Wednesday, July 22, 2015

I really wish people would shut the hell up about Donald Trump and the things that flow so fluidly out of his mouth. This is what he does. He's an older, white and rich Kim Kardashian. He's the equivalent of a bus driver who drives to the stop, waits until the kids get right near the door, and then says to no one in particular, "Watch this!", as he drives up one more block to make the kids run, because he knows they need him. I won't say that it is 100-percent impossible for him to become president, but it is highly unlikely that we will ever have to say President Trump.

The Republicans don't like him, but they won't renounce him (save for a McCain diss) because he keeps the pressure off of all of them. The Democrats can't stand him, but they have to be careful with how flagrant they are with their vitriol, because then Trump will come after them. And then the media--who look absolutely foolish in all of this--keep interviewing and reporting Trump's every speech, tweet and Facebook post. If folks left him alone, it would drive him crazy how little attention he was getting, and he would fade into Bolivian as the great Mike Tyson said.. People should just stop feeding the animal, and let him go.

One more thing, when I turned 16 and got my driver's license, my father sat me down and had a speech with me about the police. He told me that I was smart, bright, articulate, blessed with a decent sense of humor, but I was also very much a black (young) man. We were living in the affluent Potomac, Maryland at the time, and he told me that a young, black man driving around those streets could be a target. He told me that if I ever got pulled over that I needed to act like the cop was my father. He told me say "sir", look the cop in the eye, don't joke or make small talk unless it was initiated by the cop, and for me to keep all personal commentaries to myself. I told him that felt an awful lot like selling out, and he said it wasn't about that, they were simply survival tactics. I made a mental note.

Sure enough, I got pulled over twice in the first month of driving, and only one reason was legit. The first time, the cop said my rear light was out, but when I got home I had my father check and it was fine. The second time, I left the Kemp Mill Records (on Rockville Pike for those you in the DC area) without my lights on and the cop pulled me over, but only gave me a warning. Both times I took my father's advice, even though in the back of my mind, I wanted to say some smart sh*t. I never forgot that advice my dad gave me. I used it five years later when I got pulled over trying to make it to Hampton (from D.C.) to see my oldest son's birth, and I used back in December when I got pulled over twice in an hour span (once in Maryland the second time in PA) for speeding. In that instance the PA cop was mean as hell, kept his hand on his heat during the whole stop, and looked like he would have loved to stir it up with me, despite the fact that my wife, son, brother, sister-in-law and nephew were in the car. I remained calm, and drove away.

Now I'm not foolish enough to believe that talking "perfect" would keep me from getting killed, beat or tasered, but I am about the law of averages, and I figure if I do my part, the risk isn't non-existent, it is simply lowered. So when I saw the tape of Sandra Bland talking to the cop, I cringed a little. She was clearly irritated and the cop was being a dick with the whole cigarette request, but I was wishing she had suppressed the smart mouth and just danced long enough for her to drive away, call her girls to complain, and maybe file a complaint in hindsight. She didn't deserved to be roughed up and she didn't deserve to die or be killed (I suspect it was the latter, but the Duke lacrosse rape case has taught me never to be sure), I just wish I'd have been in the car with her, so she would have had a fighting chance. Most cops are good, some are bad, and others snap at the drop of a hat, and use the weapons they were issued which work in tandem with any temper or anger issues they may have. We all have tempers, but when you're a cop with power, a badge and guns, things get real. It is a bad combo, and it is my job to lay low.

I said this to close friends, and I'm blogging about it here, but I know some folks disagree or will say, "It doesn't matter how she acted, she doesn't deserve to die or beat", and obviously that is the case. All I'm saying is that there was a point when she could have danced, and she chose not to, and I wish she hadn't. Now she's dead, and no cops--not the one who beat her or the ones who allegedly killed her--will be brought to justice. It is impossible to have nuanced discussions sometimes, but I am trying anyway. We can be justifiably mad over the way cops are killing, beating and harassing brown folks. We can also do our best to teach our kids (and adults) some survival tactics. Perhaps I'm wrong, but while you're reading my blog you're trapped in between the lines, and you'll escape, when you finish my lines..

That was heavy..


Jazzbrew said...

I am in 100% agreement with everything you say here. I'm almost 50 years old and I clearly remember the conversation my dad had with me -- much like your dad had with you. I'll have the same conversation with my kids when the time comes. Is it fair? No. Is it necessary? Absolutely. My #1 goal in all interactions with police is to leave alive.

Anonymous said...

you got soul, soul, soul ...