Den of the Cyphered Wolf

Monday, July 11, 2016

1000 Cops With Itchy Trigger Fingers In Harlem

Tonight there is going to be a Black Lives Matter Protest in Southfield High's parking lot. It's happening at the same time as a Southfield City Council meeting and so for a good chunk of the weekend, I've been debating where I should go.

On the one hand, one of the best opportunities to change systemic racism and classism is using the political system, attending and commenting on all of the micro decisions that affect people's lives. Specifically, in the Detroit area, there have been generations of racial and class division that has driven political decisions. And if things are going to get better people have to speak and be heard in the places where those decisions are being made.

On the other, this is not just a Southfield issue. This is a Detroit issue. This is a Dearborn issue, this is an Inkster issue, this is a Michigan issue. This is an American issue.

As I write this I'm watching Frontline's Policing the Police. With that, all of the videos, all of the stories, and all of the statistics it's hard for me to entertain the idea that the United States does not have a problem with profiling and brutality.

Yet all weekend I've had to hear about how Black Lives Matter is somehow responsible for the attack in Dallas. Breitbart and The Wall Street Journal are engendering a special kind of anger in me when The Washington Post is reporting the opposite.

And then I read Oakland County Sherriff Michael Bouchard's  editorial in the Oakland Press which I feel diminishes feelings of inherent inequality within not just the justice system but society as a whole. I want to be respectful of the fact that being a police officer is an inherently dangerous job. There is a reality that it is a job many people choose to go into to serve the community despite the fact that the job can cause death, injury, and stigmatization. And I want to be respectful that that editorial was written right after someone decided that police officers should die just because they are police officers.

That should make the cops mad. That should make me mad. That should make everybody mad. People shouldn't just get to kill. Black, white, blue, gay, trans. People shouldn't just be able to take life. People shouldn't violate our homes; our safe places to make us fear. The city is ideally supposed to be a safe place where there is enough order to conduct the daily business of life.

I don't like the fact that I'm afraid to run around town at night. That almost every week I have to hear about a 2am shooting or stabbing in the papers.

Short aside: I forgot how much I like Elisa Maza as a character. I wonder what Salli Richardson thinks about things. If you're worried about kids respecting cops Gargoyles is not a bad place to start.
"What does a detective do?"
"Well, when somebody does something wrong I find out who and arrest them."
"Who says what's wrong?"
"Well, we have a justice system; laws, penalties and assessments that the people decide."
Gargoyles, Awakening Episode 3 

We need good cops.

Cops who don't replace my fear of the random unpredictability of my fellow man with a fear of someone who sees the young, the poor or the black as an inherent threat and danger to them. And that is a real thing and shouldn't be ignored. And the fact that despite the fact that law enforcement exists to make people safer. a lot of people are distrustful, hostile and even violent to police just trying to do their job is also a real thing that is happening and shouldn't be ignored. Both sad  truths exist in the same world.

But it goes beyond that.

For a long time, a lot of people held most of the power. When they spoke they were listened to and things would happen. When others spoke they were ignored. They now have hope, slim hope, but hope all the same that they have the country's ear when they talk about their lives.  All the whispers and murmurs of decades are no longer whispers and murmurs.  And once again being dismissed hits a nerve.

Thier lives matter. When they have been wronged it matters. When they are killed it matters. Black Lives Matter.

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