Protect & Serve? I Have Some Answers.

10599415_10101795369337306_5780719047339870187_nI wrote an article for the Huffington Post asking some questions about Police Brutality in this country. After looking at the events in Ferguson last night. I might have some answers to my own questions.

Are we at war? Yes we are. It is very apparent that the lives of Black people are not valued. We have become targets, actually we always were.

Although the real question is what kind of war is it? Are we talking about the war on guns? Are we talking about the war on crime? Or are we talking about the war on drugs? None of the above. We are talking about a war on Black people. A war on the oppressed. There has been a lot of rhetoric over the past year about people wanting to take back their country. There is no other way to express this and don’t think for a second that because we have a Black President that it changes the status quo in the country. The Civil Rights causes in the 1950/60s never went away.

Did we somehow get transported to District 11? Are we now giving up our youth as tribute so that the rest of the country can feel safe? I was being sarcastic when I asked this but it certainly does not seem far from the truth. I’m tired of seeing lists of all the black people that die unnecessarily in the country. I’m tired of seeing police (or people who think they are above the law) get away with atrocities. I’m tired of our people getting criminalized.

Is it normal for law enforcement in Los Angeles to beat a Black woman on the side of the road? The definition of normal is conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected. The sad thing is that none of what we are seeing is all that surprising. It is shocking but almost expected because we are used it.

Are we being dehumanized? Absolutely. It’s like an older version of cops and robbers where you don’t really care about the criminal. As long as we’re viewed as animals then we will subjected to this kind of brutal and unrelenting behavior from police officers who are heavily militarized. There is no way this happens in the streets of Apple Valley or The Hamptons. We are seen as less human which makes us easier to kill.

The motto of many police departments across the United States is “Serve and Protect” right? Who is being served and who is being protected? Someone commented on my article saying: Police are not here to protect you. There is no legal obligation for the police to protect you. Isn’t that the damn truth. I knew this already because we will never see these scenes in suburbia. A man can shoot up a theater in Colorado and be given the chance to live his life in jail where he gets three meals a day and be deemed as having mental issues. I can tell you right now, the police are not here to serve or protect us, or as another commenter would put it: Protect the 1% and their possessions and keep the 99% in line, very simple.

Mike Brown. John Crawford. Eric Garner. Marlene Pinnock. Ezell Ford. Dante Parker. Rosan Miller. Denise Stewart.

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Anger

The one emotion that has really owns me is anger. I do not want to make it seem as if I turn green when I get mad, but I know I become irrational. The good thing about it is that it never lasts for very long and it does not happen often. If it does last longer than normal, then that would only mean that whatever situation that has caused it is pretty bad. I will say that for the most part I am in a great mood all the time. My moods will change based on the people around me.

I do not consider myself a terribly sensitive person for the most part. I think that I have a world of patience. I think that, for the most part, I can control my reactions. I choose not to say certain things because I know I have the power hurt someone with my words. Of course, the more I hold it in, the more you will see it in face.

There are several things that can set me off. If you know me very well then you would know what buttons to push. When you push those buttons then my patience almost counts for nothing. I will say that people that I do not know do not have that power to anger me as much. People in general can annoy me, but it normally stops at annoyance. There are two main things that will set me off depending on who does them and what situation we are talking about: my voice being stifled and being blown off.

My voice being stifled is a big thing for me. I noticed over the years that if I cannot share my opinions or my feelings then I get very frustrated. I have no problem being called out or being told that I am wrong but, not being able to voice myself or express my opinion is a problem. This is universal for me. This will bother me in a relationship, at work, or in life in general. I have gotten into fits of rage because I keep getting cut off in a conversation. I have gotten very angry when a decision is being made without my opinion. All I need from people is to just understand what it is I am saying. That is why I love this blog so much. This is my voice.

The thing about being blown off has a lot to do with feeling unimportant. I know that I have blown people off. I tend to do it more often than I am willing to admit. This becomes an instance of who does this to me. If I hold you in high regard and you blow me off, then anger will ensue. The reason this bothers me so much as very much to do with the fact that I am always there for the people I regard as true friends, lovers, and family. While, I think that sometimes we all have a tendency to blow off those people we love, I know I give a lot of myself to people. I do not always get that in return. So the real question is, when I get blown off, who am I really mad at?

Many of my close friends have always felt that I have anger issues. Not because I get angry often, but more because I get upset at stupid shit. I have always been the type of person that hates to lose. I know I am a sore loser and I am ok with that. I always strive hard to win the battles I can. I also know that I can be a jealous person. I never noticed it as much when I was a kid or a young adult, but I can be very territorial with my friends. Not to mention that I can be jealous when it comes to women. I am not a violent person, but I know that I have been tempted a few times to take a swing at some people and that is based on disrespect.

So where is all this coming from? Why am I angry at the things I am angry about? I think it is all about my childhood and my teen years. I think there are certain situations that happen to me as an adult that bring up past aggression. Most things I can deal with. I use sarcasm and humor to deflect most things but others are not that easy.

Without going too deep with my early life I can say that there are a few things that stick out. I was picked on as a kid. So, I have felt very helpless when I was younger. My brother is 7 years older than me so growing up was hard because he was always too old to want to be with this younger brother. Most times he was with girls who he seems to like more than me and of course this bothered me. I will not forger to mention that he was a natural athlete and beat me in everything we competed against. There was also the divorce of my parents that really shaped who I was as a teenager. I had to choose between parents and ultimately chose my dad. This upset my mother leading her to disown me. Our relationship has not been the same since.

With ease, I can pick out all the issues with what I just wrote. When I talk about fear, I know many of these same issues will come out. Abandonment, helplessness, and the feeling that I am not important or inadequate. These are things that I deal with as an adult. I believe I deal with all of these well. But, many times they just come out of nowhere.

I do not like being angry or upset. I feel that I do not think or talk clearly. I usually try to give myself a cooling off period. I have never felt the need to hit anyone, however, if you make me angry enough then I will feel the need to hit or throw something. I have broken many things and then feel like complete crap for doing it.

The good things is, I know this about myself and I have been able to just stop myself. I just thank god that I am not a unhappy person in general. So do not worry I am still the sweet guy you all know and love. 🙂

Hiatus

With the exception of my post last Friday, I have been on a self imposed hiatus. There was no particular reason for other than to just think about my life and how I react to certain situations. I realize that I am a very emotional person. Funny thing is when I say the word “emotional” it gives me images of someone crying and that is not what I am trying to convey. However, being a highly emotional does mean an array of things, but more importantly my lack of control of them is what gets me in trouble.

I think it maybe time for me to look into the different emotions that I do carry around. I know that I have not explored them in length and as a man, I think I should. My hope is that by exploring certain aspect of my moods and behavior and I can try to find some answer to why I cannot seem to control my emotions when I need to.

I have found various ways to deal with them such as writing poems or exercising. These are activities that stimulate my mind and body enough to let me let go of anything I may be feeling. Sometimes those are not enough. I find myself shutting down when it gets to be too much and thus the hiatus.

Before you start wondering what may have happened, just know that nothing major or life threatening has take place to me or anyone I know. However, I am sensitive to the actions of others. I am very much conscience of my place in this world and my place in the lives of those who I care about. But, I think my problem is that I care too much.

One of my issues is that I have not acquired the ability to stop caring. I think that is something that I am going to need to learn quickly now that I am single again. Why? Because women love men that don’t give a shit (let’s be honest about that). Of course, this begins the argument that I have had with many women in the past that if I stop caring that would make me an asshole. Well, who do you think gets all the attention in the dating game? Do I have it in me not to care anymore? I think I need to find that out.

My other issue is something old. I over-think everything still. I want to say that I am not as bad as I used to be but, I think I do over-think things way too much. It is my opinion that over-thinking becomes fuel for emotion. It is also hard when I wear that emotion on my sleeve as evidence of what happened two weeks ago.

Over the the course of the next few weeks or how ever long it takes me, I will explore some basic emotions and how I deal or not deal with them. I want to be able to see what it is I could be doing better. Some of the things come to mind: Love, Anger, Sadness, Fear, Indifference, and Hope.

It is my sincere hope to discover somethings about myself. With that said, I just want to mention how much I love twitter. As I am writing this, I asked a question to my followers: For those who know me: Do you think I have the ability to stop caring anymore(i.e. become an a**hole)? The general consensus I have gotten so far is that I do not have that ability…interesting.