I have said it for some time now: “America is headed for a civil war”. It is bad enough that we have enemies on almost every continent. We also have to consider a country that is ripe with prejudice, political upheaval, malice and greed could very well implode in the near future.
I have pondered what the factors would be for this all-out, All-American Armageddon:
Rich vs. Poor
Black vs. White
Gay vs, Straight
Powers vs. People
Criminal vs. Congenial
While there are many ways this could play out for any one of the aforementioned scenarios, I saw another possibility and it jolts me to my core. We may have a fracas on our hands with Civilian vs. Police.
With all the Facebook/Youtube videos and random news stories popping up that constantly replay the idea of reckless, racist and abusive law enforcement officers instituting corporal punishment, I fear that the minds of citizens are being melded for revolt.
Travon Martin, a tragedy of a different kind, only conditioned us for this type of upheaval. When Michael Brown was killed, we were more than ready and conditioned for battle. I watched with bated breath as protestors in Baltimore pushed a police line nearly 50 feet back that blocking the highway. The fact that law-abiding protestors took arms against law enforcement send a message of brazen rage and suppressed aggression being let loose.
Yes, I did see unsupervised teenagers and young adults burn a drugstore and run rampant in the streets, but that is not what I am fearful of. Ferguson, MO. showed the same pictures, only under cover of darkness. Reckless abandon is easily exhausted and fizzles out before any impression can be made. I think that focused, strategic and unrelenting pushback is on the verge of happening.
Let me be one to say that all law enforcement personnel do not act with disdain or bigotry. They are people who have to go home to their families and are trying to make a living, albeit a nice one. There is a disproportionate amount of African American officers in African American neighborhoods. Perhaps rightly so because many of those left have been jaded and have more bitterness toward their kind than one would suspect. Might I add that most of the female officers are vilified for being harsh. However, I have always found them more patient and gracious than their male counterparts.
No matter what the case, it seems as if in those situations, the black officer is unleashed with rage in black neighborhoods while white officers sit back and let their partner be the heavy. When not partnered with a black officer, white officers, usually have already decided to drop the hammer before they even turn on the light bar. Mainly because they expect the perp to have no license, no insurance or a deficient car. Unfortunately, they are usually right.
I’m not casting a bad light on male officers of my color – or any color for that matter. I am pointing out how the public (people like me) see officers. The media does a nice job of painting the picture by probing the story hour after hour until they ring all the juice out of it. Planting the seed in your mind while playing the role of the dispassionate messenger.
Lest we forget the ire of a whole generation could be the result of being part of the hosing and beatings they received from officers in the south. Many were persecuted for pursuing common things like voting, eating at restaurants and going to school. My father told me he was once locked up because he drove a Cadillac and, according to the officer, “A nigger shouldn’t have a Cadillac…” These memories still haunt our forefathers and today’s headlines serve as nothing more than a terrible flashback to those early days when we struggled for equality.
Personally, seeing events like those that took place in Baltimore anywhere but an episode or Scandal is totally unacceptable, but I can’t help but think that this may be the beginning of a social uprising. Acted out by the people, orchestrated by malevolent puppet masters.
Perhaps, now that the tension has somewhat subsided, I can go back to my normal overreacting about something a little more practical. Somewhere in the back of my head , this idea will fester. The threat is certainly real and possible.