Open Letter to Mckinney Texas

Silence is Consensus:  An Open Letter to those who Stood By While Children Were Brutalized

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Dear People of McKinney Texas,

I know  many of you would balk at the accusation of being called racist, but I think you would find it difficult to advocate for yourselves considering the atrocities that took place on Saturday without a single voice stepping forward to condemn the actions of these officers or defend these children. Before the flurry of explanations are offered here’s a few that are sure to arise.

1. They didn’t belong here, they were asked to leave, they refused

That account is what should have been investigated and could have easily been resolved if they officers did their job. Those kids were in fact invited.

1 a. Whoever invited them didn’t have permission to have them there!
While an unknown, even if true, I can’t help but wonder how many guests have passed through your local community pool without permission or incidence, cousins, family, friends visiting….You would NEVER want your guests to have this be their reception at your expense.

2. They should have just listened to the officers:
This video displays how black children are treated even when listening to the officers, your officers  were not listening to them, as Officer Casebolt repeated countless times, “I don’t Care!” to every inquiry and statement the kids tried to state.

3. There was nothing we could do:

The video below of a white 10 year old child being restrained while his older brother curses out an officer and a woman passionately screams, “You cannot hit an underage child.” indicates that anyone is indeed capable of standing up for children. It only takes one. If the officers knew that their behavior would have been deemed unacceptable, they would not have approached these children with the aggression of barrel rolling into war zone.

The open acceptance of police brutality against children of color is symptomatic of wider attitudes against black people as dangerous and always guilty until proven innocent. It is preceistly those attitudes that lead police to feel it is not only okay, but necessary to use the most extreme tactics against anyone with a melanated complexion. This cop has placed his weight on the back of a crying 15 year old girl who did nothing but ask for her mother after asserting she had done nothing wrong, which the removal of the handcuffs by the other officers without further processing proves, she had done nothing wrong. If not for his fellow officers on the scene, Officer Casebolt may have discharged his weapon on unarmed children. He pulled his gun out on two young men who feared for their friend. If he had discharged it, shot one of them and claimed to be in fear of his life, how many of you would have stood up to say the two men approached in a peaceful manner as opposed to menacing.

This is the southern hospitality that has always greeted youth of color. Enough is enough, action and not apologies are all that will suffice. This officer needs to be  fired and at minimum incarcerated for child abuse. Your community needs to make amends with these now traumatized children, pay for their counseling, pay for their emotional distress from having to endure public humiliation for the crime of attending  a friend’s party in a gated white community. You all need to reexamine your motives and priorities, your assumptions that these young black thugs must have been up to something is what allowed you to idly stand by, I hope in the future you will reconsider and remember, skin should not be a used as a sentence to damnation.

It’s not that by standers don’t stand up for children, please look at the video below a 2012 incident that went viral and invoked outrage. The cop in this situation smacked a ten year old in the forehead for biting him. The video speaks for itself in regards to the moral outrage that was expressed.

A Crown

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I wear a crown, heavy upon my head,
Forged by the bones

and cooled by the blood of my tiny companions

Framed by rhodium as stubborn as the will of a child muted to silence but
Determined, strong, beautiful, resilient, reliant.

Banded by palladium, shining bright, polished yet gritty like a tiny soldier,
Given to justice, beguiling, undefied.

Gilded in thick platinum, complete in complex design, a wealth of depth and elegant detail displaying passionate emotion, a child driven by his heart, taken to occasionally fall but consistently and quickly rise.

My crown jewel, a brilliant hue of green, jaedeite,
Gleams and glitters as light dances off displaying brilliant joys, gorgeous and equally kind in distributing demonstrations of power, existing in love,
Recognized.

This crown is heavy upon my head,
I steady my neck, Strengthen my back,
Undeterred, rather encouraged by the brilliance.

I walk, sometimes hide my precious crown, protect, obsessively polish, and display my love with pride,
Strengthened by pride.

The Legacy

They make you angry

Handing you a fistful of confusion

Followed by repetitive tributes and reminders of potential,

No, greatness

Then failures.

 

They take a gentleness that you are born into far and further away,

Not so different from Burgess’s Alex are you forced to witness,

The work and suffering of Ms. Walker,

The Battle Royale,

How deep and rich a color like purple can be

When colored girls are forced to witness the Strange Fruit Hanging on Trees.

 

The reconditioning is permanent. The anger permeating generations

And they apologize, ceaselessly, often on bended knee.

I can feel,

I believe in the sincerity,

But I am certain I glimpsed a smirk in the bowed head and tearful eyes that handed me this legacy.

Boredom ….as an adult

…as an adult, you’re really not allowed to get bored. You’re supposed to be this responsible thing that your parents were and quickly move on from one task to the next task to fill the void of space and time that would allow you the luxury of proclaiming that you’re bored. See as an adult, boredom, at least for me, is the by product of those endless task becoming a well worked out routine that repeats itself EVERYDAY! From moment to moment, things get done, with little thought, or effort. Kind of like a mindless robotic drone, the task gets done, with minimal distraction, clear focus, and absolutely no interruption. And maybe that is what I am hoping for, an interruption. Maybe that’s why 24/7 news cycles, reality television and YouTube viral videos have become so integral to our lives, we need an interruption.

Well I need an interruption, so I quit my job, one routine gone and I’ve left my partner of 9 years, another routine gone – trust me there’s a lot more there, that was a necessary move. I have four children, they keep things incredibly interesting, and I’ve switched career paths from politics and writing, to science and bio-technology. A new routine is quickly replacing the old one, but, with hind sight and new found wisdom, I feel like I can craft this one more carefully and create a space for breaks in whatever routine emerges.  Bring in new people, new lovers, new friends and reach out to the old ones that have also been confined to the torturous gears of routine and boredom. Fuck a cheap thrill, I want deep existential change. I don’t want to go skinny dipping, I want to feel at peace with my nudity, I want to sit around and chat with a nude crowd. I don’t want to smoke pot, I want to feel high all the time on laughter and emotion, feel more than just a casual catch up conversation.

There’s this thing about growing up, that has taken me some time to figure out, but I’m getting there. Yes, I am bored, because I am easily bored, but I will change that. I will do those amazing things and and be that amazing person I have always tried so hard to be….starting with capoeira, I think I will enjoy wandering through 30.

Stuck on Repeat …..ENJOY!!!!!!