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The View From Here will conclude on Friday, October 1, our third year anniversary. We would like to spend this month thanking all of our readers, followers, haters, visitors, family, friends, and fans for your continued support, encouragement, and comments over these past few years. Thanks y'all!
-The Five Spot

Friday, August 28, 2009

The White Stuff

So earlier this week I attended a community meeting with the local police. Now I am not one to usually attend my community meetings – I mean if you saw the kinda emails that go around the list serv about missing turtles and how they have tried to “rescue” raccoons seen in the daytime, you would understand why. But this meeting was called by some relatively newcomers to the neighborhood whose car had been broken into recently and then to add insult to injury, broken into again the morning of said community meeting. And they were pretty upset with what they deemed as the police’s lackadaisical response. And since my car had been broken into last November, my mom was all, “you gotta come and be counted.” Argg!

So anyway. We get there and it’s nothing but white folks which is not surprising considering our neighborhood. But what happened next was what I like to call an exercise in white people. Now even though I live in the whitest of whitest counties, well actually it’s getting browner by the day, I don’t really interact with them in what I consider ‘Rum Punch space’. I have written lots on my say it loud I’m Black and I’m proud upbringing. And I kinda continue to live my life that way. Not because I have something against white people, it’s just the way it be for me. And so because I’m content in being ignorant, I really only rock with white people at work and while I’m chilling on U Street and they’re steadily taking over DC one block at a time.

So back to the meeting. These white people were hopping mad. Getting all indignant with the police. Being all “elitist” and prefacing statements with, “I’m a lawyer and I get what you’re saying, but…” Not wanting to wait for these crimes to register as a trend and demanding for more police patrolling NOW! Ready to start a neighborhood watch immediately following the meeting. Holding the police’s feet to the fire and not letting them try to b.s. their way out of a single answer. It was totally amazing to watch cause I had kinda forgotten that white people don’t be bullshytin. Like at all. And I mean debate this all you want, but that’s one of the reasons they rule the world. Invading people’s homeland, then subsequently killing, enslaving and colonizing them, are other reasons. But let’s not go there today.

And so in all of this, I couldn’t help but think that we, i.e., black folk, really need to take note on how they get ‘er done. I know recently there's been a whole Stop Snitching movement. And I know that for obvious reasons, we are a people who don’t trust the police, the system, the man. But I also know that there is power in standing up as a community. Power in using the rights we've finally been granted. Power in going to the polls and electing judges who won’t just continue to put these car thieves back out on the streets without penalty because the victims aren’t coming to court to express their anger. Power in calling your state representative repeatedly about a broken streetlight until it is finally fixed, as a man from the meeting explained he did. Power in holding all people, your tax dollars pay, accountable – from the garbage collector to the President of the United States.

That’s my time y’all! Happy Rum Punch Friday!


Amaretto said...

Ha! This is soooo true! White folks do not play. Why? Because they believe in entitlement. We joke but we are entitled too! Everyone one who is working and paying taxes is entitled to hold government paid folks accountable.

And on a sidenote: A delayed LOL to why your brother said he attended the meeting!

Sevesteen said...

(middle aged white man here...)

Police is one of the things that government should be doing. We are all entitled to the same policing, and some places do not get it.

But I can understand the police who get frustrated with the "stop snitching" stuff--from their point of view, they are more willing to help people who cooperate with them and make their jobs easier. When residents harass police for arresting criminals, it is not that strange that the police give them what they are asking for.

Rum Punch said...

@ Amaretto - Ahhh yes entitlement. That's what it is. Meanwhile, unfortunately, we have been conditioned to be cool with getting the scraps. Making pig intestines into yummy chitlins. And all that jazz...

@ Sevesteen - Well hello there middle aged white man! Thanks for reading us! I agree that police are more willing to help those who cooperate. Even though a few of them were smirking during the meeting, kinda like, "they call this a crime problem?" You still got the feeling that they were respectful of the people's concerns and would work with us to solve the problem. But it takes people being in your face and not going away!