Every now again I get serious about something…..
I have had several conversations about race and bad police recently in the wake of the shooting of Michael Brown and the subsequent protests in Ferguson. I have friends of every race and it is interesting to hear everyone’s take on police and race. Look I’m not a negative Nancy by any means but I do understand that not only does racism exist but so does bad police. (<—- I got that from The Wire) and a lot of the times they come wrapped up in the same package.
I had a conversation with a white friend who said that racism isn’t as bad as everyone says it is and that sometimes poor treatment isn’t about race. MMkay that is a good notion but that is in his experience as a white person in America. I have been discriminated against for many different reasons in my lifetime and I don’t attribute every instance to race. But I do know that when I go to a corporate meeting that is company wide and I’m the ONLY black person in an upper Management position and the only other black person there was a temp there is a problem. I’m not talking about a small family owned company either. I’m talking about a company of 500 or more employees. As someone who works in Human Resources I have no idea how they got away with it. I was treated differently from the moment my coworkers found out I was black. (Apparently they couldn’t tell by my voice or Gov’ment name) Suddenly, I went from the Golden child (pun intended) to the Problem Child. My reports had to not only be on time (and perfect) but they had to be early or they were considered late. I had to bring in more business than anyone else (which I did) and there was always a problem with my bonuses. Come evaluation time I received mediocre scores (so that I didn’t get raises) with no explanation for the low scores while coworkers got high scores. The same coworkers who had breakdowns because they couldn’t finish their work load. Guess who had to take up their slack? Yours truly. I work for myself so when my contract was over at this company, I politely declined. I know what you’re thinking….maybe I had a bad attitude. Maybe it was me. But you see if that were true then this company would have just chunked me the deuce and hired someone else. But my clients only wanted to work with me so the company begged me to come back even if it were on a temporary basis. They even threw more money at me. No Thanks.
That is just one instance of racism in the workplace. I have had many and I know that others have had their own experiences. When it comes to bad police……I just shake my head. I know a couple of people in the law enforcement game and I talked to them about this problem and they just say my view is skewed. I will admit that it probably is. But I do know this, in my lifetime I have not had more than one or two positive experiences with the police but I have had countless negative experiences. I’m not claiming all of them were race related either. I am claiming it was bad police.
Here’s what I mean….
One time my house got broken into. Now I live in a relatively safe neighborhood with a good mix of races. I only say that because when I told this story before I was asked do I live in a “black neighborhood” like that makes a difference. Anyhoo, my house got broken into. I think it was the kid from next door. They stole my big TV but left all the other TV’s, computer, jewelry, laptops, and even money. They stole two xboxes, games and gaming accessories and totally ransacked the upstairs. It looked like a tornado swept through there. I called the police. I took the time to call the correct non-emergency line but the lady on the phone was rude as fuck telling me I didn’t get robbed but my home was burglarized because I wasn’t home when the theft occurred. I wanted slap that bitch through the phone. Then the cop didn’t come for over two hours and when he got there he could care less. He didn’t do anything. He didn’t even want to view the damage. Nothing. He handed me a slip of paper and said the detectives would contact me soon. He didn’t dust for fingerprints or take pictures. NOTHING. He just came to my house and looked annoyed for doing his job then left. The detectives never came or called by the way. Even though the cop was white and I was black I think that was bad police and not racist.
I was driving in my mom’s old ass 91 Plymouth van. I was wearing a baseball cap backwards. I was black. I saw the cop pass me and turn around and roll up all on my ass behind me. I was stopped at a red light. I pull off when the light turned green. I make it across the street and he flashes his lights. He walks up on the side of me and looks in the window. The look on his face was priceless. He was shocked to see long hair and a girl face. He didn’t even try to hide the shock. He fumbled over his words as he asked me if I knew why he pulled me over. I said no. He said I was doing 60 in a 35. I looked at him like come on DUDE! He even didn’t believe what he was saying. I looked around at that old ass van I was driving and gave him my legendary side eye. My van could not go 0 to 60 in 60 seconds let alone 10. He let me off and told me to slow down. All that dude saw was a black man in a van and was ready to do an illegal search.
It was my birthday weekend. All I wanted to do was enjoy a scary movie marathon with my Hubbs. We get dressed and head off to the movies. We get in line at the outside box office and my Hubbs pays for the tickets but I have to go the restroom. I dash inside and tell the ticket taker that my Hubbs is right behind me with the tickets and I have to use the ladies room. She points out where they are and let’s me in. I see the police officer smiling at me, I smile back. I go to the restroom. When I come out my Hubbs is waiting on me. We go into the theater. The cop follows us. Then yells at us to stop. He then proceeds to calls us trouble making young people. Um….what. I guess I did look young in my short shorts and Ugg boots but that was my 29th Birthday. My husband asked him what the problem was and that just set off the cop worse. I try and diffuse the situation because the cop is calling us thieves and making a scene, saying he saw me go to the restroom. I was like yeah. It’s not illegal to the restroom. I show him my ticket and my husband shows his. I think its over but he continues to yell and scream, pointing in our faces. My husband has had it at this point and goes to Customer Service to complain to the manager. The cop was behind us the whole way threatening us. Then we wait for the manger but the cop heads him off and goes to talk to him first. I was having none of it and pulled the manager to the side . The guy starts to talk to my husband and while he’s doing that a female officer comes up and watches the whole thing. This guy is losing his shit at this point. I ask for his badge number and he pulls a Homer Simpson.
When the manager starts to side with (or at least hear) my husbands complaint the cop reappears like magic. He popped the snap on his holster and puts his hand on the butt of his gun as if he’s gonna pull it. My husband didn’t see this because his BACK was turned but I freaked out. I jumped in back of my husband and yelled at the cop. “So you’re going to shoot my husband for NOT being a thief?!” I couldn’t believe what was happening. The female officer and manager took the guy away and we got a refund. We tried to call the police on the cop but no one came. The Internal Affairs lady told me I couldn’t file a report until Monday. The cop and witnesses would have been long gone by then. The movie theater corporate office said they suspended the police officer and then sent us a book of free tickets. Here’s the saddest part of all…..the cop was black.
Racist & Bad Police
I’m eight months pregnant with a young child in the car when it breaks down on 59 at Kirby. If you have been to Houston you know that is a hella busy freeway. I was able to pull over to the left side and turn on my flashers. I tried to call my Hubbs and call for help but I couldn’t get a hold to anyone. I see a police car coming and I honk but he keeps going. I see him get off on the next exit. So I wait. And wait…..And wait. It was hot as hell so I get out and sit my small child on the hood of the car and stand in front. Forty five minutes went by since I last saw the police car and no one has stopped to help us when I see the same cop car pass me. (I could clearly see the driver) He gets off on the same exit. So I think he’s going to stop this time. Nope. He makes a third pass. HE MAKES EYES CONTACT with me but keeps going and gets off on the same exit. I’m like F*ck it then. By this time I had been waiting an hour and my ankles were starting to swell. I decide to make a break for it. My cell phone is dead and I can’t call anyone. I gather up my small child and my pregnant ass and cross a major freeway….in heels. I make it and as I’m walking down the exit ramp I hear. Whoop Whoop.
The cop….the same damn cop, pulls me over. Guess what this fool told me…. “You know that it is illegal to walk on the freeway?” I know it was my pregnancy hormones but I told that police officer off. I asked him would he leave his pregnant wife or sister stranded on the side of a freeway? I made him admit he saw me and let him know exactly how many times he passed me and that he only pulled me over because I was doing something illegal? I shamed him badly. He let me use his cell phone and waited until the the wrecker came. While waiting for the wrecker he told me he had every right to give me a ticket for walking on the freeway and that I endangered my life and my child’s life. I asked him does his badge and car still say protect and serve or does it say wait for a stranded pregnant lady to walk across the freeway so he can give her a ticket.
We can do better all the way around. Racism does exist. Bad Police do exist. People do get shot going home at night and boys do get killed unarmed with their hands up. And pregnant ladies do get left on the side of the road.
I’m just gonna leave that there…..
I love me some Louis C.K.