Ferguson, Missouri, 2014
I’m not going to pretend to understand racism. It’s a disease. An affliction of the mind. Self-curable. Nor will I accept that anyone with any appreciable training in peace keeping—and let’s call it that instead of “law enforcement,” a terminology which includes the very brutish word “force”—needs to shoot someone whose arms are in the surrender position six times in order to subdue them.
I will not accept that a stranglehold is necessary for one officer as several other officers pile on top of a man, choking him to death. New York, New York, 2014.
The George Zimmerman Training Academy of Enforcement and Anger Management seems to be gaining favor among our cities’ local police. We can’t go a day without video, whether it’s old or new, of police violence slapping us in the face. The “heat of the moment” is too often the background noise of these acts. I disagree. The heat of the moment is cursing at the driver that recklessly cut you off; the heat of the moment is throwing “You don’t love me!” in a lover’s face; heat dissipates very quickly. The heat of the moment for a police officer being a thousand degrees hotter than mundane interactions, they should be given the proper training to deal with that. They shouldn’t be the assholes that flip you the bird while running a red light; shouldn’t be the guy that slaps his kid to stop the child’s crying.
But they too often are. Because they’re us.
An officer of the law shouldn’t be the one telling a reporter, “We’re dealing with 4,000 animals.” That tells us what the heat’s done to him. His mind is everywhere but on what’s in front of him, and the most dangerous thing for a police officer is blind spots.
A state trooper, along the side of a busy freeway, while atop a woman, punched the hell out of her. Los Angeles, CA, 2014.
Blind spots. Rage. Blind rage.
A worldwide epidemic of rage.
That officer didn't shoot and kill the young man in Ferguson, Missouri simply because the young man was black. He did it because he was (potentially) a small officer in a small town with a failed marriage and friends who were only friends when drinking was involved, in a country that can’t get its shit together to save its life and so forces him to be a small officer in a small town, a white man against the black man no matter how many black friends he can point at, and giving him nowhere to escape but out the barrel of a gun. Death by projection.
Gaza, Palestine, 2014.
Racism is a social construct predicated on economic disparity. The color of skin means squat. We’re all from Africa. There are no bogus genetics to justify brutish thoughts. There is not one person on this planet that made it here without being human. There is no white race. Ask most Irish if they were “white” when they made it to America’s shores in the early 19th century, then ask them now. The difference is capital. Money.
We are enraged the world over because no one thinks they have enough.
Money. Whatever form capital takes. Financial capital, emotional capital, religious capital. In order for one group to have enough of one thing, another group has to have too little of everything. Money kicks in our anger receptors like few other things can.
Schools underfunded while billionaire fights for control of shipping lanes. Takes an angry man to accumulate so much. Thousands without water, summertime. Gangs forming at an increasing rate. Detroit, MI, 2014. Takes a ton of rage to wall that out and keep it in.
Rage blinds us to what’s right in front of our faces time and again. Rage. We rage against everything.
Except the palsied monkey grinding the organ for the machine for which we dance.