Categorized | Opinions

Street game: public authority does not satisfy narcissism

Posted on 18 November 2015 by admin

The deadly consequences of growing up

By: LINK JOHNSON
Staff Writer

The game

On most mornings I wake as the sun rises, watching each day come to life. Before the sidewalks become busy with people headed to various destinations, as the traffic begins to fill the streets, I watch the police cars slide into the shadows of my neighborhood.

“What is wrong with that,” they say. “Oh they are just doing their jobs,” some argue.

To others, this may seem partial in truth — a great topic for debate; however, to me, there is a game with no official title at play. I am aware that my community has an active police presence, but this has led to unbearable realities that shape our society.

Imagine a world where men of all races and colors share a few basic human characteristics.

Testosterone for start, and, if I may say, a strong sense of kinship and a will to fight and protect or to defend.

Now, combine those things with social division and racial conflicts with our land’s history. Then you’ll find the ingredients to civil disputes.

Let us not overlook any obstacles that women face in society — past or present — but as a black man in America, I am only speaking on the most prevalent danger that I face daily.

To some police officers it is really a game, it seems, to just ride through the ‘hood and harass people all day. It is a concern of mine because this game has become too common in my community and in many communities like mine across America. It is a very dangerous game and I have lost many friends and family to this real-life version of “cops and robbers.”

As a man, I can just imagine the rush a guy gets while he laces the boots of a uniform and straps on a badge and a gun that says he is the law.

Or when he hops into a hot rod equipped with flashing lights and noisemakers to the roar of a V8 or Hemi engine, propelling him through red lights.

Often when a man is given this much power, he is bound to use it in excess on occasion. There is no need to count up the police who patrol my city and blame them all, no, there are way too many good men who honor the code of being a “Citizen On Patrol.”

My point is this — in order for that man to do his job effectively is to go out of his comfort zone.

He has to work outside of his own community to find that much satisfaction in oppressing others. In other words, communities like mine are rarely patrolled by police officers who understand the people of my neighborhood.

In some cases, it is a sad display of public authority just to satisfy man’s narcissism.

I am not one of those “angry black men” blaming failure and self stagnation on “the man.”

Nobody is standing in the way of my progress nor preventing me from becoming successful at anything in the world.

I will not try to portray all law enforcement agents as malicious beings with ill intentions toward minorities; I have nothing to gain by singing an old familiar song and dance.

Besides, I would not fancy myself as perfect.

A truth exists and this is my version of it. The battle between black men and white law officials has been going on long before me and it is woven into the fabric of our society.

I am simply stating the facts of my everyday life.

This game is one that I do not choose to play, for I was born into it. Yes, there is real danger in the world to be aware of, but as a black man, I have grown to know that there is not much protection for me from those dangers.

I must also play the game from the shadows, winning only by redemption and through perseverance. It is that hope for victory that keeps me playing. The only choice is to win.

 

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