Castile and Yanez

21:05:40 Officer: “…license and registration?”
21:05:49 Driver hands document to officer
21:05:54 Driver: “I have to tell you, I do have a firearm…”
21:05:56 Officer: “Don’t reach for it.”
21:05:57 Officer: “Don’t pull it out.”
21:05:59 Officer: Draws weapon “Don’t pull it out!”
21:06:00 Officer: Begins firing into car

Now, without a shot of what was going on in the car, I can’t say for certain what exactly happened. Here is what npr.org says was said during the exchange:
(http://www.npr.org/2017/06/21/533764381/philando-castile-traffic-stop-shooting-footage-released)
CASTILE: Sir, I have to tell you, I do have a…

YANEZ: OK.

CASTILE: …Firearm on me.

YANEZ: OK, don’t reach for it then.

CASTILE: I’m reaching for…

YANEZ: Don’t pull it out.

CASTILE: I’m not pulling it out.

YANEZ: Don’t pull it out.

NELSON: He fired seven times.
It has been said the officer stopped the vehicle as a result of the fact that the driver resembled a suspect in a recent robbery “just ’cause of the wide-set nose”. But the officer said to Castile the reason he stopped him was non-working brake-light. Either way, there was more going on in this exchange than may be documented in text. Here is what I see. The officer is nervous. For all he knows, he is right to be scared. Castile reveals that he has a firearm. The officer says, “OK, don’t reach for it then.”, but is really saying, “Stop reaching for whatever it is you are reaching for. I suspect is your gun.” The transcript on the nor Website would seem to suggest Castile continued to reach for something: “I’m reaching for…” Don’t pull it out.”, the officer says. Although his words say, “Don’t pull out your firearm.”, they are meant to say “Stop what you are doing.” At this point, according to the officer’s testimony, he felt Castile had a firearm in his right hand and was seconds away from pulling the trigger. The officer said one more time, “Don’t pull it out.” and began firing into the car a second later… Effective communication on the officer’s part could have avoided this. Understanding what was meant by the officer on Castile’s part could have avoided this. They both were at fault. The officer’s fault cost him his job. Castile’s fault cost him his life. It doesn’t exactly seem balanced; Does it? It especially seems unbalanced when we consider the fact that the officer was in a position of authority. And really, is the responsibility of a citizen to read between the lines, to attempt to really understand what is meant when an officer gives an order? Still, if I were going to shoot a cop in this situation, I’d probably continue telling him/her I wasn’t reaching for my firearm until I pulled the trigger.

It has been said the color of the driver’s skin played a role in this travesty. That is, that the officer may have felt less threatened if the driver where of European descent – that the officer was quicker on the draw because the driver was of African descent. The officer seemed to express great distress over discharging his firearm. This leads me to believe this was not consciously racially motivated. If, in fact, the officer experienced a greater sense of fear as a result of the color of the driver’s skin and more readily drew his weapon and fired because of this fear, we may look to the racial divide in our country for an explanation. Many young people would seem quick to adhere to this separation, this idea of us and them. This pits us against each other from an early age. I know I’ve experienced attitudes of disrespect from some people with dark skin apparently only because of the difference in our skin color. In my experience, this attitude usually comes from some younger males of African descent. This disrespect is righteous and justified if I represent to them the idea of “white” men. I am the reason they don’t make as much as “white” men. I am the reason they are unproportionately arrested and jailed. I am the reason they are shot by police.

Likewise, if I were a “white” officer, I may feel justified in being quicker on the draw when it comes to a suspect of African descent. I recognize the racial divide in our country and understand he may see me as a threat. As unbiased as I may try to be, I want to go home to see my kids tonight and this job is dangerous. If someone views me as an enemy, it may serve our interest to keep them arm’s length. So arm’s length begets arm’s length, fear begets fear, and violence begets violence.

I would give my life to cause the people of our society to wake up. Fear of each other does nothing but cause tension and get us killed. If I ruled the world, I would keep the people fighting so they couldn’t see who was really causing them trouble. Open your eyes. Fear is the enemy. Love will set us free. Revolution is evolution. Division is just noise pollution. Like a horse shaking off flies, we will take back control when we are ready to give up the fear.

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Dream 06/19/17

She was swimming in a swamp of garbage. Unconscious now, in a room of garbage, her body was still submerged in the swamp, her head trapped above the water by a snare of plastic. The master of the swamp came into the room. With excitement, he flipped the switch on his control and the carousel of garbage began turning. The man flipped the switch off as the young woman’s face came directly into alignment with his position on the garbage above. She awoke in a bed, wearing a hospital gown. She got out of bed and went into the main area of the house. A woman greeted her. The master of the swamp came in through a door at the back of the room carrying a shovel. He hit the young woman over the head with the shovel. She lost consciousness again.

Sam’s Chagrin

I dreamed we were at war with a 7-stemmed leaf
We shot holes through it’s flesh, but it never stopped growing
It was a gift from our mother
Our uncle put it in a cage
And our brothers died trying to keep it there

I dreamed we were at war with fear
The more we fought, the more afraid we became
So we drew lines in the dirt – separation for safety
We took on burdens of violation in order that we may numb the pain
The bougie protected from the mother of proletariat

I dreamed we woke up
Not down or out, but up
I dreamed we broke through the glass ceiling to find it wasn’t a woman’s race
I dreamed this separation, this color of skin and religious doctrine, were to Sam’s chagrin no ways to predict our sin
I dreamed we opened our eyes to find other eyes opening
Here’s hoping

If I Ruled the World

If I ruled the world, you wouldn’t know it was me in charge; I’d never be seen in public.
If I ruled the world, I’d control the media, distracting the masses with external threats.
If I ruled the world, I’d create the illusion of freedom by giving the masses multiple choice options.
If I ruled the world, I’d divide the people against each other, black against white, Democrat against Republican, Christian against Muslim.
If I ruled the world, I’d create a culture of stupidity, one that celebrated physical possessions.
If I ruled the world, I’d create a culture of fear that required one to work a mindless 9 – 5 for years or face destitution.
If I ruled the world, I’d keep my power by keeping the people blind and dumb.

No… If I ruled the world, there would be no need for people to go without; There would be no hunger, no war, no unnecessary pain, no fear. Then again, if ruled the world, I wouldn’t know what it was to be hungry, I wouldn’t know what it was to have my brothers die in battle, I wouldn’t know what it was to experience unnecessary pain. But I would know what it was to fear the masses. It is the masses that hold the power simply because we are the masses. It’s time to wake up. Pull back the curtain. It’s time to bury the illusion and start a revolution.

Nilco and Kah

Nilco and Kah were distinctly beings of flesh. Unlike animals of the Earth, they lacked that divine spark. Their eyes were yellow and small in comparison to that of the humans’. And yet their skulls seemed to have been plucked from discarded human remains. In place of the human noses and mouths were beak-like mounds of scared flesh. As there was no room for such beings in the physical worlds, Nilco and Kah spent most of their time between physical worlds, watching God’s blessed children destroy each other. Nilco and Kah sat hunched over their window to Earth, their bodies composed of dark, fatty pieces of carrion. Sounds of their frantic eating filled this otherwise empty space. Never ceasing to cram more dead meat down his beak, Nilco said to Kah with enthusiastic interest, “He doesn’t love her. She is like a piece of furniture to him. They live in his house. The furniture, the silverware – all his. And she is his wife. She’s a couch; She’s something to fill the space. She cooks for him and cleans after him.

But she isn’t innocent either. He is her meal ticket. She used to believe in love – real love.” Nilco coughed, choking for a second on a piece of meat. “Now she loves him because she has to, because she has nowhere else to go. But it can’t last forever. Humans grow bored with each other, weary of each other. He is already dissatisfied with her figure. And why not? All of the women in his life a super-models. Their husbands pay for their nose-jobs and breast lifts, and tummy tucks.” Nilco’s enjoyment of the observation was apparent in his gleeful tone. “But she’s not like his friend’s wives. She wasn’t raised with money.” “She has plenty of it now.”, Kah interjected. “But it’s not her’s.”, Nilco continued, “She has to ask for everything. She can’t go shopping without his credit card. She can’t even leave the house without asking permission. And can you imagine if dinner were to be late?” Kah laughed, “That wouldn’t be good.” “No.”, Nilco replied, “He would loose his mind. Everything must be in order – Everything in its place. Everything must be exactly the way he wants it. But it can’t last forever. Nope, not forever.” “She’s not going to leave him.”, Kah said, “She has financial stability. And that is a powerful motivator. And he won’t screw up his perfect little life with another divorce. No. They have settled for each other.” The sounds of frantic gnawing continued. “But she can have financial stability without him.”, Nilco suggested, “Suppose he had a hunting accident.” “Be serious!”, Kah demanded angrily. “No. think about it.”, Nilco continued, “Who would suspect her? She could have all of the freedom and financial stability she wanted.” “She’s not that kind of human.”, Kah said, “Even if she wanted to, her conscience wouldn’t let her.” “I don’t know.”, Nilco replied, “She may not be desperate yet. But I have a feeling she’ll find the strength.” “You’re on!” A long mass of decaying, fatty tissue raised from the right side of Kah’s body. Nilco lifted a similar mass to meet Kah’s. “And the terms?”, Kah asked. “When that man dies, you eat crow.”, Nilco replied.

Years passed and the couple drifted away from each other. The man insisted the woman continue to have elective surgery to preserve her young appearance. After a violent allergic reaction to anesthetics, the woman was no longer willing to undergo these surgeries to keep her husband happy. The physical relationship faded as the woman felt unattractive to her husband. The man spent more and more time at work. The woman began feeling isolated and trapped. “It’s only a matter of time now,” Nilco said. “It’s not over yet.”, Kah replied. One evening, while at a social function at the country club, the man and the woman found themselves rather inebriated. suspending their concern for how they were viewed by others there, the two began making out there in the dinning area. They were both ready to explode with sexual energy. In a stupor, the man piloted his BMW as his wife pleasured him from the passenger seat. In spite several close-calls, the couple made it to the man’s home safely. In the bedroom, the woman disrobed as the man lay back, his elbows propping him up on the bed. As she removed her skirt, she saw disgust in his eyeIn a fit of embarrassment, she quickly covered herself and left the room. It was not uncommon for her to spend the night in the guest bedroom. A few moments later, the man thrust open the door to the guest bedroom. He was going to get what he wanted from her. She said sternly, “Go to bed! You’re drunk!” He was beyond speaking. He threw her to the bed and shoved his hand between her legs. She screamed, “Stop!”, but he refused. In a panic, the woman grabbed the ashtray from the night stand and smashed him over the head with it. She released a sigh of relief. He was out cold. No… Was he?… He was dead! Her head back against the pillow, tears began to flow down both sides of her face, to the silk pillow sham. The man, her husband, was no longer a part of this body that lie on top of her.

Kah sighed and Nilco laughed in delight. The man’s spirit took the shape of a crow. But the crow wouldn’t make it to the afterlife. No. Crows are stupid… and easily captured. Frantic eating sounds filled the emptiness. Sitting back away from their window, Kah burped and let out a painful groan. But Nilco remained fixed on the window, “She really is too young to be so fat”, Nilco said between bites, “I wonder if she’ll ever meet someone.”