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Thursday, November 12, 2015

COPS, BLUE TEAR BRIGADES, AND BLACK HISTORY


I can't stop thinking that this entire set up between black folk,* the police, the Blue Tear Brigade (defenders of police) hasn't changed much over centuries.



Despite our very real material advances, the patterns of behavior between groups in 2015 is the same as it was in 1715, 1815, and 1915 if you think about it. We're slow to recognize how very precisely the behavior is the same because the names (of each group) have been changed to protect the-anything-but-innocent.
The black folk of today are less like slaves of 1815 and more like the poor, black folk in a quasi-slave state of 1915 who just wanna be TRULY free.


The enforcement arm of white supremacy, the police of today are like the plantation overseers in 1815 who wanna beat on anybody who gets in their way in order to have a constant sense of their own other-based power.


The predominantly white police protectors, a.k.a. The Blue Tear Brigade are like the whites so poor they were feeding their children grass to survive in 1815, the ones whose only consolation was that they were superior to others just because they share the same skin color as the overseer's master, the slave owner

The slave owner in our scenario can be said to be representative of what the Occupy Movement called "the one percent"

LET'S REVIEW

The decisions for us are the same in 1715, 1815, 1915, or 2015 if you think about it.


A.. Keep your head down?


B. Work hard to trying to be worthy of respect as if your behavior can change white racism?


C. Forget respect and keep yourself alive?


D. Push back with allies?


E. Push back without allies?


F. Take risks and die?


G. Take no risks and die?


H. Take no risks and watch your children go through the exact same thing you did with no hope that your grandchildren will have a better life either.



You know what? Things are better for us now in 2015 than 1715, 1815, and 1915. They aren't as good as I'd hoped they'd be when I was in college, but they are significantly better. I never thought I'd see a group like Black Lives Matter be able to move the media like it has. Yet the answer to white behavioral/cultural problems today are the same as yesterday. We all do all of the approaches listed, A - G, all at once. I feel like black people were making the fastest progress when we were arguing but moving foward in all these directions all at once, only sometimes coming together for a common cause. Using all of the approaches listed above, while going very, very light on the silent compliance works. Some won't believe it but silent compliance has its place. Even the accommodationists, like Booker T Washington, and sell outs, like Ben Carson, have their place. They make white racists who don't know they are racists feel safe and a bit more complacent. That's a good cover for the rest of us. Black American History has shown this to be so over and over. That's why I don't scream about the Uncle Tomming too terribly much. Young black people really should take the advice of parents and elders on how to be as passive as possible so as to survive an encounter with police. The young are literally our future. But older folk should think about VERBALLY kicking up a fuss on a dash cam, body cam, or cell phone with hands in plain sight. Again, some of us are going to have take a few punches in order for the entire race to move forward. From what I'm reading, filing a complaint against a cop after the fact is not going to have much of an effect, not by itself. I think verbally standing your ground, on camera, getting visual evidence over and over, that can put on social media and on television news, is a path that some of us who are older might take. I haven't told a cop "no" when it was within my rights to do so yet. I haven't. However, I do know of a couple of black men that have told police officers "No. You do not have probable cause...you may not search my car." These black men were calm but firm, and no search took place. The cop piled on the charges within the ticket, but the cop walked away. One friend went to court, in his fireman's uniform, and had the ticket kicked by the judge. Yes, I'm aware that it won't always go our way. We all know that by now.Yet, we all also know compliance and accommodation has to be complimented by something else, by a something that's says "No!" in a clear strong voice. Only when 100s or 1000s of these abusive encounters are recorded and broadcast will we have ammunition to change the system so that a cop is afraid of losing his job if he's VERBALLY ABUSIVE much less physically abusive. In other words, Sandra Bland was right to behave the way she did. I'm proud of her for calmly stating that she was irritated. I'm proud of her for continuing to tell him, relatively calmly, that he had no right to tell her to put her cigarette out. She told him he couldn't touch her as she wasn't under arrest just before he finally tells her that she IS under arrest. Later, when Bland named that motherf***er Brian Encinia as the coward he is, I found that this was also appropriate for the circumstances. White people aren't afraid to get mad when somebody abuses them and we have to move to the place where we aren't either. If there was ever a form of psychological and emotional abuse that reaches the level of criminality, this is it. We have to stop letting white people force us to swallow justified anger. We have to. That means that some of us are going to have to stick our necks out just like Sandra if we're going to whittle down the Blue Tear Brigade's numbers. Getting rid of cops fan base will, eventually, yank the rug out from under the murderers in blue and their silent blue accomplices.


Again, some of us, who are older, are going to have to have an activist reaction to abuse. And we shouldn't think we have to be perfectly dignified in order to be effective either. I don't know if Ida B Wells cussed anybody out when she was literally CARRIED OUT of a white train car in the late 1800s, but she bit the white train conductor for his trouble. Wells sued and eventually lost her case. But that first protest, her loss of temper included, was practice for bigger things to come. When three friends of hers were lynched so whites could destroy their store (competition), she used her journalism skills to launch the first successful anti-lynching campaign in the United States. She started boycotts that hurt white businesses to the point that white leaders of the town wanted her dead. She even got black people to pick up their stuff and move west to Oklahoma. Then Wells took her anti-lynching campaign to England, the world's largest cotton consumer who was buying the United State's biggest export, southern cotton. Lynching dropped significantly as a result of her efforts, sociological reporting style. The NAACP,of which she was a founding member, used her methods of reporting on lynching to establish itself as a Black Civil Rights Organization.



I will never forget the example that Sandra Bland, Ida B Wells-Barnett, and Rosa Parks set for us. I'm glad they were imperfect people with imperfect lives because that means I can do something that has impact too. We just have to be willing to roll the dice and speak truth to power, knowing the outcome isn't going to be up to us. If some of us don't make space for blacks to be human, for kids to wear stupid, low hanging pants because they ARE KIDS for people to get mad when they're getting a legitimate speeding ticket when they're late for work,

then how free are we?



Despite the parallels I've drawn between 300, 200, and 100 years ago and today, all I was talking about was behavior. Clearly, we have made a lot of positive changes in during some very, very small windows of opportunity. Radical Reconstruction was one of those short periods of great advancement. Jim Crow set us back, but only some. The Modern Civil Rights Movement was another small window of opportunity and a bunch of us jumped through it. Black Lives Matter has opened another window. Black death by white cop makes news outlets enough money that they are following social media when such stories go viral. Pushing for body cameras and dash cams are only going to work if we use them go our advantage. And the way to use them to our advantage is to act like a normal human being when at a traffic stop -- except for making sure you keep your hands in plain sight. If you get beat or killed for cause, at least make sure everybody can see it in the video. If a cop says to me, "You seem like you're irritated." I hope I can only hope I have the guts to say, politely, "Yes. I am. Can I have my ticket please." I have the right to be here and act as if I have the same rights as any white person here. If I have to repeat that to myself every day in the mirror I will. In the long run, I believe these cops are about to turn into a self-cleaning oven. They feel so invincible that they're starting to beat white people too -- especially the mentally ill and the homeless. Anything that happens to the black community and is allowed to run unchecked eventually back hands white people across the face. Something is going to change. The only question is, can we help a positive change come faster for us.