Monthly Archives: April 2015

Baltimore etc…

Baltimore, etc…..

I have tried to write something about “Baltimore” now three times and started over for the fourth time. This is a great story if your marketing news or social issues, just pick one. Parenting, policing, politics are all on the table.

Gangs, community organization, or poverty ring true. Religion, crime, and heroics are equally vested. It’s frustrating to pick one and leave the others alone, cause they’re all perpetrators and victims at the same time.

If this was a television series, (Streets of Baltimore) the whole conversation would be less volatile. Unfortunately it’s still a news cycle and has yet to be “capitalized”. I suspect there will be hundreds of spin offs for years to come. Maybe even a reunion show where Baltimore and its “sister cities” can compare and contrast successes and failures. Sort of a “Lets create an Urban Myth” show.

Stringing that back to a few decades ago could create some real legends and lies, like the whole Native American Rubric! tAmericans have a history of selective memories that have become institutional creeds or mottos.

This brings me to my dilemma. Policing in this country is chaotic and unprofessional. Physical standards, doctrinal continuity based on rational revue, and politicization are possibly the most important macro issues. There are obviously great Police Officers out there, just like there were great soldiers in the Iraq War; that doesn’t guarantee the leaders they served under and the intent they had was honorable.

On the other hand, this whole “Black Oppression” thing ran its course years ago. It works in the news cycle and ratings game, but its based on drama more than facts. In fact; if you’re looking for statistics on race and police shooting you’re more likely to find the person who shot. Kennedy back in the “hey day” than finding accurate data on police shootings and race. Strangely enough that’s a recent reporting criteria and varies widely between agencies.

So we’ve got weather data accurately collected, collated, and reported since the mid 1800’s, but we can’t tell how many times a civilian has been shot, dead or wounded, by the folks who protect and serve us! I know it’s logged every time a police officer shoots a round, so where are those reports?

I’m not nostalgic, so these “civil rights era” retro moments don’t make me want to listen to Dylan and drag out an old pair of ” bell bottoms”! It makes me wonder how we got stuck in this media approach to community and cohesion. It reminds me that “cops and robbers” is a dangerous game and sometimes the cops can be robbers and the robbers can be dead. We’re safer policing our own in many aspects.

I’ve been in this game a few times and trust me, you want to stay far away from the dysfunction on both sides of the law enforcement game. It’s a twisted script that confounds the few intelligent folks on either side who care enough to evaluate it. The system cannot be fixed due to the political and ideological idiots who will die protecting their turf, much like the ones they incarcerate.

Law Enforcement and those that define themselves as black culture are married for survival, and there ain’t a juicier story in a community than a dysfunctional marriage where folks keep their business in the street. The problem is it masks the real problem; poverty and policing, regardless of race is a real issue and is responsible for more shootings within all races; and let’s not forget the shootings or brutality that don’t result in a death.

Politicization and training are the more likely culprit for all unjustified shootings. Militarization of police forces occurs in low socio economic areas as a “Show of Force” by political figures compensating for some perceived lack of toughness. Guns don’t make cops or robbers tough. Training on how to engage another man face to face and physically restrain him if he’s a threat is tough. Any idiot on either side can pull a trigger!!!

One more point. I ain’t scared away by folks on either side pulling the old “the streets are dangerous card”! Take a look at deaths by occupation and you’ll find cops and robbers as one of the safer occupations. If your scared, change professions, don’t dramatize your situation for personal gain, another approach cops and those that identify themselves as black culture share as they compete for attention. Reminds me of little kids running around a playground trying to keep a ballon afloat.

I have empathy for the “cop on the beat”, the one that actually gets out of his car. I’ve been a soldier and understand how common sense can be squashed by leaders without a clue that wear shiny decorations. Hopefully we’ll listen to him or her one day and tell the idiots to sit down and shut up.

I have empathy for the family of folks whose loved ones were injured or killed as a result of contact with law enforcement. No one should lose their live in the process of protecting and serving. However, gotta man up if you’re skirting the cop and robber game, it ain’t no joke when the bullets start flying.

This latest episode in the cops vs black male drama ain’t the last episode. The bureaucracy of law enforcement ain’t ready to give up their toys and tactics that easy. It is evident very time another incident happens and we see the same idiots have done the same thing.

The folks identifying theirselves as black culture ain’t ready to give up their toys and tactics, it’s a tradition going way back. And those black culture bureaucrats who get their “creds” by affiliating with the oppressed ain’t no different than the bureaucrats in law enforcement. Their both protecting their turf. Even the old “civil rights era” dinosaurs try to get some skin on their old bones with every incident. So in the end the end everyone with a brain sees the “players” are still getting played!

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Get Your Freedom On!!!

“Color inside the lines!” Our first real experience with conformity. We claim to live in the “Land of the Free”, how true is that? Do we consciously understand how conformed our day is? Does it take a conformed commitment to have a freedom that exists as an ideal, but not a reality.

As I look around I see a society of folks that are wrapped pretty tight, to the point if you were to drive outside a line on the highway you’d be hearing a lot of angry horns blaring!

I thought today that maybe there is this “Jedi Warrior” prodigy out there somewhere who shows up in Pre-School and colors the outside of his worksheet beautifully leaving the figure to stand there stark and white.
Then the teachers would all nod to each other and the child would be whisked off to a secret location where we could preserve his creativity as an example of the ideal of freedom.

We do many things during our day where we sub consciously conform; many of these things we do seem necessary for safety and order, but what is the latent effect on our psychology ?

Say for instance you take your children to school everyday. You start by adhering to a wake up call followed by a proper clothes selection. Then you drive in lines with interruption of lights and signs you’re conditioned to follow. You sub consciously “stay between the lines” without even acknowledging that you’re doing it. If you decide to stop and pick up breakfast you get in line again and play your part.

I’m not saying this is bad, it’s necessary for safety on the road and order within the fast food joint. Although, the reality is you just sub consciously spent the first two hours of your day conforming to norms and prompts you don’t even acknowledge anymore.

It doesn’t seem to take a conformed commitment to maintain this “Freedom” we espouse, cause the condition are set. It would take a commitment to shake off all these conditioned responses. We do have the freedom to not conform, but the consequences of poverty or loss of freedom, ( incarceration) keep us in line.

At the end of the day when you count your blessings, take a few minutes to evaluate how much time you spent within the confines of lines, or adhering to a meal schedule. (Why do you need lunch, if your not hungry ?)Look at your clothes and wonder what it means that you feel comfortable psychologically in something that is physically constricting. How free is your day?

Ultimately we have the freedom to chose to “live between the lines” or “outside the box, that’s the “Freedom” we share as Americans. On the other side of that thought we find that we choose these blurred lines in order to maintain the attachments we’ve made and not Stir the “melting pot”.

So; at least now I can start chipping away everyday the moments I’m forced to be in the box. Trying to attain my balance is like walking a tight rope and the abyss is a pointless patriotic proposal. My advice to the little “Jedi Warriors” out there is to unravel this dilemma and enjoy the moments “outside the lines”, then smile and go get your freedom on!!!!