Sunday, August 17, 2014


I've walked down the street my whole life, sometimes smack dab in the middle. I've played football, baseball, kick the can, rode on bikes with my posse', you name it, in the middle of the street. Never, not once had a cop tell me or my buddies to get out of the street. Had some swerve to keep from hitting me, or wait until we finish our football play to pass.
But then, I aint black.

I am little suspicious that this kid didn't give the cop a hard time, maybe even belly butt him and go for his gun. But I'm equally suspicious of the lack of info the cops are rolling out here. The first shot fired in the car, then as he attempted to flee, shot in the back (autopsy disputes this), then on his knees, hands in the air when the last shots fired 35 feet away from the cruiser?(some witnesses seem to dispute this)
I'm not sure at this point any of the details even matter any more, seeing some of the images of a city blowing up on itself. I'm concerned about a police force that may not have done squat for community relations the last 100 years, and now the chickens are coming home to roost.
Explain it to me in terms where I don't sense excessive force was used.
The Detroit riots of 1967 started over less. I know, I was there.

Then, a heavily Militarized Police Force takes the street. All that does is turn the volume up.
I have some friends that up till now I thought were a little paranoid about a police state.
Not any more.
If I can't see your face and badge, you aren't a cop. 

"We rolled lighter than that in an actual war zone."
Veteran of the 82nd Airborne, commenting on police gear in Ferguson Missouri.
When I was a boy I watched 10,000 National Guard move into Detroit. They "rolled lighter" than this too.

“One Riot, One Ranger”
When I was a boy my daddy marched me to see this statue at Love Field at least twice a year when we flew back and forth to Detroit, and told me the story of Captain Jay Banks, and how black folks had rioted in Mansfield Texas, and the Rangers were called in. Jay Banks walked down Main Street and unlocked the Mayor and the Sheriff from out of the jail, while the wide-eyed negro rioters looked on
Funny thing though.
The story my daddy told me was not the real story. The real story is that The Supreme Court ordered Mansfield School District to desegregate in 1956, and the white folks rioted, even hung 3 negro dummies up over the entrance to the school. Peace was kept by sending the 3 black students to Fort Worth School District. Mansfield took another 9 years to desegregate, and only did so after losing federal funding.
The south, and my daddy, sure was funny about that kind of thing.

I don't have permission to print this image, but I'm doing it anyway. This is Captain Jay Banks, protecting the peace and dignity of Mansfield High School, while a negro dummy hangs in effigy over the entrance to the school.

1956 wasnt the only time there were racial tensions in Mansfield Texas. In 1961, John Howard Griffen, the author of "Black Like Me" moved to Mansfield. The book describes his six-week experience travelling on Greyhound buses (occasionally hitchhiking) throughout the racially segregatedstates of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia passing as a black man. The whites in Mansfield rioted again, hung black effigies in Griffens front yard, and threatened to kill him. Griffen moved.

Addendum# 2: I have located one ofthe original three students that were bussed to FWISD in 1956. His name is TL Moody, and has been a pastor at a Fort Worth church for many years.


SL said...

It is so painful to watch this story unfold, the original story is slipping into the gap between lack of info, conflicting versions and the volume being turned up. As Trayvon Martin's mother wrote to Michael Brown's mother, "I hate that you and your family must join this exclusive yet growing group of parents and relatives who have lost loved ones to senseless gun violence," she writes in the letter published in Time magazine. "But Michael is much more than a police/gun violence case; Michael is your son."

bulletholes said...

Well said SL. It is painful to watch.

KFC said...

really great, Bulletholes. sorry anyone would have to write it, but glad it was you.