Be Water, People

The Moor and his tragic beloved.  Othello and Desdemona from William Shakespeare's, Othello.

The Moor and his tragic beloved. Othello and Desdemona from William Shakespeare’s, Othello.

I guess I’m what they would’ve called back then, “free-willed”; the same as some other unfortunate souls.  Had I been born two centuries ago, I’d probably have had all my skin whipped off of me, been hobbled, that sort of thing.  Every chance that I got, I’d be trying to bust off of the plantation.

I guess it’s for that reason that I get so angry when I read about African-American interactions with the police.  I find myself ticked off because in more cases than I feel cool about, I’m falling on the side of law enforcement and that just vexes all hell out of me.

In the case of Danielle Watts, detained by police along with her husband for alleged prostitution, I can’t help it; I’m on the cop’s side in this one.  As much trouble as blacks in LA have had with their police department in years past, and with what reforms that the department and civic leaders have worked together to enact, I’m not inclined to waste good outrage on her not being able to bang her husband on a street corner in broad daylight, real or simulated.

And when you consider that an anonymous call came in from a concerned citizen, I’m thinking, publicity stunt; no more, no less.

She paints it as something racial, in that police don’t respect her and her husband’s union.  She’s doing so in an attempt to resurrect the feelings from years past when inter-racial unions were frowned upon and many times ended with the lynching of the pair seeking such a marriage.  Again, we don’t need help in remembering such things and we have our own timelier issues to settle.

Once the remaining anti-miscegenation laws were repealed in 1967, interracial marriages increased steadily, if not slowly; from 2% of married couples in 1970 to 7% in 2005 and 8.4% in 2010.  That year, 17.1% of African-Americans married inter-racially.

And we’re also working out our own era’s issues with gay marriage and other LGBT considerations.  To the point though, when it comes to same-sex unions, 9.8% 0f same-sex marriages are interracial and same-sex couples are 2.5 times more likely to be in an interracial union than their heterosexual counterparts.

And with circumstances being what there are racially, in Ferguson and across the country, every African-American in America should be handling himself or herself with the utmost of self-control and deference; dare I say it, keeping their eyes on the prize of the bigger picture.  Besides which, I didn’t hear any bigoted indignation from the police in the running tape.  Maybe there’s more; I don’t know but I didn’t hear anything from what I’ve heard so far.

So here we go; another black person is legally stopped by the police and they refuse to cooperate.  Maybe I should stop here because obviously, some of us are laboring under a misconception.  See, when a cop stops you and asks you a question, it behooves you to cooperate and answer him, especially if you’ve done nothing wrong.  Why?  Because you want him to leave your ass alone, that’s why.  That way he can get on with finding the true perp out there.

Sure, it’s your right to not answer a question but why wouldn’t you want to cooperate?  Why would you want to stir the pot?  Isn’t it better to be a collaborator with law enforcement or are we on some sort of civil disobedience kick that no one told me about?

I have to think that we’re better than this.  We really need to stop hauling this chip around on our shoulders.  Individually, it gets us nothing other than a billy club upside our heads and collectively, it paints us all with the same stupidly, uncooperative and idiotic brush that the ill-advised so-and-so who refused, allowed him or herself to be painted with.  When we ultimately have to confront law enforcement for being wrong, we want to, no need to, do so from a position of authority.  And we can only do that when we’ve behaved in the proper manner.

And I haven’t even begun to talk about the way a lady-a black woman or any lady for that matter- should be acting in public.  Don’t get me started; that’s a whole other piece of work.  Maybe I’m old-fashioned but I’m just saying…

“Othello painting”- Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons –

Interracial marriage and same-sex unions facts from Wikipedia. 


Filed under Life and Society, Love and Sex, Opinion

4 responses to “Be Water, People

  1. I have a similar problem with the behaviour of “white” people in Zimbabwe. When they break the law, I feel they are “letting the side down…” or when ONE of them makes a racist comment I get really annoyed, cos I know they are playing straight into the hands of the government (who are the biggest racists..) providing ammunition for the government to paint us all with the same brush. Its always a problem for a minority…

    • ben

      It’s something like what my dad used to tell me, how your name was your bond. You ever heard that saying, phrase? it says how what you do precedes you and it’s how peeps judge you. And you’re right, powers that be will let the judgement fall wherever it may, right or wrong. That’s why i always preach self-control and not doing anything hasty. Don’t give them any fuel, you know. That you have those same experiences only shows just how much the family of man is shrinking and we’re all becoming homogeneous, especially how government looks at us. Always a pleasure, Frankie.

  2. …and for a mila sec I thought I was the only one who felt vexed for falling – just couldn’t put it into justifiable words which led me to decide to take such stuff with a grain of salt. so glad you put it so simple and clear. thank you for this post. I must travel so far to address this stuff, that I prefer not to give away the energy. Yet your writing compelled me to, for once, release. Talking is sometimes useless so I just share a resource ( ) and keep it moving. Pardon my forwardness to share a non-spam link that, in my opinion, is worthwhile. I understand if you decide to delete – it is your will. Again, thank you as I enjoy your posts. – vickisunmusic

    • ben

      Thanks again for the reply, vsm. Me, i prefer to stand on he side of non-aggression; there’s always time to put on a gorilla suit and a bit of heavy pen and paper never hurt anyone and is easy to get moving. In other words, do nothing from a point of anger. Retake your calm and then act on a perceived wrong. I know a lot of young peeps don’t want to hear it but i truly think they’d do a lot better with the police if they did. I can say it’s helped me over the years. Again, thanks for writing and holler back.

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