Terror in the City

I just finished reading the below blog from Steve Locke.  He’s your average American citizen – an art professor at Massachusetts College of Art and Design.

He shared a story…a rather disturbing story… about an unusual day in the life of your average American Art Professor in Boston:

I fit the description…. | everything after | steve locke’s blog about art and other stuff.

One very potent thing he shared was his interior monologue – the thought processes and feelings he had running through his head as he was being detained by the police for a crime committed in the area – and all because he fit the absolute and most generic of descriptions.

The description the police had?   “Black Male, knit cap, puffy coat. 5’11”, 160 pounds.”

I can’t even begin to describe how sorry I am that this gentleman, a human being in America who has a stable job and is a contributing member of society, had to experience this ordeal.  But I am glad he shared it, as it brings to light the answer to a statement I’ve heard over and over again as justification for escalating police brutality.

“If you did nothing wrong, you have nothing to hide from the cops.”  “When you run, your guilt is confirmed.”

You no longer have the right to use the above statements when you teach your citizenry to be terrified of its authority figures.  When it is common knowledge in a community that running from the cops is safer then sharing your truthful side of the situation – this country loses some of its integrity.   When a man is considered guilty because he fits a generic description, and his words count for nothing when laid aside the words of a terrified victim – we lose a little more.  When a college professor can be detained by the police for simply being a black man, we let the fear rule our country.

When did our proud and noble country become a nation terrified of its own shadow?

Our country is at war.  With itself.  It’s favored weapon is fear.  Of everything and everyone different.  Little stories like Steve Locke’s need to be told.  And shared.  And learned from.

Steve, I’m sending you the very finest of metaphysical mojo hugs today.  Don’t let the fear win.