Jun 22, 2020

The L in BLM

Marvia Gray, 68 yrs old, and son Derek. 
I just read a story
about a black man who bought a 65” TV at Sam’s Club, that didn’t fit in his car so they agreed to hold it there so he could come back with a bigger car to get it later.  I’ve worked at a hardware store for years and I know this happens ALL THE TIME with large items.   It’s not uncommon to put things aside for someone to come back later.    When he came back and an employee who wasn’t privy to the situation saw him in the parking lot with the TV and for some reason reported it and a cop who must have just been there already.  The cop followed him to the car and accused him as well despite being told that he had bought it.  The man went home with the TV but he and his mother felt like they should just return it and get their money back to avoid any more harassment.   When they came back to the store, despite other employees recognizing him, and telling the officer, and the other employee that he in fact did purchase it, the cop still persisted and called for back up.   As one would, the man got offended and argued his case.  Things get out of hand and became physical.  The man’s mother even tried to plead his case for him but was also physically assaulted by the now 3 other cops that showed up. Both sustained injuries and humiliation in front of a busy store full of people.  All for a guy who was trying to load a TV he had purchased.  No matter how well-off and law abiding and upstanding citizenly you are, if you're black, there's always that chance some asshole will think you're doing something illegal and a cop ready to back them up.  This shit doesn't happen to well-off law abiding white people.

In a cellphone video you can hear a bystander say something like  “just stay down, do what they say” 

This is always a reaction to cases like this.  People will chime in with stuff like  "just do what the cops say and you wont be hurt (or shot, or killed)" . The problem with that is most of the time when your skin isn't white; while no matter how completely innocent you are or how easily proven or obvious your innocence is doing what they say can have a less than desirable outcome.  You're doing the right thing and DON'T give into your natural urges to resist someone accusing you and trying to restrain you physically for something you didn't do, you'll get arrested anyway.  But you're thinking maybe it's just some handcuffs and humiliation, maybe a trip to the station where they ask you your side of the story and they apologize and let you go.  But that's not what happens.  Despite the cops knowing they're  wrong, they'll tell you just do what they say and everything will be fine.  So you do.  And a drive to the station turns into a night in jail.  You done everything right, you're innocent and you know they know it, but you can't afford bail and end up waiting days, weeks, months, possibly years for your case to be heard in court.  All while the DA, judge sometimes even your own lawyer tries to convince you to just take a plea deal saying you did it so you can reduce your sentence. You persist and finally 5 years later after being an exemplary inmate staying out of trouble while living with actual convicted criminals the Judge sees your file and says "yea, they have no case, you're free to go" Oh and by the way that cop that falsely accused  you and beat you up has been promoted twice and despite being wrong and fucking your life over, get ZERO discipline for it.   But, you're free to go.  Try not to commit suicide like many do after shit like this happens to them.  This shit happens.  It's real.  It's documented.  It happens a lot actually. 

I'm not saying black people should resist arrest, but I understand why someone who knows the cards are stacked against them would.  It's not handcuffs they're resisting, it's a system of unjust racist policy that's sewn into the fabric of this dumb-ass country. The game is rigged. That's what Black Lives Matter means.  Black lives matter doesn't just mean "cops stop shooting black people"  It means stop looking twice when a black person walks in a room. It means don't call the cops because black people are having a bbq.  It means not passing over a resume because someone's name 'sounds black'.    It's every black person's whole  life, from birth, being tagged as less-than by a society that for the most part doesn't even know they benefit from generations of this kind of discrimination. There's no way as a white guy who's done nothing to earn it, but has benefited from it that I'll actually ever know how it feels to be black. That's why we all need to acknowledge that this discrimination exists even if you don't see it. Even if you're not racist, and your town's not racist, and you do work in your community to help people of color, you've got to understand why the L in BLM is more that just a person's name on a protest sign. When you finally get it, then you can make other’s understand and so on, and so on.   When we all do, one day in the future all lives can actually matter equally. 

Sorry, shit got all serious.  Serious times call for serious Noggins.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Serious times serious noggins πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌ