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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Ferguson.

In line with my new directive to actually speak my mind...

The police officer didn't get charged with a crime by the grand jury.  I'm not entirely surprised.  Putting aside my personal feelings on the subject, without incontrovertible video proof, there was no way that grand jury was going to charge a cop for shooting a black kid.    And as Ferguson, MO burns in rage and goes to war with itself, the narrative now changes to the media head-shaking about the violent and uncivilized citizens of this broken-hearted city, all while subtly implying that somehow, he deserved it.  That, like Trayvon Martin, if he just decided to be Black somewhere else, none of this would have happened.

Okay, maybe that was a little more personal feeling than I intended.

The problem for me is that the narrative should be concern about the increasing militarization of our police force.  The fact that police seem to seek confrontation more than ever.  That there is shockingly little psych evaluation of police officers before they fire a shot, instead of after the fact.  That racial profiling, that many men and women of color-- including myself--  have had to endure, is still the go-to method of determining likely criminals.  But we will likely hear none of this.

We instead hear the garbage spewed forth by people like Rudy Giuliani, stating that police brutality or overreaction isn't the issue, black-on-black crime is the issue.  This is somehow our fault.

I'm going to sidestep the racial issue.  I'm going to table the police brutality issue.  A city burns tonight.  We should all be concerned as to why.

Something to Talk About

I haven't written in my blog in a while.

There are comfortable reasons why.  I've been busy at work, I've been on vacation, I've been working on other writing projects.  I've been busy finding a new apartment and preparing to move there.  I've been busy living.

All of these things are true.  None of them are the real reason.  I haven't written in my blog of late because I haven't had anything to say.

In January, while anticipating my novel's release, I made what could only be called a business decision when I decided that I would not write about politics or race or religion or my opinion on any of the controversy of the day.  I didn't want to offend and alienate potential customers.  I was afraid.  Consequently, I haven't had much to talk about because politics, race, and religion seem to be the top three conversation pieces in this country.  So, in my effort to not offend anyone, I've essentially silenced myself.

It's a messed up commentary on the world we live in today.  But we'll put that aside for now.

It is a thought process that has bled over into my personal life, and I find myself silent more often than not when a situation demands to be called out.  I've let things pass because I've felt it was inappropriate to comment on it, or unwise to alienate certain people.  Jeez, I'm strategizing my personal life!

When you're young and you have nothing to lose, you tend to speak your mind more; after all what difference does it make if some random person doesn't like you.  But as you get older, an you acquire stuff -- possessions, careers, respectability -- you get less likely to risk the trappings of comfort and adulthood by speaking your mind.  So in holding on to your stuff, you kind of lose your compass.

And to that I say, f**k that.

I will speak my mind more. I will say what people may not like to hear, not to be controversial, or to be funny per se.  I won't do it to be crass or clever.  I'll do it because I want to be honest with myself, and honor the things I believe in.  I want to question the things that I don't understand, and expose the things that make no sense.

I want to have something to talk about.

Oh, yeah, coincidentally-but-not-really, there was a grand jury verdict today that caused a little hubbub.  Make no mistake I'll have something to say about that.