voters in this country has only risen since 2008, with Black Women demographic racking up the highest numbers.

We are the base of the Democratic Party and we stay loyal and we keep Our Eyes On The Prize. And if you don’t know, now you know:

“First of all, the number of black women who turn out to vote is higher than any other demographic group – 70% in 2012. That number has been rising since 1996, so it is more than a response to the candidacy of Barack Obama. And no group votes more consistently Democratic than black women.”

Also, for those that never click on my blog post links even though I so handily set them to open nicely in a separate tab:

“Black women represent a significant portion of the Rising American Electorate (RAE), an estimated 115 million eligible voters – and nearly half of the electorate – composed of unmarried women, people of color, and people under 30 years old.

Black women sit at the intersection of these groups, representing just over half of the 26.9 million eligible Black voters and 19% of all eligible unmarried women voters (Lake, Ulibarri, and Treptow 2013).

They also represent the most active and dependable contingent of the RAE, contributing to its growing influence and playing an essential role in building coalitions across RAE groups to influence electoral outcomes in future races.”

And yet… consistently we get people talking down to us. Calling us politically ignorant, that we vote the plantation (racist much?), aren’t politically savvy etc etc and this is from our fellow party members! White folks who call themselves progressives! Liberals!

Oh we been knowing – quite intimately – the problems with our party of choice, Trust & Believe: We Know. I could rattle out phrases like The Lesser Of Two Evils, or somesuch, but what it always comes down to is how we can best leverage our political power to help positively shape our lives for our people, our children and for America as a whole.

The Democrats have been our best bet so far to make those things happen.

Because it goes without saying – but I HAVE to say it in these days and these times that we live in: I’m also on Team America. We are citizens of this Earth. We are part of the Global Community. What happens in the hallways of Capital Hill and in the Oval Office affects what happens out there in the world.

I’m not saying this coming off of some Murrica So Great, We’re Number Wun steeze, No Ma’am. It is a reality. So many of you have forgotten the Huge Sigh Of Relief that went bouncing around the world in the form of headlines, blog posts, articles, TV segments, radio programs from countries all over this planet on the eve of Barack Obama’s win in 2008. I’ve never forgotten it.

___________

I told a little lie in the 2nd paragraph of this post. I said that I show up every time. Well, for the first time in YEARS I didn’t fill in my mail-in ballot when it arrived nice and early in my mailbox. Waiting there for me to make my choice in the Arizona Presidential Preference Election (March 22nd, 2016).

For the first time in over a decade, I was simply UNABLE to cast my vote. I tried SO damn hard to put my money where my mouth was and just MEH THAT DAMN VOTE. But I failed.

I can’t say why exactly that happened. Maybe I felt the weight of years of showing up while so many of you didn’t bother. Maybe I literally couldn’t decide between the offerings at hand. Maybe I wanted to take a time out and let y’all do the work for a change. Not Sure.

Maybe because I knew then, just as I know now: That whoever ends up being the Democrat Candidate for President of the United States I’m going to Vote For Whoever That Person Is No Matter What.

So I guess I left that choice to those who DID manage to Meh themselves to the voting booths or fill in and mail back their ballots. Knowing that I know myself well. I know that I will Do My Duty as a Team Player and get it Handled.

Because I will.

It will probably be easier for me than for those that backed, and stanned for and proselytized with so much zealotry their player, who might not now be the one up there for you to vote for…..

I dunno.

But what I DO know is that you need to get over yourselves, look a the Entire Picture, know what’s at stake for your family, this country and simply Support Your TEAM. You sit this one out over some pettiness or anger that your player didn’t make it to the big game… Well I got nothin.

GROW UP.

DemocraticLogo

Support The Team, Win The Game

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More stats from that Very Interesting Washington Monthly article:
“And no group votes more consistently Democratic than black women. Here are the figures since 1992:
1992 Bill Clinton – 87%
1996 Bill Clinton – 89%
2000 Al Gore – 94%
2004 John Kerry – 90%
2008 Barack Obama – 96%
2012 Barack Obama – 96%
As a comparison, in the above elections no Democratic candidate got more than 48% of the vote from white women.”

 

 

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Criminal Cops

Here’s the deal.

I’ve decided to stop using the phrases: “Dirty Cops” or “Bad Cops” or anything along those lines. And I’ll tell you why.

The opposite of dirty is clean. Toss those dirty clothes into the washing machine and you’re good to go. Scrub that dirty spot on your carpet and voila! Toss some Mr. Clean on that sumbitch or Swiffer up that spill and you’re golden. Dirt isn’t that much of a huge big deal. It’s almost benign.

Same goes for bad. Something you say to your dog in a stern voice when he piddles on the rug. “Bad dog! No, no, BAD!” Also, let’s not forget the glamorization of the “bad boy”, or how you use the word bad for things that are mildly unpleasant and you bust the Thesaurus out when ish gets: horrible, awful, unbearable.

Dirty can be cleaned up rather easily in most cases. Bad can be trained to be good.

But we’re talking about cowardly, murdering, lying, CRIMINALS here.

People that are supposed to not only be protecting and serving us, upholding the law, enforcing the law, are breaking the law, lying about it and hiding behind and within a system that protects them from punishment.

They aren’t even doing their jobs. They have no idea WHAT their jobs even are at this point. If you don’t know what I mean take a look at the NYPD. Take a look at the Fraternal Order of Police – anywhere across this nation.

During the months after Mike Brown’s murder in Ferguson, I did some research on job descriptions for police officers in America. I took a sampling from PDs on East & West coasts, North and South and the Midwest states. Murdering civilians wasn’t featured on any of the job duties I studied.

Judge, Jury & Executioner 

That’s what they think they are, and when we call them on it and simply ask them to

doj-ferguson

STOP KILLING US

They throw hissy fits and childish tantrums

MEANWHILE

We’re still dying in the streets. Being MURDERED.

And if/when we manage to make into custody ALIVE we are found murdered in the squad car, the jail cell, the transport van.

So no, you are not a dirty cop or a bad cop. You are a fucking CRIMINAL and should be put UNDER THE FUCKING JAIL for your offences against the law and humanity in general.

We live in a society that puts those who know the law, uphold it and enforce it: above the law and seemingly not subject to it the same way we the everyday citizens of this country are. IT SHOULD BE THE OTHER WAY AROUND.

Because they know the law, are trained (supposedly) in how to protect and serve, enforce the law: They Should Be Held To Even MORE Stringent Standards! So when they break the law, they should get the whole book thrown at them, because their crimes are so much more heinous…considering who they are supposed to be and what they are supposed to be doing.

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At this time I’d like to call out all the “Good Cops” I keep hearing about. You know #NotAllPolice are criminals. Really? Where the fuck ARE you? What’s the definition of a good cop? A police officer that manages to NOT kill a Black person whilst going about their daily duties? At this point, if that’s all you’re managing to do: YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM.

You need to stand up, shut down your fellow officers who are breaking the law. You need to be actively making a stand. Speak out. CLEAN HOUSE. Get rid of ALL those “bad apples” that are “ruining your bunch”. Step up like THIS officer did:

f018d34ac45fd13e2276caf0db2e85cb

You might get fired. Lose your pension. You might even get punched in the face like Officer Cariol Horne did. But so the fuck what. You’ve stood by for DECADES and now this is what you’re up against because you let it ride and were A-OK just as long as you could look family and friends in the eye knowing that you aren’t like those “other officers”.

Cops that do nothing: Are part of the problem, so until I see the majority of law enforcement officers standing up and shutting shit down: #YesAllCops.

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Lastly, if you don’t think there’s a problem with police killing Black people at just terrible, horrible numbers AND getting away with murder I submit to you THIS LINK (<–yeah click dat) for your perusal.

Of note – and this is still giving me nightmares – even though I was well aware of the stats, it just sunk into my psyche seeing there in black and white for all the world to see:

In 2015, FOURTEEN police departments in major cities around this country that were responsible for extrajudicial killings…..100% of their victims were Black. One Hundred Percent. That’s EVERY single person they murdered last year was a Black person.

St. Louis, Atlanta, Cleveland, Kansas City, MO, Baltimore, Washington DC, Boston, Virginia Beach….you go read the rest of the cities…

Criminal Cops.

Think about it.

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You just finished reading my first blog post since May 7th, 2015. To say that I’ve had writer’s block is a gross understatement LOL! Please click the links on this post: They Are Important. As per my awesomeness they’ll open up in a separate tab for your convenience :)
I know you’ll forgive the rambling nature of this post, my Beloved Intersect Tesseracts; and I may tighten it up later on, but I just wanted to GET IT OUT THERE because OMG I’M WRITING AGAIN!!
Tears spring to my eyes because iWrite.
iCry because Criminal Cops are killing my people.
Stop. Killing. Us.
CEKW71KVEAEt4_X

Stop Killing Us

 

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2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 8,100 times in 2015. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 7 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Suspicious People vs Suspicious Behavior

For a very long time now I’ve been getting damn near physically ill at the sheer numbers of Black people being murdered by police officers. I can’t even begin to write about all my feelings on that, so this post while surrounding that issue, isn’t about it directly.

CChAqQoWgAAD-Yt

It’s about what leads up to my people being put in harm’s way. And this is how that happens:

When a white person sees a Black person they tend to have some kind of emotions about it. I know, because I see visibly the reactions to myself every time I walk out my front door. I might be generalizing here, or I might be saying the majority of white people, or some white people. But whatever way makes it easier for you to continue reading, choose that.

Here’s the thing.

Just like how we are now advocating for people to stop calling other people “illegal” or “illegals” or “illegal aliens” when talking about immigration. Why? Because people are PEOPLE, they aren’t illegal. They can have unsure or undefined legal status, they can be residing in a country illegally, they can be without documentation and/or papers that say they’re a citizen of that country. But a person is a person.

Shopping

Shopping or shoplifting? She’s gonna steal that pillow! Watchout!

Like how we advocate for saying “I have diabetes” instead of “I’m diabetic or a diabetic”. I have bipolar, I’m not bipolar. I’m not a disease or a disorder or an illness or any ailment. I may have that or those ailments, but I am NOT them.

When subconsciously or otherwise automatically you see someone with dark skin, or see a Black person, or a non-white person as suspicious: A Lot Of Stuff Can Then Happen.

And none of it is good.

Crowd of Criminals? The start of a jog-a-thon? OMG I JUST DON’T KNOW!

Instead you need to see people as people and not judge on skin color, race, creed, orientation and all that. But instead:

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE DOING. Watch their behavior. Are they behaving in a suspicious manner? What exactly IS suspicious behavior? Do we have exactly what that is written down somewhere? Cops say that reaching for or touching the waistband area is suspicious activity. I say there ‘s lots of reasons people reach for or touch their waistbands:

1. Itchy undies. Maybe your tighty whiteys or thong situation is cutting into your waistline.

2. To give your pants, underpants, panties, pantyhose, skirt etc a good hike. Or my hands are on their way to go into my pockets because its cold/getting my phone/wanna look debonair.

3. If it was the 90’s errbody had their pagers and/or cellies clipped to their belts.

4. I’m always sweeping my waistline area with my hand to keep my purse from banging in front of me while I walk and shop.

5. Hands fall naturally to around the waistline level of the body while standing and walking 0_0

Did he just reach for.. Is he holding a WEAPON?????

Did he just reach for.. Is he holding a WEAPON?????

*****

Here’s a headline for you: Multiple Cops Held At Gunpoint by Other Cops Who Mistook Them For Criminals. Go ahead and check that article out and/or watch the video.

Now WHY or HOW could something like this happen?? Well it happens every day. It happens because some super nice well meaning white person gets on the horn to 911 and says how Black people are in a car wearing bulletproof vests.

There’s a lot to unpack here and I’m gonna unpack it ALL. I hope you have your seatbelts on!

1. Last I checked it wasn’t illegal or against the law or harmful to people around you to wear a bullet proof vest either in a car or wherever. I did a google search and turns out I can buy a bullet proof vest in a lot of places. There was only one website that had the caveat that you couldn’t purchase their vests if you had a criminal record.

2. The caller and the dispatcher and the police officers responding to the call all defaulted to Zebras or Unicorns instead of Horses. What do I mean by that? My version of Occam’s Razor; Or when you hear hoof beats, you think horses not zebras or unicorns. The caller unicorned those officers and got this whole thing started.

3. The officers in the car had no chance. it started with the caller who deemed them suspicious from the start. They couldn’t POSSIBLY have been law enforcement officers going about their business because in everyday life THE PEOPLE WHO GO AROUND WEARING BULLET PROOF VESTS ARE POLICE OFFICERS LIKE NO DUH. But the problem was they were BLACK so anything they did, wore, drove etc etc becomes suspect. And I used that word on purpose.

Some of you will tell me that you know for sure that the caller would have done the same if it was four white people wearing bullet proof vests in a car. I seriously don’t think so. Because we would be hearing about this happening all the dang time. If it was the VESTS that were suspicious….?

Did the person even stop to wonder why they were all wearing the same thing (oh yeah! gang members!) or to look closely at the car – it was a government vehicle issued to them to go about their business of serving a warrant. And you need backup for stuff like that, hence them rolling so deep. Cars like that have official stickers on the windows, and special official license plates. I mean, REALLY.

Up to no good? They must be planning something... (Actually, they're tourists in Paris)

Up to no good? They must be planning something… (Actually, they’re tourists in Paris)

Racism is a pathology that renders those suffering from it to experience hyper-irrationality, loss of common sense, and the ability to think logically is completely impaired. I won’t mention the “racism goggles” that are attached invisibly to their retinas, and give a distorted view of the reality that is happening right in front of them.

I’m not trying to be funny because one of the results of this person calling 911 on my people is that these officers are traumatized, they felt humiliated and now have a deep distrust of those who they’re supposed to be working with. Needless to say they are suing and are out on workers compensation leave. Because their co-works all ganged up and pulled weapons on them. In case you think their reaction is too strong.

“All I could think of was if I sneeze, or blink, or clear my throat, that, yeah, I might have a bullet lodged in my head,” said Annette Thomas, one of the officers in the car that night.

Have you ever been stopped by cops at gunpoint? I have. See my Eff The Police post if you still don’t understand.

*****

In recent months the NYPD threw a tantrum and said they were going to stop doing police work because blah blah bah whine I dunno I forget. The minute they stopped policing crime in New York skyrocketed!!! No, actually it didn’t. The first month crime in NY fell like a rock. And kept on falling.

Now I’m still wondering what on Buddha’s Green Earth were these cops doing that they considered to be “policing” that when stopped, crime just plummets like that?

This might help. When Stop & Frisk was finally stopped in NY, the same thing happened. The police kept saying that crime would rise to an all-time high, when in fact the opposite happened.

I have some theories on both of those. NY can serve as a microcosm for what’s been going on and continues to go on in every city and town in America. What the police were doing wasn’t in fact any kind of policing. ie fighting crime, arresting criminals, getting drugs and weapons off the streets, making a safer city for everyone etc. You know, what police ALWAYS tell us they’re doing.

In fact they were focusing most of their budget, time, energy and officers on “policing” certain people and certain communities ONLY no matter what the stats for crimes on those folks or where they live said. Meanwhile in every other part of town, crime is continuing as per usual, because they all know the cops aren’t gunning for THEM.

I’ll leave you to google up the absolutely dismal stats that Stop & Frisk in NY had. Basically if a company started a project and had those stats, and that awful a return on investment – they’d shut the program down and fire buncha folks and look to find something that actually WORKS.

But S&F was to drag on in NY for over a DECADE. They were getting no guns off the street. They were stopping no drugs – unless you count the dime bags of weed people are sitting rotting away in Rikers Island were found to have on their person. It was a pogrom of violence, oppression, targeted harassment and profiling that had little to do with fighting crime.

So when they announced they were going to stop doing what they’ve been doing – what they called “police work” – it was a heads up to all those who’d been gleefully engaging in illegal shenanigans with nary a look from the police: That it was time to shut down operations and hunker down, wait this out, see what happens. Because as soon as law enforcement decides to stop focusing on Black and Brown people, they might actually have to start doing their actual jobs.

You know. Watching for suspicious BEHAVIOR and start policing EVERYONE and stop giving certain areas of the city and the people that live there a pass. Because crime happens EVERYWHERE. And if you don’t believe that, then you’re as foolish as the NYPD and every other PD that engages in that sort of “policing”.

Racism tells the police chief, the judges, the police officers that crime MOSTLY happens where Black and Brown people are. That dark skin is an indicator of suspicion. and if you crack down on those people and where they live wooo wow you’ll be cleaning up crime from the city! When statistics from recent bullshit as well as DECADES of stats shows that that just simply isn’t the case.

*****

Lastly. People. White people. Stop calling 911 like it’s your friendly neighborhood cop shop. Stop using that line that is for EMERGENCIES because you haven’t yet sorted out your issues with Black people.

I don't think she can afford all of that. Must have stolen that merchandise. Call the cops!

I don’t think she can afford all of that. Must have stolen that merchandise. Call the cops!

Take a moment to SEE what is actually happening before you. Envision horses instead of unicorns. Why that person didn’t assume they were law enforcement and went on about their day is beyond me. STOP CALLING DOWN HARM AND DEATH UPON MY PEOPLE!

Why did that person call 911 because they were uncomfortable about a child playing in a playground? 12 year old Tamir Rice is DEAD and his family is devastated.

I need there to be consequences for making erroneous 911 calls. Because it seems to me there aren’t any laws around that. Maybe something around making a false report to the police. Is that a thing? Well I think nationwide there should be a THING. Something like this:

You call 911 and it turns out to be bullshit – ie the people or person you called the cops on was in fact NOT a criminal nor were they engaging in criminal behavior: You get fined $250.00. While that doesn’t seem like much, it’s a noticeable pinch in the wallet for the average person.

If you call 911 and it not only turns out to be bullshit – for those same reasons as above – but the person you called the cops on gets injured, beaten, shot, killed because of your call: You get fined $500.00

I’m not putting a price on a human life, because you simply cannot. What I’m trying to do is merely establish a deterrent for knee-jerk phone calls to the police. If you knew you might have to cough up some cash if you’re wrong, then you might pause and look at the situation more closely before deciding to call (or not to call).

You might say this will stop people from calling 911 when they should. I say no, it won’t. Because when a true emergency is throwing down, you’re calling 911 regardless of anything. What it will put a dent in – in this wonderful world where this would actually be a THING – is prevent people like that person who called the cops on this guy because he was walking down the street with his hands in his pockets.

The man was stopped and questioned after a “nervous” passerby called 911 to report that he was “walking with his hands in his pockets.”

What the hell is that???? It was DECEMBER in MICHIGAN. Maybe his HANDS WERE COLD. And maybe because he was Black those simple things that everyone (white) else does, becomes nervous making. Because HE was suspicious.

So anything he does after that – including walking down the street with hands in pockets – becomes problematic for the person suffering from racism. I’m sure they passed several (white) people walking with their hands in their pockets, and they didn’t even register to them. Because those aren’t SUSPICIOUS PEOPLE.

See what happens when you make people suspicious, instead of looking at their behavior? If that person had stopped themselves before calling and said something like this to themselves: “hmmm ok why am I nervous exactly? He’s just walking down the street. People put their hands in their pockets for lots of reasons. He isn’t threatening anyone, he’s just…. walking. Ok I see he doesn’t have gloves and its pretty cold right now, so maybe he’s just trying to keep his hands warm on his way home”.

MAYBE THEY WOULDN’T HAVE TO GO ON AND RUIN THAT GUYS DAY. AND IF YOU THINK I’M EXAGGERATING WHEN I SAY PHEW AT LEAST HE CAME OUT THAT ALIVE THEN YOU CAN GO FUCK YOURSELF.

I’m sick unto DEATH of all of this. SICK.

STOP CALLING 911 ON MY PEOPLE!! Think before you press that button. LOOK at what’s ACTUALLY going on in front of you. And in between? CONFRONT your biases.

Start watching behavior instead of people.

Make yourself a list of what you would consider suspicious behaviors. Really think about it. Because the list of things that Black people engage in that have been deemed suspicious is absolutely ridiculous. From being “Pedestrian Checked” like that guy walking in the cold, being questioned, beaten, tazed, arrested to being shot and killed:

Standing, Walking, Running, Sitting at a table in a restaurant, Sitting waiting to pick up child from daycare, Eye contact, Clenched fist, Holding a screwdriver, Having a toy sword slung over your shoulder, Exercising/Jogging, Playing in a playground with at toy gun, Talking and laughing with friends, Banking/Getting money from the atm, Standing on the pavement waiting for your family, Driving, Riding a bike, Having a snowball fight with friends, Sleeping on your couch, Sleeping on a park bench, Waving a bread knife around, Walking with a purpose, Not using your turn signal, Following police officers directions, Filming the police, Exercising your constitutional rights ie Protesting, Being legally blind, Attending a pool party, Sitting quietly in class, Waiting on the roadside for a tow truck. The list goes on and on and on.

Recommended:

White Civilian Culpability in Black Assaults and Deaths.

Cops To White People: Stop Getting Freaked Out By Your Black Neighbors.

I’ve lived in the same place for over 10 years and sometimes my neighbors will get froggy and say the most outlandish things. Mistaking me for “one of the bad ones” and somehow not recognizing my car despite it being parked right next to my place since forever. So far they haven’t called the cops on me…..

__________________________________________________________

Think twice before you call 911 on my people. Me? I don’t call an emergency line because someone makes me nervous. Especially when they are in no way going to be crossing paths with myself. 
If you feel you owe it to whoever that you call in every little thing that rubs you the wrong way, then I suggest you go get therapy and save a few lives. Stop calling 911 on my people.
You might think I’m advocating letting criminals and lawbreakers have a free pass. I’m not. As I said when a true emergency throws down: you know it. You also know better than to call up 911 over your feefees.
And funny thing is NOBODY calls 911 when they see those gun enthusiasts walking around stores and malls with AK-47s strapped to their backs. 
When it’s the WHITE MALE who is 9 times out of 10 going to be the one shooting shit up with that automatic rifle. Yet you keep calling 911 cuz some Black dude has his hands in his pockets.
If you’re gonna profile: PROFILE CORRECTLY.
Posted in General, WTF | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Why I Cried Today

Cop-Flashlight

Last night was surreal. I tweeted about it seconds after it happened, when I was back safely inside my home. I can’t say as I felt that my life was threatened, but I was made to feel startled, scared, upset, like I was a criminal, and totally creeped out.

Right now, I don’t feel particularly safe in my own home.

Why do I live in a world where I have to feel a sense of relief that I wasn’t shot dead, or assaulted or beaten or sexually assaulted? – Feelings that interfere with the feelings about being pretty much stalked by a police officer.

I’ll admit to the crime that put me on this individual’s radar – I’m guessing here – in the first place. The tags on my car are not up to date. I have full insurance coverage that is though, just my vehicle registration is expired.

I’ve blogged about how I never get pulled over in this red border state that is focused so much on immigration, but as I traverse the streets, I’m fully aware that I need to get my tags up to date – and should I get pulled over, I’ll know why, for the most part.

I’m too exhausted to go into details of what happened, but the gist of the matter is, I was noticed by a police officer as I was driving late at night – around 12:30 a.m. – and instead of pulling me over on the main street I was driving on when I passed his vehicle parked at an intersection, he decided to pull up my plate, get my information and lie in wait for me at my home.

I don’t know WHAT THE ENTIRE FUCK THAT IS but it doesn’t sound like normal procedure to me.

He concealed his presence to me, so that neither the security motion detector light nor my car headlights picked him up as I pulled in along side my place to do my three point turn to park my car alongside my home like I usually do.

I saw a shadowy figure out the corner of my eye as I was completing the 2nd part of my turn and I jumped, startled, slammed on my breaks, and threw my hands up in a defensive gesture to protect my face – it was pure instinct, because I was in my car with the window up, but  you dunno what your body is going to do when it’s startled within and inch of it’s life. Let’s also not mention my heart murmur and my behavioral health status that doesn’t work well with being scared to death.

So a second after this figure looms up next to my car a flashlight pops on and I’m about to start screaming, looking through my fingers – remember my hands hand gone up automatically to protect my face – and see that it’s a fucking cop.

I wasn’t thinking clearly at all, because aside from the initial scare, I had no other fears for my life at that point, which is completely weird, bc normally I’m completely sketched out worrying for my life whenever I have to deal with cops. I hit the window button and I said very clearly: OMG YOU SCARED ME TO DEATH! WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?? WHY DID YOU POP UP LIKE THAT?

He sort of laughed and said he was sorry and then went into cop mode, asking me to put the brake on my car and do that thing where they look into the back seat of your car with the flashlight, like I’m transporting bricks of heroin or bags of cocaine or WHATever.

He then goes around to the back of my car shining his lil flashlight all business-like and then comes back to the window and mentions my expired tags. I say yes I’m aware of that, and I’m working on it. He then makes it clear by the things he says next that he’s the cop that I drove past like 10 mins ago. I said yes, I noticed his vehicle, and complimented him on the fancy paint job. It was an SUV type dealy with POLICE painted all big on the side with swooshing whorls of color around it.

He’s rolling in a pimped out vehicle – not a regular squad car – but I’m the super criminal here. So much so that he chose not to pull me over on brightly lit main street, but pull up my address and hide out and wait for me to come home.

I’M STILL TRYING TO FIGURE OUT HOW THAT MAKES ANY FUCKING SENSE.

He then inferred that when I’d noticed his vehicle, I took off – peeled away – and zoomed past him all SUSPICIOUS LIKE. I said: I’m a forty-six year old woman, I drive a family sedan, I really don’t think I’m going to go around peeling away in general, and certainly not when I see a police car. I said to him that his car could have been that one – and I pointed to my neighbor’s SUV, it wouldn’t matter, I wouldn’t change my driving habits. I don’t peel out, sorry dude, you got the wrong person.

He then kept insisting that’s what he saw me do. I then said, ok then why didn’t you pull me over? Did I surpass the speed limit on _____ Avenue? And if so, again, why didn’t you pull me over then and there – WHY ARE YOU HERE AT MY HOUSE?? He indicated that I had not broken the speed limit, he started stuttering a bit, because he began to realize – it took him awhile, but it finally dawned on him – that I was not the one to fuck with. I’d been nursing one of my migraines all dang night, and that’s why I was up past midnight driving to get some stuff at the convenience store.

None of his damn business, but I told him that’s what I was doing and if he wanted to pull me over for tags he shoulda done it. I said it’s not a good look for you to popping up all at my house, I’m a single woman, living alone, I had no idea who or what you were and YOU STARTLED ME AND SCARED ME TO DEATH.

He mumbled something about making sure I got my tags up to date and then left.

*****

EDIT: I’m putting couple of my series of tweets RICHEA so I have a cotdang time stamp. (and also to show exactly how this incident made me feel directly after it happened) I started tweeting about it 5-10 mins after cop left & my hands stopped shaking enough to type on my computer. I figure this whole thing happened – if you count my driving time as well as the conversation at my home – around 12:10 a.m. – 12:45 a.m.

 

*****

So I call the precinct earlier today around 1pm – around 12hrs after the incident. I knew I’d be speaking to a cop, so I kept that in mind. I think I wanted to file a complaint, or I wanted someone to tell me that lying in wait at someone’s house in lieu of a traffic stop was standard procedure. I wasn’t sure what I wanted, really. I was still shook. Still upset. Still wondering WTF.

The conversation was interesting. And by interesting I mean completely strange and weird and utterly filled with neck-high stacks of manure. I think he found out my info or pulled up the incident, while speaking to me, because the first half of the conversation was very different from the second half. He was a bit brusque and all that – I expected that, from me having to call precincts often during my years in LA – but he was polite, and he was helpful. Up until he got the info that I was a Black person. I’m just guessing, but it was like night and day.

Remember, I “sound white” on the phone. He went from being informative – he even gave me a brief explanation (that I thought was utter bullshit btw) from “the cop’s point of view” on why Officer StalkaSista was behaving the way he did, and he listened to my account of things. But suddenly he was ultra defensive, and started saying things like, “well if you are going to infer wrong-doing on that officer’s actions, I’m going to end this conversation” and then offering me the phone number to Internal Affairs if I wanted to “complain about the incident”.

When all I’d ever said up to that point was express my confusion on why the officer was at my home, why he didn’t identify himself, why he concealed himself from my view, so much so that I was heavily startled when he showed himself. And why didn’t he pull me over if I’d done all those law-breaky things he said I did.

There is the edge of my neighbor’s place and two cars parked that he could have hid behind, and I looked out there today in the bright sunlight, and there was no way I would have missed seeing him unless he’d hidden himself.

So I was basically told by the officer on the phone that:

1. I was driving the wrong car. Did you know that family sedans are the criminal’s choice of vehicles? Because they blend in and don’t look conspicuous. Horseshit! You and I both know if I’d been driving a tricked out sports car with a rear spoiler and spinners, he’d have said the exact same thing only opposite. Flashy car = criminal.

2. I’m the awful person who did all that SUSPICIOUS BEHAVIOR that prompted Officer McCreepy to go all stalker on me. Victim blaming 101. When I said ok me driving my car is suspicious? Because that’s all I was doing – the cop on the phone for the 2nd time said ok this conversation is over, I’m not going to speak to you any more – his voice all raised and upset sounding. I literally took the phone off my ear and stared at it like WTF did I say?

3. Officers sometimes opt NOT to pull people over because (garbled weird sounding reason that flew out of my brain 2 seconds after I heard it – in other words more bullshit) and that’s why he was at your home. I’m sorry, but I see no reason why pinning someone at their residence is (safer?) or (more efficient) or (WHAT THE FUCK EVER) than doing a normal traffic stop.

Intimidation tactics pure and simple. All this over some expired tags. Which he never actually ended up giving me a ticket for. Just a mumbled verbal warning as he walked away. And I’ll tell you what. The only way this makes sense in any way, is that he saw I was a Black person behind the wheel. Because they had to go stake out my home and see if they could find ANYTHING on me.

Listen. I know what info comes up when you pull someone’s plate on the police vehicle computer system. You get my name. My date of birth. My address. ALL the info on my car and driver’s license including any wants, warrants, parking tickets, criminal record – alladat.

I have none of that THOUGH. They let me coast on by without a pullover because well the only thing wrong with my picture was expired tags, and this guy seemed like he was itching for something more dramatic. He should have pulled me over, written a ticket, or gave that verbal warning or whatever, and let me go on my merry way.

But I had that SUSPICIOUS BLACK SKIN so I must be up to SOMETHING so let me go TO HER HOME and ROOT AROUND THERE and LIE IN WAIT and PUSH HER AND BLAME HER FOR SPEEDING WHEN SHE DID NO SUCH THING

Because why?

You tell me.

I wasn’t even tempted to call Internal Affairs – which seemed a really weird overkill thing to do when I just wanted to file a complaint – because this CRAY CREEP COP knows where I live. Both officers – the creep one and the one on the phone – behaved in such completely strange and weird ways, that I am for sure not going to put more of a target on me – retaliation is the word that comes to mind.

HE KNOWS WHERE I LIVE.

And after I finished that call – on my cell phone (no camera or vid or internet) – 10 seconds later my land line phone rings. Did I pick it up? HELL NO I DID NOT. Whoever was calling opted to not leave a message when the machine picked up.

I don’t feel safe in my home.

Thanks a fucking lot.

Fuck The Police.

___________________________________________________________

Lucky me I had a head shrinker appointment already scheduled today. So I went after that strange phone call to the precinct. I got to talk it out a bit, and I feel a tiny bit better.
I cried. A lot. I hate crying.
But. I’m still not feeling all that secure in my home.
I just don’t know.
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2014 in review: How My Blog Did

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 11,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Posted in General | 1 Comment

My Dream for Ferguson on No Indictment Day

I’d like to see the Ferguson protesters and pretty much all the other cities and counties that have joined them in solidarity adopt what I call Operation Tumbleweed (or not really a hashtag ((yet)) #BoycottThePolice). This is just a dream I have. I know that it won’t happen because there’s already THIS: National Ferguson Response Network – but hear me out anyway.

Tumbleweed_rolling_2

We’ve all seen and heard the reports of the Ferguson and St. Louis police departments gearing up for the response to what looks like to be a given – that Darren Wilson will not be indicted. I’ve seen members of the military aghast at the prep – oodles of grenades, tons of wooden and rubber bullets, batons, plastic restraint bands, armored vehicles, weapons, tear gas, mace, pepper spray, armored gear – you name it, they’ve got it all stockpiled and ready to be deployed on… peaceful protesters. I kid you not.

So they’ve obviously been spending money like crazy with all of this – they have been from the get go – I can never forget that one night when they had blocked off the streets, and were following the singing, chanting and marching peaceful protesters up and down the streets of Ferguson with a phalanx of cars, jeeps, vans and paddy wagons. All pristine, and brand spanking new. It was absolutely ridiculous to behold.

So I say make them look doubly foolish. Everyone stay home on No Indictment Day. Or no Indictment Night – whenever they are going to give the announcement. Protesters can gather in homes, local churches, community centers – anywhere but out on the streets. Shame em with a complete new game plan that flips the script on em and shows the world just how completely asinine the police departments, city and federal law enforcement really are.

All dressed up and nobody showed up to the party.

Everyone is ELSEWHERE. Let them roll up and down the streets in their armored vehicles, dressed to the nines in military camo and riot gear, with all their weapons and canisters of tear gas.

I would love to see the deserted streets of America on that day.

Empty-streets-of-Los-Angeles-2690

The only foot traffic the hordes of law enforcement milling around in confusion. Maaaaan listen. That would rock my world and make me just point and laugh and cackle for three days straight. Everybody gathered in solidarity not on the streets, but in their homes, in their community centers, in their places of worship.

Popo across the nation be like

ConfusedPopo

~*~

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not being flippant about this completely serious issue. I would absolutely in all seriousness love to see this happen. It would be a win on so many levels. The media would have nothing to spin. The police departments would have to account for near-bankrupting their budgets in amassing all that gear for “the race war” or whatever they thought was going to pop off.

Protesters would still be able to gather in SAFETY and solidarity and as per usual get their message out via twitter, vine, instagram, podcasters and live-streamers who will be attending the indoor events at Ferguson and all over the country. Doing what they have already been doing for the past nearly 100 days.

I worry for the protesters in Ferguson. I know people are going to get hurt. All the police have ever done is escalate things. Their response to a peaceful candle light vigil, where mourners were gathered in the name of Mike Brown is what set this whole thing off. They are not interested in abiding by the laws, rules and regulations of their own police departments much less adhering to the constitution of the United States.

How do I know this? We’ve seen it in their behavior. They’ve refused to wear their full uniforms – no badges or name tags, they sport support for Darren Wilson wrist bands instead. They enact unconstitutional policies and rules and consistently trample on the civil and constitutional rights of the American citizens gathered to protest. If you have no idea what I’m referring to Read This Post and all the links therein. Get caught up.

As I write this groups from Ferguson, Chicago and other states in this nation and civil rights orgs have been meeting at the UN in Geneva yesterday and today – and are doing a silent protest right now. It is particularly telling that the U.S. delegation sent to respond had not one person of color. See #FergusonToGeneva hashtag on twitter and/or follow @Ferguson_Geneva for more information. End police brutality and the killing of Black and brown children, women and men by the police.

I say Ghost Town it. Operation Tumbleweed. Flip the script. Empty the streets. Gather in safety and solidarity. Turn the tables. Shine the spotlight on the ridiculousness and harshness of the response to Americans simply exercising their rights. Show the world who exactly the violent thugs really are.

EmptyStreet1

_____________________________________________________________

I have a dream. For empty streets on No Indictment Night.
And if by some miracle they do indeed #ArrestDarrenWilson I say gather indoors anyway. The “law enforcers” will be hurting and spoiling for a fight.
Whatever happens. Be safe out there. My prayers go with you all. #Ferguson #JusticeForMikeBrown 
Posted in General, Hellz YES, WELP | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

This Is What You Get When…

What happens when you take your 10 hours of street harassment footage and give it to a white male to edit? Well you get just shy of 3 minutes of almost benign catcalling and no white dudes shown even doing that.

What I would have then done was send it back with detailed instructions on what to do. Actually, I would have done that in the first place. Actually I would have done a whole lotta things differently.

It’s not surprising to me that Hollaback!  – who when asked WTF said they are indeed all for multiculturality and intersectionality –  still a very white cis female organization would make these kind of huge mistakes. We’ve seen it happen time and time again.

I would have been more bold with it. I would have had at the very least a 5 minute cut of the 10 hours, if not ten minutes. We all know people have the attention span of a gnat, so going for the near-3 minutes of say the average movie trailer was understandable.

But I’d have put the more disgusting commentary in the first 60 seconds. I would make sure that ALL the types of guys that engage in SH were represented within the first two minutes as well. I also would have released the full uncut 10 hours on a link somewhere to be available for those who wanted to peruse that as well. Or at the very least have available an edit that documented the 100 incidents, whatever length that ended up being.

Because there’s one thing that I know for sure. IF they had that actor walking around ALL boroughs and ALL areas of NY where street harassment is prevalent – she was subjected to some pretty awful things AND they came from all type of guys. All different races, all different walks of life.

I would have also put locations in my edited version as well. Just words on the screen saying, Wall Street, Bronx, Upper West Side, Harlem, Brooklyn etc. To not only show WHERE they went, but to show you how wide spread and prevalent street harassment is, no matter where you go.

I know it was difficult for that guy who edited the footage down to include dudes who looked like himself in the final cut. And maybe that’s the main problem with trying to end street harassment in the first place. Dude’s don’t want to look at themselves. Guys don’t want to take responsibility for the problem. They’d rather edit away any culpability and keep on doing what they do.

When given the opportunity to do something in the right direction, he not only edited out his race, but cherry picked and chose to not include the more horrible encounters that I know were caught on tape. You can’t tell me during that whole 10 hours she caught nothing but stares, and hello beautifuls and just that one guy following her for 5 minutes.

I’ve seen my share of undercover footage from NY and other cities around this nation and seen some crazy stuff go down. From white guys, Black guys, Latinos – you name it. And from rich college guys, guys in suits, blue collar guys, male teenagers, homeless men, dudes hanging out on the stoops. It doesn’t matter. So I know A LOT WAS LEFT ON THE CUTTING ROOM FLOOR and you can’t tell me different.

I’ve read the articles, the blog posts, seen the footage, read the interviews, heard the stories, seen the tweets and I have my own experience under my belt to boot. Basically what the final cut of that video did was 1. Show Men Of Color to be the only guys in NY who street harass, 2. Water down the actual disgustingness of what guys say by selecting the least awful footage to include and 3. Create a whole lot of focus on pretty much anything but HEY GUYS WHY DON’T YOU JUST STOP STREET HARASSING.

So thank you edit-dude. And thank you whoever it was at Hollaback! who let that ish slide. Thanks for that. And for also having Feminista Jones be the one to catch hell from Black dudes on twitter by way of some weird convoluted thing – since she in no way shape or form had anything to do with that video – but she caught absolute hell for over 24 hours – prolly still ongoing  – on twitter because of it.

They went for the easy target, instead of confronting Hollaback! and/or the edit-guy – who was named in several articles I read about the video – they focused on Feminista and her #YouOKSis hashtag campaign against street harassment. It was that wonderful mix of white supremacy and patriarchy that had MoC taking the brunt and blame for street harassment, not FJ who is actually receiving AN AWARD for all her hard work in ending street harassment.

But again, we’ve seen this time and time again. And I, for one am sick and tired of it. Stop taking it out on Black women. Check yourself, check ya boys and step up and shut it down.

~*~

Videos of interest:

#YouOkSis Ending Street Harassment. This video didn’t get to go viral and have millions of views. Wonder why…

Definition of Street Harassment. It’s interviewing drunk college kids so view with a grain of salt. However, in vino veritas

Male dresses as a woman to explore Street Harassment. Kind of problematic, but whatever. Also the comments from the street harassers are in non-translated Arabic – but really, I don’t have to imagine that hard what they’re saying…

Exploring Street Harassment in NYC. NYU students take to the streets with hidden cameras. Interesting to note that in THIS video there are actual white guys shown harassing…

Sexist taunts halts French parliamentary session. Really dude? And don’t get it twisted. OUR own elected officials have come that incorrect many a time…

~*~

Links of Interest:

On Why We are Not Out Here Going Hard for Brothers over that Hollaback Video by Crunk Feminist Collective.

Three Decades of Street Harassment by Pia Glenn via xojane.

Yo, I SAID You’re Beautiful Though! by Pia Glenn from Valid Magazine.

#DudesGreetingDudes Is One Guy’s Flawless Takedown On Catcalling.

Storify of Feminista Jones’ tweets that drops MUCH science on Street Harassment.

Also sadness that I had to retweet the tweet that said: RT if your first street harassment experience happened when you were under 18 years old.

(9 or 10 years old, a neighbor kid, prolly 15 or 16 years old grabbed me around my waist, pawing at my non-existent breasts while saying the awfullest things) When that tweet came down my time line it had over 600 RTs. Less than 24 hours later I saw it again, and it was over 2K and climbing :(

And seeing that grinning, smirking white male mansplaining away street harassment on CNN and then saying for women to just “go get a gun”. Right. So I can catch a 20 year prison sentence for firing a warning shot like Marissa Alexander? How about you guys just stop street harassing. How about that?

YouOkSis

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I wanted to write something about street harassment in general but this is what happened instead. For those who don’t realize just how pervasive this is, I ask you to take the time to read the links and watch the videos.
Perhaps when I’m not so mentally exhausted, I’ll write the post that is still clamoring within me. These past two weeks or so have been TIRING seeing guys just not getting it. “Why can’t I just say hello?” My response: “Why can’t you just go about your day and not bother another stranger on the street, subway or bus?” 
To quote N’Jaila Rhee who co-hosts the TWiB After Dark podcast with Feminista Jones: “…Because I’m not decoration…” and also we can’t tell the difference between the for real just friendly guy and the guy that’s going to go ballistic. #SorryNotSorry but YOU LET IT GET TO THE POINT WHERE YEAH YOU CANNOT JUST SAY HELLO. So go out and FIX IT and END STREET HARASSMENT and then we can all say hello to each other on the street again without worry or fear.
Posted in General, Hellz YES, WTF | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments