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Saturday, April 17, 2021

Weekend Onesie: Living And Dying In Murderapolis

Weekend Onesie: 

Minneapolis is a damaged city.

In need of a fix. A cure.  

How do we rebuild? How do we make it better?

The Twin Cities have been exposed as a petri dish of violence perpetrated by a fear-ridden, fascist, militaristic law enforcement system.

Jamar Clark. Philando Castile. George Floyd. Daunte Wright.

History has taught us: anytime you place one person in a position of power over another person and remove the human element, the results will always be brutal. 

This all goes back to the fact that in this country empathy is viewed as a sign of weakness. Rather than take the time to understand, we take the easy route; we separate ourselves from what we view as weak, what is wrong. We go on the defense. We separate ourselves by assuming a position of superiority. We judge swiftly. We make simplistic declarative statements. We paint it all one color. 


This country was founded on the principal that you take what you want by force or any means necessary. That's how we assumed land that belonged to others. That's how we created our robust economy - kidnapping other people from another country to provide labor.

Our gun culture has taught us to place an instrument of death between ourselves and others. For centuries, we glorified the wild, wild west. In the 1970's and '80's, Hollywood hammered that point home further - Death Wish, Rambo - these movies were cultural phenomenon. They taught us... take them out before they take you out. They taught us that there was only one way to deal with an eminent threat. 

They taught us the power of a gun. 

These simplistic messages were adopted wholesale and guns quickly became a means of sustaining out lives as we experienced the baffling complications of urban development.

Add to that an unresolved, unmitigated poison called racism and you can see what a toxic stew we have simmering.

Another layer of separatism?

If we can't eradicate the problem, then let's escape it.

Those who have power over the citizens of a community are allowed to separate themselves from that community. Working in these neighborhoods, officers have seen the problems that seethe there. They don't want to live in that hellhole. They don't want to raise a family there. Not near 'those' people. So police officers are allowed to live in 'safe' suburban enclaves miles and miles away from the neighborhoods they are charged to patrol. 

That urban jungle? Nothing but a bunch of animals.


They are people. Trying to go about their lives as best they can. Most go all their life without causing so much as a ripple. But there are those that make wrong choices. They fall into the traps that urban decay and poverty have made part of the social architecture of this city. 

They make mistakes.

You know... like mistaking a gun for a taser.  

What happened in Brooklyn Center should serve as an example of everything that is wrong with the way police do their jobs. It's a matter of over-reaction being the only reaction. It's a matter of excessive force being the only means of maintaining the upper hand. 

How the police conduct themselves? It lacks reason. It lacks common sense. 

Placing a gun between yourself and someone else? If that is your go-to move, where else do you have to go? Why are we surprised by the outcome? 

Bang, bang. Problem solved. 


It only creates more. 

And to understand how wrong the officers in the Brooklyn Center incident were, you have to go back to what began the whole tragic mess. Expired plates. So, a traffic stop. Oh, and you have too many air fresheners hanging from your rear view mirror. Oh, and there's an outstanding warrant for your arrest on a misdemeanor charge. You missed a court date regarding that gun you weren't suppose to have. Oh, you're trying to run away from us.

Now we have to draw our weapons. 

Yes, now we have to kill you. 

Bang, bang. Problem solved.

What's wrong with this scenario? It's a fucking misdemeanor. Let him run. You will catch him another day. This? This is not an instance where a gun should be any part of the equation. 

We need our cops. But we need them to be reeducated. We need them to behave more intelligently. We need them to be part of the community they are policing. They need to know the people, their values and customs, the lay of the land. Their hearts and their minds must be engaged in this process, engaged in the community whose welfare has been placed in their hands. 

They must be made to feel - not only a part of that community, but also - accountable to it. They must know the community to whom they are responsible.

And, yes... they must be held accountable.

And for those of you who view this as just another instance of racism? No. Sorry. It's not that simple. You paint it that? You paint it one color. This? This is much more complicated. This has many, many layers. 

This is a city that is ill. It is damaged. And what has become of our police department? These senseless deaths are but one symptom of a cancer that is eating our urban communities alive.

Common sense, personal responsibility, accountability, acting ethically: all long absent from this city's institutions. 

But I am not without hope. 

Minneapolis is not so large that these things cannot be fixed. The Twin Cities area is a progressive oasis surrounded by a sea of ignorance. We have the people who can work on these problems. Unfortunately, they are not the ones currently in power. 

It is time for change. And that change will not be happening overnight.

So don't be so quick to condemn. Don't paint this all one color. 

Don't assume all these things are the same. 

Don't make that mistake. Don't do what a racist does; assume that all these 'things' are the same.

'They' are not all alike.

Jamar Clark. Philando Castile. George Floyd. Daunte Wright.

Each one a different person. Each an individual. Each story? Different.

Work to understand. Work your way through the layers. Connect the dots. 

Do your homework. 

We are all better than this.

And that's the only way this is going to get better, folks. 

--- ---

This song has accompanied me all week. 

For A Child - Michael McDonald

Love is the answer to a child
Just as hope is the answer to us all
But it's there at the beginning
That we learn to hope at all
And God help us if we don't

Tell me where is this place
From which there's no return
What can we know of another road
From the one that we made
With our anger and our rage

We dare not go where there is no hope
Not even for a child

If dreams fly over the rainbow
Truth lies waiting for us all
If siren's voices cloud our reason
Can we still resist their call
'cause God help us if we don't

Tell me where is this place
From which there's no return
What can we know of another road
From the one that we made
With our anger and our rage

We dare not go where there is no hope
Not even for a child

For so many people livin' their whole lives
Waiting to be saved
For so many children taking that short trip
From the cradle to the grave

                                               - Michael McDonald


Jimmy said...

I was wondering if this effected your daily routine. I hope you don't have rioting after the George Floyd verdict.

Bob said...

Well said, sir, well said.
We need severe and strong and nationwide police reform

SickoRicko said...

This gave me goosebumps.

anne marie in philly said...

when the fuck is this country going to learn that white AIN'T right?

JiEL said...

As a Canadian neighbor, I can only wish that USA could once and for all come over that damn guns and mass shooting foolishness with good policies that will make owning such disastrous weapons out of the public scene.

Time to rewrite your old and outdated damn Constitution and make your nation enter in the 21st century where all man are made EQUAL.

Time as you mentioned to get out of this farwest style way to solve issues.
Racism is also a huge issue and this since the 1865 civil war and after.

All those white supremacists, racist and sexist are a cancer in your country making it a constant battle to survive in the streets of any cities.

Being black, colored people or even be a LGBTQ in USA is becoming very hazardous and seeing that those policemen are acting in such bad manners, it's not surprising that fear make those people run when they see one.

Time for Biden and Harris to do a real clean up to provide to your country a safe and viable country without any fear of being shot for any reasons.

For sure, all those «Retrumplicons» will backfire and shout etc..
But they aren't aware that their time of white wealthy arrogant times are coming to an end.

Mass shooting in Canada or any other democratic countries are not accuring as much often as in USA.
Because we don't have that easiness to get and buy those weapons.
Because here the white supermacist groups as «Proud Boys» are illegal.
Because we have no such hate about the other being different than us.

Since 216 election, I thank God that I'm Canadian and live in a country where living is better and more peaceful.
We're not perfect but we try to take care of everyone no matter who they are.