Thursday, December 4, 2014

To the Guy Who Told Us to Get a F***ing Job and a Life

To the man who told us to “get a fucking job and a life”,

I apologize that our protest of the lack of indictment of Darren Wilson, and recognition of other young men who were unarmed and died at the hands of police, delayed your drive by 4 ½ minutes. We delayed you, I know. If you were too busy yelling at us to read our signs, we were marching in protest of the lack of indictment of Darren Wilson in the killing of Michael Brown, and also the common practise of being unfairly treated by the police, and the desire to have a healthy relationship with the people who are supposed to protect us instead of being assumed a suspect before a crime happened. Our signs were a little bit less verbose, so perhaps you couldn’t comprehend.

Though I am always open to good life tips, I already have a job and a life, as do most of the people in that intersection. They were teachers, lawyers, military veterans, members of law enforcement, students, etc. I personally am an electrical engineer. I got (moderately) good grades in school. I was accepted to the three schools to which I applied, but I could only go to the one that would a offer me a full academic scholarship, as I was so poor, I was homeless. Still, I got that degree, I got a good job, and I can safely say I have a good life.  If you have any other suggestions, though, I’m open to them.

Perhaps you think that public protest is a pointless effort. Did you think that of the numerous Tea Party protests since 2009? There were so many, I cannot keep count of them. Maybe you were insulted by our signs that said “Black Lives Matter” and “We Want Justice”. Those are MUCH more offensive than “Obama Is a Nazi” and “Put the White Back in the White House”. Unfortunately for you and your lost 4 ½ minutes, Both types of protests are protected under the First Amendment of the Constitution. That is why we were free to protest, and you are free to tell us to “get a fucking job and a life.”

Perhaps you can point out that just because someone is stopped, it is not always because of race, because your hippie uncle Ted gets stopped all the time. Maybe I actually DO fit a description of someone. The difference between your uncle Ted and me is that when Ted shaves off his dreadlocks and just wears a regular pair of jeans and a hooded sweater, he won’t fit anyone’s description. I, on the other hand, will still have a zero-state of suspect. I know this, because I once wore a hoodie on a cold day, and I was suspect. I once wore a suit, and I was suspect. I once was asked where I got my smartphone. Has your uncle Ted had to carry around the receipts of his electronics and clothes, just in case he was questioned about the ownership of it? I once wore peacoat, and I was slammed to the wall and my book bag was emptied. You know what they found? Books. The horror. Ted has the benefit of just being a guy in a shirt and jeans after he shaves. I look more suspect of [INSERT CONTRIVED VIOLATION HERE].

Perhaps you’d like to tell us that maybe I should stop bringing up race, because that makes me a racist and that  Darren Wilson was “just doing his job”. I wonder, Do you call a gynecologist a sexist when he/she brings up women’s health? Is a homicide detective a murderer because he/she keeps talking about homicide? Perhaps Darren Wilson was “just doing his job”. It is true, police work is difficult. The police that I know will attest to that. Maybe killing Michael Brown was the only option, unlike the time police snuck up on a belligerent white man holding a loaded weapon and subdued him without firing a shot, or the time a white man ignited a smoke bomb in order to coax police to a scene and then shot at them with an illegal firearm. He’s in jail for aggravated assault. I suppose if Michael Brown had shot at Wilson instead of just stolen cigars, he’d be alive...Actually, probably not, Since John Crawford was just carrying a BB gun that he was likely going to buy and was killed without warning. If only he’d had a real gun. And been white. See, maybe in these cases, they were “just doing their job”, but it seems the methods of doing those jobs vary with hue. So I’m not bringing up race all the time. The justice system is.

Perhaps you’d like to tell us that we’re hypocrites, because there is much more black-on-black crime than white on black. You’re so right about that. You know what else of which there is an overwhelming amount? White-on-white crime. The rates of black-on-black and white-on-white crime are nearly identical. So once you get on white-on-white you can talk. Or we can just call all of it what it is: “crime”.

Perhaps you can tell me how this cannot be racially motivated, because, dammit, we have a black President! This is a post-racial society! Electing one black dude to the highest political office does not resolve 500 years of an ingrained institution any more than putting a bandage on a cut makes the cut immediately go away. Progress was made, yes. It has been 149 years since physical slavery was abolished and 149 years since black people were upgraded from being 60% to 100% human. It has been 50 years since institutionalized segregation was abolished. That is not much time. Women have been subjugated for 6,000 years, and one amendment in 1920 didn’t resolve all their issues. Hell, the Catholic Church didn’t admit they were wrong about Copernicus until 350 AFTER his death. Thinking one act or two will resolve the underlying problem is foolish. That is like a crappy boyfriend who thinks a dozen roses will make up for years of forgetting his girlfriend’s birthday over and over. It’s one act that highlights many others.

Anyway, I do apologize for holding you up for 4 ½ minutes to honour a teenager who lay for 4 ½ hours dead in the summer sun, due to an altercation that is so blurred in contradictory accounts and rumours that we will never know the truth. Nothing is good about this case. A teenager is dead. An officer now has no job. There is no respite for either family. But don’t worry. Since Eric Garner’s case will not see indictment, a case where a camera WAS in hand and everything was placed online, I’ll see you again this Sunday.

You know what? I take it back. I’m not sorry. you can wait 4 ½ minute a lost life.


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