Urban haps of a grrrl on a mission to be a better writer, a new music master-blaster and a wonderfully brilliant razor-packing, MAC LipGlass wearing feminista...

Friday, April 25, 2008

Shock & Awe

Even though I had just showered and it was cool outside, I sat in front of my television feeling the sweaty moistness move from the palms of my hands to the pits under my arms. It was 9AM. Where was the verdict? They said they would announce the verdict at 9AM! Now I knew in my heart of hearts that these cops were wrong. No return fire. No probable cause. 50 bullets? One dead man? You can’t even reason that away or find an excuse good enough. Or so I thought. I’m sure Michael Oliver, Gescard Isnora and Marc Cooper thought so too and that is why they never took the stand. But I also know this is America. This is the country that when a Black man runs for President they say he is successful because he is Black. And that he is lucky to be Black. And this is a country that sent the owners of Studio 54 (where everyone including the Feds knew the snow was deep) to jail for a year for tax evasion, but sentences a Black man to jail for 3 years for the same crime. And I know this is New York City where a Black man gets shots to death for taking his keys out to open his front door or in this case has a bachelor party at a strip joint with his boys only to face a hail of gunfire killing him before he can even make it to the altar later that same day. Some luck. So I wasn’t expecting the judge to throw the book at these cops, but I did expect some sort of discipline. Some measure of intolerance to be voiced. But there was none and yes, I was surprised. Momentarily shocked. NYPD shows their as$ once again and yet we are reminded that their dirty, smelly blue behinds are still above the law and they matter more than any other booty that walks these streets. Was it just me or were you suprised too? Here are some comments about the verdict from today's NY Times readers:
The real question is why so many detectives were deployed from other precincts to go undercover in pursuit of perpetrators of victimless crimes. No good can come when armed officers are instructed to consume alcohol and pretend to be interested in the services of prostitutes. It is so problematic–as was demonstrated in this tragedy–that the practice should be forbidden.

— Posted by Rey Olsen

Well, I guess it's a good thing that the detectives are thanking God for getting a pass in the fatal shooting of unarmed black man in the hours before his wedding. But I have a feeling that higherups in the NYPD and higher courts will temper one judge's notion of mercy with justice.

— Posted by hedda

I am pretty pro-police, but I really was unsure as to how I wanted this trial to go. While I truly believe that the police did not intend to kill an unarmed man, I am not 100% sure that they should have been totally exonerated all all charged. But, again, I don’t want to see them lose their jobs/pensions/freedom. Lastly, why do people still listen to Al Sharpton. He never apologized for the Tawana Brawley mess, as I recall.

— Posted by MetMom

I'm a black professional man. This verdict is another step back for the black man in America. America is in trouble and look around and see what’s happening. Not just in NY but all over. Gay rights, Animal right, Women rights... but no rights for the man. Wake up and look around you.

— Posted by Robert

These reckless cowards never took the stand and were acquitted. they never had to defend their actions. they didn't take a blood alcohol test. they didn't even give a statement until days after the killing. so we’ll never know about the "inconsistencies" of their stories.

— Posted by freedome

The truth is the car was not a deadly machine, but the guys were just trying to escape a rain of bullets. It's easy to identify that the police acted wrong. All these is language confussion, drawing lines in whats criminal and whats wrong. Even if you like/support cops, it will be fair for them to go to jail. That will be justice. The rest is…call it what u want.

— Posted by chuto

To all of you who didn't understand why Reverend Whyte said "God Damn America!" Well, this is one reason why he said that... OK?

— Posted by Carlton

The timing for Colson Whitehead's editorial in yesterday's NY Times could not have been better timed. The piece is called Visible Man (an obvious reference to Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man). So apropos. It seems that the racism that once obliterated us to the margins of society through back doors and to back seats has now profiled us to the bull’s-eye center point of ready, aim fire. Black men are both target and tagline.

He opens:
Before the primary in Pennsylvania this week, Bill Clinton was doing magic tricks — now you see the race card, now you don’t. Geraldine Ferraro and Bob Johnson, the founder of Black Entertainment Television, have been complaining that Barack Obama is leading in the Democratic presidential campaign only because of his skin color. Multimillionaire TV pundits are lecturing “the common man” on how outraged they should be about Mr. Obama's elitism.
Colson's got a great since of humor as the piece throughout drips with the wryness and wit he's known to accentuate throughout his books. Lines like this had me hollering... on the inside of course:
Guns? I wish I had a gun! Ever run out of truffle oil before a dinner party and have to go to Whole Foods on a weekend? It’ll make you want to spread a little buckshot around, that’s for sure.
For all this jibber-jabber about how I don’t understand a working man’s problems, you should take a look at my medical chart. I have carpal tunnel, tennis elbow, miner’s lung, scapegoat rash and vintner’s dropsy, and just last week I burned my thumb making horseshoes. The funny thing is, I didn’t want to be a blacksmith. But I heard they had an opening and I couldn’t help myself.
He ends though as he began-- right back to the ironic political point at hand, which at the end really isn't that funny:
It makes the head spin, this talk of who’s elitist and who’s not. I’m confused, myself. For years, they said you can’t have this because you’re black, and then when you get something the same people say you got that only because you’re black. I mean, here I am, The Guy Who Got Where He Is Only Because He’s Black, and yet the higher up you go in an organization, the less you see of me.

It’s as if Someone Out to Prevent Me From Getting What I Worked For is preventing me from getting what I worked for. If only there were something — a lapel pin or other sartorial accessory — that would reassure people that I can do the job.

Some people say Barack Obama and I get everything handed to us on a silver platter. But we don’t let it bother us. We’re taking those silver platters and making them our canoes.

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