Tag Archives: Socio economic status

Birds of a feather

I wonder if the parrot, so high browed and elite, understands what the finch sees from lower heights. The larger effort required to build small nests hidden from an abundance of predatory natures largely goes unnoticed by their illustrious sounding brethren who sit high atop the canopy looking down, but seeing nothing.

With a splash of color they take to the wind with the sound of music and grace to show the beauty of nature while the dull gray existence of the finch continues his labors with flittering glances. Nervous, but industrious, and annoyed at the attention those colors bring to their station.

It’s meticulous and time consuming building these temporary futures. Year after year picking up the remnants of generations gone by and weaving those memories into this years hopes while the privileged beauty of nature sits high above the canopy unaware of the dangers the common bird flees, but oh one day!

Trees fall, as do characters. Chaos ensues and soon the beauty is a liability when the forest is bare, no heights to travel and the nets have no conscious. Soon fates tangle and colorful wings intertwined with perfectly formed squares hold time still and the tree tops are memories that break the spirit or forge the will.

In the market the finch flitters in its cage looking for a way out while the parrot sits still mocking “Hello’s” for a laugh and a meal. Not content, but accepted of his new position. Not quite a pet, but not a prisoner, willing to eat from the hand of his captor for his meager existence in his lower stature.

Oh, but the finch scoffs at such weakness and flits and screeches till it’s wings molt and his captor is tired of cleaning cages and noisy occupants. Evicted, he happily flits and flies through alleys and streets high above the caged beauty of his domesticated brother. One last glance and their eyes meet, sympathy meets jealousy, and off they go, one to glory and the other a prisoner of his own stature.

Eternally he sits atop a wooden perch inside tightly knit metal squares wondering of the beauty of freedom. While the brethren returns to the brush to start anew the time tested heritage of hard work and subtle songs as background noise to those that unknowingly sacrifice theirselves through vain efforts and gaudy displays of character.

Time does tell lies and truths, and space gives a false sense of security, but thought gives will wings.


War on Us

I hear all this chatter about race and police going on over these shootings around the country. The half truths and lies are astounding, but “par for the course” in a country where we’ve perfected the “wink and the nod”!

First off; the problem isn’t Black or African American boys being shot by white cops. Although I have to give my “Brothers of another color” props for standing up for their children and not taking the wink with a nod. We hear about the Black kids who got killed, but there are White and Hispanic kids killed by police also. And before you “blow me off” thinking I’m another “White guy” making excuses for cops, you got me all @&$%#* up! And we ain’t even begun to talk about the kids who got shot by cops and didn’t die.

Ever look through Soldier of Fortune magazine or any other publication of this genre. Well if you did you would find a striking resemblance between say, a West Bank military unit patrolling and a “police unit” in the United States. Look at the weapons, tactics, and uniforms of military and para-military units in say, Israel, Serbia, or Iraq and compare them to the uniforms, tactics, and weapons of a sheriff or police unit on the streets in your neighborhood. You ain’t gonna see Andy Griffin jawing with the folks anymore if you’re ” in the hood” or the “trailer park”.

Around the time Reagan and that famous New York Mayor declared war on drugs, corruption, and any other categorical vice they abhorred, policing in America changed. Then 9/11 happened and these idiots suddenly came down on American citizens like Israeli soldiers in a Palestinian neighborhood. I think they forgot it was a foreign threat that caused that tragedy; or maybe it was a good opportunity to expand the “military industrial complex” into the American policing industry that was awestruck by the dollars being thrown around like confetti at a political convention.

So now we’re back to the “Boys in the Hood”. It’s every parents job to talk to their kids about “Bullying”. However; if you’re a parent in a lower socio economic neighborhood we have to add the police to the conversation when we talk to our young folks. This is the one situation where we have to tell them Bullying ain’t right, but… No one seems to “bat an eye” to the fact that there is probably something wrong if we feel the need to caution our young folks about being around cops and “the bad kids” all in the same context.

Now I’ve had my share of problems, but I got educated along the way. I experienced a little time with the “Poseur Nation”, black, white, Hispanic and everyone else you want to include. You will get a different cop in your upscale bungalow than you will “in the hood” or “trailer park” for us “white folks”. Ain’t nobody gonna tell me different, I lived and live it.

Look at the opposing cliches. One cop is serving in the hood and that makes him as tough as the kids he chases around everyday. The other is serving his time to make a name for himself to “move up”. You hear statements like, I policed “them” for three years. Or maybe, “Yeah, I police “them” cause “they” trust me, etc…

Well “we” tolerate you driving by staring at us or stopping us cause you think you know something about which you only know half of. “We” ain’t talking to “you” cause we can’t trust you due to the “dirty” things we seen go on between the cops and the robbers.

So “we’re better off sticking to our own and letting you pull your shift in that car where you obviously feel safer. You won’t see this behavior in the upscale neighborhoods.

I’m my mind, and the folks in my circle, ya’ll are out to get us. You got to keep jailers, probation folks, and police in business. If you don’t lock gs up there ain’t no need for you to be around. You thought a show of force would solve crime. You thought bigger guns, black Dodge Chargers, and protective vests would scare the crooks into hiding. Jokes on you! You became soldiers and we became the enemy. You ain’t got nothing to shoot at with those big guns except kids out committing petty crimes cause the real enemy always stays ahead of you, or right next door, while you’re out there “playing” cops and robbers with kids.

Our children are in danger around police if they are perceived as a threat, not identified as a threat, but perceived. Because in the end “Officer Tough Guy’s” job is to detain persons and arrest them based on evidence. They should not concern themselves with Judging innocence or guilt, and certainly should not “Execute” a sentence.

They don’t have that authority, that’s the courts function. The Police process citizens who are suspected of committing a crime so that a court and their peers can determine their innocence or guilt.

We have many problems with our criminal justice system in America. If we start on the street and want true change we have to return to a policing strategy that is premised on protecting and serving. Sending soldiers dressed as police into neighborhoods in blacked out sports cars to drive around looking out smoked glass windshields doesn’t send a “policing” message, it’s an occupation and “we” are the enemy. Get rid of the military policing philosophy and walk down the street to shake my hand, that’s what my boys need to see.

Who I am?

We can’t define ourselves by the spaces we move around in. That makes us vulnerable to limiting ourselves as humans. We are a person before we are people, or American, or Irish, etcetera.,.

I’m tired if being something, I want to be me. Geographic boundaries shouldn’t define my character. Socio economic status doesn’t make me successful, and a career choice doesn’t limit my ability. There are even more limiting factors in society like denominations, health, politics, regions, and the list goes on so long you end up at the end of a tunnel looking at the sunlight and realizing you’re standing in the dark.
Who we are is human. These boxes we’ve been assigned to limit our ability to come together. Race is the obvious category that separates us. But there are much more powerful divisions that subtly keep us apart. I’m  sick of sacrificing my humanity for society.

The bible tells us in the book of proverbs that pride goes before the fall. The meaning of this wisdom goes straight to the heart of the problems we share as humans. As humans letting nature take its course cooperation replaces competition. Pride separates humans into people who are divided by physical and cultural characteristics. This sets the stage for the fall.

The spaces I live in are mine. No one owns my humanity but me unless I allow them. I can live in this world and not be an American, and live in America and not be Irish, or be poor and live a great life. All I have to do is focus on the folks in my circle and the relationships I have and let others focus on who they are and what they have. I’m done chasing the dreams of ancient geniuses distorted by modern separatist.