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OT: Opposite outcomes…

22 Sep

Two things happened yesterday. 

The first: I live in a diverse older neighborhood, have for years.  To me, it’s a wonderful, welcoming, a place where people say hi, chat to each other outside, always willing to lend a hand.  I’m also close to a problematic corner where lots of accidents happen.  When we hear a thud/bang we pour out of our homes, people help until the real help arrives.  Yesterday, there was another thud/bang late afternoon.  Lots of damage to the vehicles, minimal to the occupants in both vehicles, thankfully.  I was keeping the witness company, hubs was talking to the driver and occupant of the vehicle that had been hit until the fire department arrived.  I watched the firemen being amazing, concise with their actions, being kind, making sure no one needed an ambulance, clearing the debris, helping anyway they could.  We got one couple home with all the stuff from their vehicle, turns out they lived just a few blocks away and had recently moved here.  I’m sure our community isn’t perfect, I’ve also seen how we collectively react when someone is in trouble, the best comes out.

The second: After dinner I checked on twitter and saw a post by ABM – just her words in the tweet made my heart drop and my breath catch, instantly.  I followed the link and listened to her describe her fear yesterday from a traffic stop.  Her words were palpable to me, real as real can be.  I would be afraid too if I was Black.

Later, laying in bed: I replayed what happened in my neighborhood that night (the good out of bad) and the feelings that came over me when I read ABM’s words (the bad) juxtaposed against each other.  Two different scenes, both including People of Color and white people.  One scene, people traumatized by an accident, were helped by everyone; the other, deep-seated instinctual fear triggered by a lifetime of experiences and the experiences of other Black people, and in the situation yesterday, compounded by being laughed at by the officer, instead of being calmed and an acknowledgement of truth.  No one should have to live in fear, or be traumatized by just living their life.  Fear that causes your flight or fight hormones to go into overload.  A fear you don’t deserve to have simply because of the color of your skin.

Then this morning: I flipped to Fox News and watched a segment where the host and guest got amazingly real for Fox, admitting there was a problem and it needed to get fixed because it wasn’t right.  I was thinking maybe hell is starting to freeze over.  Maybe, just maybe, more white people (like me) are starting to get it, if it is being talked about on Fox.  I was hopeful until I watched this video out of the Ohio – how can you ever hope to fix this?

Stay safe.

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3 Comments

Posted by on September 22, 2016 in Adoption

 

3 responses to “OT: Opposite outcomes…

  1. licensedtoparent

    September 22, 2016 at 11:42 pm

    It’s a sad thing when a man who is openly racist, using racist messages, among other horrible tactics, and is in the running to be the president. Clearly, there IS a problem. I’d hoped we, as a country, would be better than this. I’d hoped we, as a country, had moved forward. I’m saddened by all the recent events, and the presidential candidate who would bring more turmoil with his messages and violence he encourages.
    But, I fear nothing will change until the media changes. Media needs to stop including race as part of the reports (unless it’s an active search for a person). Do I need to know if the person arrested is black or white? Nope. But, it doesn’t fuel the fire and get the attention when the take out all the adjectives and put all people on even grounds. Media fuels the fire with their reporting. Stop. Think. Do better.
    You should be proud of your neighborhood, that you come together and help. That’s great!

    Liked by 1 person

     
  2. beth62

    September 29, 2016 at 6:51 pm

    Thought of you and ABM today 🙂
    Me and my buddy were “going to town” this morning to get some more bacon flavored bologna (ack, how in the world does he eat that stuff! and everyday! yuck!) and assorted junk food he wants to eat too much of.
    We drive the 10+ miles to the main road, we consider that 10 miles to be “our neighborhood” and the 10 miles in the other direction too, even tho there are no real “neighborhoods”. Mostly just long driveways, and who knows what could be back there. (privacy – that’s what is back there) Once you hit the main road and interstate it’s not just racially diverse, like my neighborhood, but internationally diverse and no one lives locally. Not saying that is a bad thing, but all to often it is not a good thing. “town” is 20 more miles away.

    So we come to the intersection of the main road, there is an accident, must have just happened, people were getting out of the cars. We pull up behind them, I put on my blinky lights for the cars behind me and I get out to remind people to get out of the middle of the road, direct traffic and to see if anyone is hurt. Luckily no one seemed to be injured, cars were pretty messed up, and then it began. Cussing and screaming and punches thrown. I yelled a little to “cut it out”… and “cops are here!” Cop (county deputy) pulls up, and asks people to “chill out” and asks what is going on. Is anyone hurt. Who’s car is this, who’s car is that? Someone was video taping the fight… Cop sees the video taker standing next to my vehicle and me now back sitting in it with my blinky lights still on. I just happened to know the video guy, and all of the county deputies, small town, I avoid the latter as much as possible. Have never considered any of them with the power to steal my freedom as a trusted friend, or even a friend, just people I know, and avoid!

    He tries and tries to talk to the drivers of the cars. More than I would have ever thought to. They are still cussing and yelling and pushing each other, moving around the cars and into traffic, passengers instigating even more violence. He looks like he wants to intervene, looks back at me and the video maker, and just stands there, watches and says to them, “When you all are finished, when you decide to cooperate, we will talk. You are being video taped right now by my body cam, my car, and a private citizen. That should help the judge with the assault charges and charges for refusing to cooperate with a police officer when you go to court.” He gives a thumbs up to the camera.

    The fighters and their supporters yell obscenities at the “pig” and continue their blaming and name calling and their chase around the cars while throwing things at each other.

    The cop blows a really loud air horn trying to get their attention… nothing. He gets a shotgun out of his truck, cocks it (I freak, yell at him and say put it away! let them fight it out! fuck them! I later find out it has bean bag bullets, but still.) He says, “You all will be going to the courthouse today, as soon as you are finished assaulting each other.” “If I see any of you pull out a weapon I will shoot you” He repeated that dozens of times, none paid him any mind. I was shocked, and was deciding to back up and get the hell out of there.

    This cop (I know his mama too) looks over at me and my buddy, totally frustrated, yet calm rolled his eyes, and gives us a look like “really? Now what do you really expect me to do?”
    I start laughing, my buddy is too.
    Thankfully, more cops pull up, and the state police, they then decide to stop fighting and all are calmly given bracelets and a free ride to the courthouse.

    I talk to the cop while they are hooking up the cars, my buddy asks (teases) him why he didn’t break up the fight? The cop teases back, asks my buddy, “Why didn’t you break up the fight?” LOL Buddy says, “People have the right to fight if they want to.” I’m thinking, yeah, being 103, and weighing less than your age doesn’t have a thing to do with it LOL

    Cop says, “I asked, and ordered, them many times to stop, to cooperate, in three different languages, they did not. I’m only one person, back up was on the way. I’m only one person who gets paid 35k/year, just one person who plans on doing the right thing – going home uninjured to my family tonight.” “You must know at least one of them will accuse me of not protecting them.”

    Me and my buddy were finally able to go on to town to get our bacon flavored bologna, and we bought triple so we won’t have to go to town for a while… Buddy says, “at least til the weather gets cold, people don’t fight so much when it’s cold.”
    Next time we are taking all back roads!

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