The Power Dynamics of Police Abuse and Intimidation

I want you to know my name before I’m killed by police…

God willing, I won’t be.

Like Dr. King, I’d love to live a long life. Longevity does indeed have its place.

But like Dr. King, I follow Jesus…

And Jesus was killed by the police…

My wife doesn’t like me talking like this. She doesnt want me risking my life & denying our children their father.

I wanna be there for them too…

Just set course for the Promised Land & go…

And I was on my way to heaven. But then I stop and turn around for my people.

Cause in this war against evil, I could never leave you

#BannerVision

And as much as I wanna sound altruistic, the reality is that even if I wanted to leave you I couldn’t.

I might think I can…

But reality tends to remind me. Reality reminds us all…

And in reality, it was just a normal afternoon. I was taking a free day…

I had just come back from the batting cages. As I was driving down Vineland Rd in Orlando, I pulled up to a light. There was no one in the lane in front of me…

Three cars were stopped in the lane to my right. The second was a police SUV.

I instantly felt uneasy…

Police don’t like when Black people drive by…

Police don’t like when Black people drive by…

Especially Black men under 60…

I know…

Many of you (non-Blacks) are like, “how does he know police don’t like Black men? If you aren’t doing anything wrong, why are you worried? That’s a racially divisive thing to say. He’s always talking race…”

You don’t need to keep reading…

You won’t believe a word of my experience anyway, because the experience of Black people is invalid to you…unless it conforms to your worldview.

Anyway…

I instantly knew there was potential for a problem.

As a Black man you begin to take note of things…

How the officer starts looking at you or your car and starts typing on his computer…

Fishing…

Trying to see what they can find…

Then you know: they will follow you…hoping to keep you in their sights long enough to either find something in the system or catch you slipping.

So you know…don’t go over the speed limit. Make sure you use your signals, with ample time before turning or switching lanes.

I cruised down Vineland at 42 mph. The speed limit was 45…

I put on my turning signal two full car lengths ahead of the car I was switching lanes in front of. Then didn’t switch until I had two more car lengths of space…

I put on my turning signal again, about a tenth of a mile before I turned onto Conroy…

Then another signal in like fashion as I turned into the shopping center, where the Jiffy Lube was located.

The officer followed me all the way…even into the Jiffy Lube shopping center.

As I pulled behind the Jiffy Lube to get in line for my oil change, the officer continued on…

He turned back out of the shopping center and continued on his way…

But they’ll say it ain’t about race…

And it really isn’t…

But why do the police follow me?

I wasn’t speeding…

I wasn’t driving erratic…

My tags weren’t expired…

My tint is well within the legal limit…

It really isn’t about race. Although it is…

It’s about police intimidation…making us fear them even when we’re law abiding citizens. It’s about making America White great again. But more than that…

It’s really about power

And it’s about the need to change our powerlessness as Black people.

You see: ain’t to many of us have power…

You know…the power to call the Police Chief, the Sheriff, the Mayor…as friends or acquaintances and get results.

The police are willing to take the chance that you are just the average Negro…

They’re less inclined to take that risk with White folk. White power has afforded Whites with the privilege of the system assuming that “they are somebody.”

Meanwhile, the system assumes that you and I ain’t shit…

And yes, the power construct in America is a race based one. But make no mistake…

The issue is power.

When we understand that…

When we agree with that we also understand and agree that White folks ain’t gon never give us a share in power that would compel the system to protect and serve all of our people.

All we can do is hope that our proximity to whiteness will afford us to access White power for ourselves…

But what if we turned over the tables of the money changes and upset the status quo?

What if we changed the power dynamic?

What if we amassed a power that was independent of White power?

I know some don’t think that’s possible. And that’s ok…

As we make our way to the Promised Land, we’ll stop & turn around for our people…

But for those who can imagine a completely new dynamic…

For those who can envision…want to envision a radically transformed relationship for our people in America and across the world…

I wanna share a story

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *