The Lifesaving Art of Calmness In Adversity
Sometime last week I experienced my own share of police brutality…and no there was no use of excessive force, as the officer tried to douse me with a lot of verbal and psychological intimidation.
At this time, the race of the officer does not matter as I am not putting it in a racial envelope. This particular day, I would be located somewhere around downtown Houston, Tx with a couple of friends. After I must have driven the perimeter around 2 or 3 blocks for about 15mins, searching in vain for a parking spot, I would come back to get a spot adjacent to our intended hangout spot. Just like that.. See the elaboration! Ha-ha
Yes, just like that.
Barely five minutes later, I would be accosted by an irate officer who would dash towards me because I wouldn’t walk on the sidewalk. My reason and probably the reason of 67.5 other people around me at the time would be that there was obviously water flowing out from a broken pipe somewhere creating puddles every half a step one would try to take.
By now we were chest to chest; with him yelling swear words at me every time he remembered he had an open hole on his face that made him audible. He accused me of being intoxicated, pulled out his handcuffs whilst holding my wrist asking repeatedly “do you want to go home or go to jail”, all this in a space of five to seven minutes.
Was I supposed to be scared at the mention of jail, or because of the shiny metallic loops in his possession when I clearly did nothing to provoke or warrant jail time? I was calmer than Pope John Paul the 2nd after his assassination attempt back in ’81. I didn’t answer any of his not so smart rhetorical questions. I somehow chose to feign dumbness. After trying to explain and he had clearly violated my “man space”, my urge to explode would be wrapped up in some systematic layer of silence. Hopefully it would save my life and keep me from jail.
My silence angered him more, by now there were a few people watching his public display of stupidity. His last words would eventually be “go home”
Another grown man like me with a little over thirty yrs of experience on Earth would have..
1. Talked back 2. Pushed back when the officer bumped chest to chest 3. Became overly defensive and combative e.t.c
He clearly was there to provoke, aggravate, infuriate, exasperate you name it. Officer was on a mission that night. The devil in him did a bad job hiding his horns. I saw them, shiny black horns with silvery metal tips. Did he know that he would have an encounter like that as he left his home earlier in the morning? I don’t know but i doubt it.
Sometimes we forget that as humans we have the ability to focus on ourselves in the sense of self re-evaluation and/or operating as spiritual beings in a manner that God created us to be. We can detach our emotions and watch from a distance, rather than choose an emotional reaction, which could end up fatal. This was simply one of those times I was not going to give birth to my defensive angst against an Officer. Having this mindset, I closed my world to him so as not to go too deep or be pressured to judge by what humanity deems right.
Police brutality is not subject to one race, color, region or country.Infact the brutality in China at some point in the 80s gained more popular attention than complaints from other regions. Russia, Egypt and my Country of birth, Nigeria cannot but be mentioned.
In America, where I live presently, the birth of the civil rights movement and war against drugs has led to recurrent incidents of brutality especially amongst black males which is now a National issue today. I am not going to elaborate on an already existing and non-wavering issue in the wake of accusations today. I therefore refuse to go in-depth into statistics and surveys. My bone of contention today is how the black male in America can increase his chances of survival around this problem. It is here to stay as it is a sub division of racism and/or supremacy. Sometimes, we have to educate to live out of the norm of living to educate. I ask for calmness in the wake of all these recent happenings to reason and answer. We do know these matters arising didn’t just start nor escalate all of a sudden right? Technology just quadrupled the exposure of these crimes against civilian population. Would you believe me, if I told you there is more to come?
We were taught whilst growing up to fight for what we want, what we believe in. If you believe in uncertainity, you have to fight for it to persevere to become certainty. But could this be one of those instances where we don’t need to fight for answers, maybe take the route of calmness in the midst of adversity? We’ve employed the tactic of fighting for our beliefs for so long. Maybe it’s time we tried another tactic.
Hopefully someday whilst you and I are standing shoulder to shoulder in what seems to be a protest of some sort after a case of police brutality, and you whisper in my ear “the violent protests from last week seem to be leading us nowhere”. Hopefully I wouldn’t whisper in response “I told you this years ago.”
“Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.” ~ Albert Einstein