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Once the remaining anti-miscegenation laws were repealed in 1967, interracial marriages increased steadily, if not slowly; from 2% of married couples in 1970 to 7% in 2005 and 8.4% in 2010.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 – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Othellopainting.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Othellopainting.jpg
Interracial marriage and same-sex unions facts from Wikipedia.