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Technical Difficulties June 28, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — afrocity @ 10:19 AM

Guys I have been trying to post for three days now but ALS or WordPress is experiencing technical difficulties.



Pro-Life At First Sight?: State Rules to Require Ultra Sound before Abortion June 22, 2010

Filed under: Abortion — afrocity @ 1:11 AM
Tags: , , , ,

On the heels of yesterday’s topic on abortion,¬† I wanted to quickly¬† post this news of a new state law in Louisiana which will require all women seeking and abortion to get an ultrasound of the fetus first.¬† And when this bill says all women, this¬† bill¬† means ALL WOMEN for it also includes mandatory ultra sounds for victims of rape or incest who wish to have an abortion.

With everyone paying (rightly) so much attention to the BP oil spill/Gulf crisis, this story did not receive much media attention.

Louisiana To Require Ultrasounds Before Abortions

by The Associated Press

June 16, 2010

Women seeking abortions in Louisiana will be required to get an ultrasound first, even if they are a victim of rape or incest, under a bill that received final legislative passage Wednesday.

The bill by Democratic state Sen. Sharon Broome of Baton Rouge was sent to the governor’s desk with a 79-0 vote of the state House. Gov. Bobby Jindal supports the measure.

Supporters of the proposal said they hope the ultrasound dissuades some women from getting an abortion at the handful of abortion clinics in Louisiana, by giving them more information about their pregnancies.

“This is a bill that empowers women,” Broome said in committee testimony, adding that at least 15 other states have a similar requirement.

Opponents said requiring a procedure that might not be available at a free clinic nearby will make it more difficult and costly for women to get abortions. No one spoke against the proposal on the House floor Wednesday.

An ultrasound at health care facilities around the state can cost anywhere from $80 to more than $300, depending on the location, according to a review of health care pricing websites for hospitals and clinics in Louisiana.

It was unclear how significant the change will really be, however. Testimony from both sides of the debate has indicated more than 95 percent of women who get abortions in Louisiana already have ultrasounds performed, without the requirement in place.

Broome’s bill started out in a much more controversial fashion. It would have required anyone seeking an abortion to listen to a detailed description of the fetus that included its dimensions and whether arms, legs or internal organs are visible. The woman also would have been required to get a photograph of the ultrasound.

Those requirements were removed from the bill at its first stop in a Senate committee hearing. The description and the photograph will be optional instead, and a statement must be read to the woman seeking the abortion describing her ability to get the description and photograph and view the ultrasound.

After the proposal was revised, it moved easily through the Legislature with few votes in opposition.

Louisiana has enacted a series of restrictions on abortions over the years, many of which have been overturned in courts. Lawmakers also have placed language in statutes to explain the state only allows abortion procedures because the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled they are legal.

Earlier this week, lawmakers gave final passage to another bill that would give Louisiana’s health secretary broader discretion to revoke abortion clinic licenses in case of safety and health concerns. Awaiting debate in the Senate is a House-approved bill that would prohibit medical malpractice coverage of doctors when they are performing elective abortions that aren’t required to save the life of the mother.

Ultrasound of twin babies

I am not quite sure how I feel about this one.  On the one hand,  the law may certainly sway a mother to continue with her pregnancy. There is nothing wrong with that as long as her health is not in danger.  However, on the other hand, if I were raped by a family member, I am sure I would not want to see evidence of the assault/abuse.   The images of the attack which live in the mind are potentially traumatizing enough.  Imagine having to look at a child fathered by an act of rape.   I know how painful it is because my mother was raped in 1957 and became pregnant as a result of a violent act- at knife point.   She carried the babyto full term and raised him for one year.  After she could no longer stand to look at her son, she gave him up to the family of the man that raped her.

Because the Louisiana law includes victims of rape and incest, I cannot say that it is absolutely benign.

You be the judge.

Autographed Letter Signed,



VAGINA WARS–Episode V: The Pro-Lifers Strike Back June 21, 2010

On Sunday, I survived yet another Father’s Day –without a father.¬† Already turned down for a home cooked meal, I sent my dad a polite text at 9:00 AM CST “Happy’s Father’s Day!!!!”

He usually returns a text within a couple of hours.  By 3:00PM , my text message box was still empty.

Yep, jilted by text.

(UPDATE: I owe my readers a correction.¬† It seems my father did call to thank me for the text message.¬† I just neglected to check my voice mail. He said he “loved me”)

Sometimes, I feel like maybe my mother’s life would have been better had he not met this man.¬†¬† Perhaps she would have went back to school had she not chose to bring me into this world.¬†¬† She could have married a decent man, lived in a nice house.¬† My birth put her on welfare for the rest of our lives. What good was that?

Mother had a son already who was 15 years old. Three more years to go and she would have been Scott free. But she chose to have me because she felt that “two wrongs don’t make a right”.

Those were her words exactly when I asked her why didn’t she abort me.¬† She made the appointment but canceled at the last moment.¬† She chose my life over her happiness.

Her troubles began when she chose to sleep with my dad. When she chose not to take the birth control pill that day.  Those were the wrongs, she felt.  Dumb choices.   Not the baby.

In a jolt of an instant, she decided to keep me, let me live- however you want to look at it.¬† In 1968, abortions were performed illegally. Lots of doctors in Chicago would perform the medical procedure “under the examination table” .¬† Had my mother chose to go ahead with it, she would not have been met by pro-life advocates or sheltered by pro-choice advocates.

Just another young black woman,¬† getting on a Madison Ave. bus,¬† riding to the Northside.¬† She would give a man $300 and come back home after a couple of hours without much fanfare. On her way back to the Westside, she may have pressed her forehead against the bus window; looking at the little girls playing double-dutch rope in the alleyway; wondering if I was a girl or boy.¬† Or perhaps relieved that she just gave a child that never existed, the chance to escape the frustration of growing up fatherless.¬†¬† Her battle was private.¬† The abortion would have been private.¬† The secret between herself, my grandmother (who gave her the money for the abortion), and “Dr. X”.

A news story on simple license plates in Massachusetts prompted me to remember my mother and her choice of life:

Teenage pregnancy has plagued the African American community¬† to the point of being a crisis situation. “

If you saw a suffering creature, wouldn’t you put it out of it’s misery?” asked my pro-choice friend. “Those black girls need to know that having an abortion is a lot cheaper than raising a child on welfare…Look at you and what you went through.”

“Yes, look at me,” I answered.

My face must have communicated some signs of cynicism.

“No, you are an exception,” she came back. “How many kids actually escape and get a post-grad degree? One in a million?”

“I don’t know,”¬† I told her. ” but I see nothing wrong with women being educated by both sides of the debate (pro-life and pro-choice).¬† Each side acts as though it is somehow threatened by the other…”The Vagina Wars”.

“My vagina is mine and yours is yours,”¬† My friend informed me.

“Right. That is why I am pro-choice. However,”¬† I continued.¬† “My mind is mine and yours is yours. When it comes to propaganda and protests, let the woman decide who to listen to- if she is a woman and not a 10th grader.”

My friend shook her head.¬† “See you are double talking again, ” she accused.¬† “You cannot take both sides of the issue.”

“Why not?” I asked.¬† ” I am pro-choice. Life is a choice. I would choice life but when it comes to other women, I think they should make their own choice.¬† Meanwhile, if a woman goes to have an abortion and gets counseled by both pro-choice advocates and pro-life advocates, I see nothing wrong with it…Or a billboard, license plates, football advertisements like Tim Tebow’s”

“That was fucked up!”¬† she exclaimed. ” I cannot believe that you are for that Afrocity.”

For my friend, everything about this conservation was about someone being right but what if we both were?

” Pro-life puts out an ad,” I explained. “Pro-choice puts out an ad too. Free country.”

“It is about influence and confusing girls.”

“Then influence them to practice abstinence or not get pregnant at all.¬† That is the mistake.”

“What about medical reasons for mom’s health?” she asked. “What about that Tebow mother who risked her life?”

“Yes, and the doctor was wrong and then pro-choices went all psycho in an attempt to discredit the Tim Tebow’s mother.”

“So you agree with the ad? How is that pro-choice?”

“What is to agree with? She continued with a pregnancy and the outcome was a great person.¬† What is your fear that pregnant women considering abortion may actually see it and….keep the baby?¬† How awful!”¬†¬† I said lifting my eyebrows. “For shame.”

My friend sighed.  I was a lost conservative cause but I am pro-choice so how did that happen?

I believe that pro-choice advocates have a problem realizing that deciding to continue with a pregnancy is a choice just as terminating a pregnancy is a choice.

My mother made the choice in 1968 all on her own.  She did not see a license plate or Superbowl advertisement.  Had she aborted me, she would have paid in cash with the money my grandmother made cleaning houses. Not government money.

It was a private matter.

A private war.

And life won with the help of no one.

Autographed Letter Signed,



Happy Father’s Day June 20, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — afrocity @ 11:42 AM

Happy Father’s Day to everyone.

This have never really been a day that I celebrated because I did not meet my biological father until I was in my early 30’s.¬†¬† I did call my dad yesterday to offer him a dinner and a movie. He declined without much thought, explaining that he was tired from working as an electrician.¬† We have been trying to “get together” for three months now and he cancels every time.¬† Perhaps my cooking is awful or my presence makes him feel just as uncomfortable as his does me at times. Our relationship is a work in progress. Some years,¬† we earn a “B” for effort, others such as this one, we streak by with¬† a “D”.

I would ask on this special day of honor and remembrance that you give a special thanks to all of the single mothers and¬† grandparents who raise their grandchildren; aunts and uncles.¬† Do not forget big brothers from boys clubs, team coaches or anyone who acted as an ” un-biological” father figure in your life.

For me that is God and Jesus Christ.

Also Happy Father’s Day to our “Founding Fathers”

God Bless you all and America.




“F” is for Friday and Fruit Cups June 18, 2010

One might think that it is easier to deal with a death that occurs suddenly.  No pain or suffering.  The person goes quickly into the afterlife.  Friends and family of cancer victims often describe the agonizing process of watching a loved perish as a death before a death.  When someone you love battles cancer, everyone around them is also there for every victory and defeat.  Cancer kills and everyone dies.  While there is only one that leaves the earth physically, the others are left behind to mourn. The sick room remains: the carrot juice in the fridge, vitamins, cure books, the wicker waste basket by the bedside lined with plastic.

For a woman that was so time-consuming in life, my mother’s passing assaulted me completely by surprise. She died at the elder-young age of 68 , perhaps in her sleep- no one really knows.¬† But she died without linger.¬† We were afforded no proper send off.¬† My ego craved the moments I lost taking care of her into her deep senior years.¬† I had always imagined her dying in her bed, in my home.¬† I was her daughter and it was my job to take care of her for better or for worse- soiled bed linens and all.¬† Robbed of my daughterly virtue, I felt like a girl scout missing a badge.¬† The elderly parent care-person badge.¬†¬† I¬† never expected to come up twelve boxes short at the mother-daughter cookie sale. ¬† This was a woman who called me for money when I was in college. Who stayed in my dorm because she was homeless.¬† Who always needed something and she goes out like this? No warning at all? No trips to check out the lush green grounds of nursing homes.¬† No dribble to wipe from the corners of her mouth after spoon feeding her favorite bread pudding.¬† No having to say “I am Afrocity, your daughter, remember me? I was here just yesterday. “

I was left holding a box of ashes and a refrigerator full of  Del Monte fruit cups.

Jealously would besiege me as friends complained of “ol’ dad” and the battle to keep him of his wounded knee.¬† ” Dad fell again,” the friend would complain. “Know I have to take time off from work again…Oh Afrocity, you should be glad that your mom went quickly. I have all of my dad’s medical bills…”

And all of that Gen-X peer complaining made it worse! Friends telling me that I should be thankful that the death of my mother was benign in terms of the potential financial and emotional draining tumors it could have placed upon my young late 30’s life.

Admittedly selfish as it sounds, I needed to be my own primary heroine in the story of mother and I.¬†¬† I also needed someone around me to be old…so I could feel young.¬† Someone to act as a buffer between myself and death.¬† My youthfulness and mortality was so vain that it needed an older sidekick.

So I decided to adopt old people.

That’s right. I steal old people.

Visiting¬† somebody else’s Grandmother on Mother’s Day with my cornbread stuffing.¬† Taking cupcakes to old men in my apartment building. Buying someone microwaveable slippers. Listening to an elderly couple tell endless stories as we suck on Dairy Queen Blizzards.¬†¬† I have no shame about it.¬† Born into a dysfunctional mother daughter relationship, I had become co-dependent and need to prove desperately to God, Betty White, Rachel Rae -basically anyone who will listen -that I could have been the best damn elder care daughter on the planet.

If you are an old person – you need me damn-it.

Yesterday marked the beginning of the week that my mom could have died (long story referenced in previous blog posts).

I have been feeling sorry for myself again.  I miss our talks and I miss being needed.  Every old person is a gift. Those wrinkles are a map- a topography of life and memories.  The skin is dry, rough, pull it and it stays in the same shape.  Why bounce back when you are so close to the finish line?  Everyone loves and appreciates the elderly.

Then I read about Marilyn Fay.¬† Marilyn was a 64 year old retired Chicago Public School teacher who worked part-time at the Brookfield, Illinois Public Libary.¬† Marilyn’s friends describe her as kind and giving- especially after Marilyn befriended a 30 year old homeless man by the name of Steve Kellmann.¬† Kellmann was an “alleged drug addict with a lengthy crime record”¬† that Marilyn met at the library. According to one suburban paper Kelleman possesses:

…a long criminal history. According to court records provided by the Cook County State‚Äôs Attorney‚Äôs office, Kellmann has faced felony charges before. He was convicted in 1999 for felony obstruction of justice, an aggravated robbery charge in 2001 for which he served six years in prison, and a 2007 felony theft charge that landed him in prison for two years.

But Marilyn did not care about Kellmann’s past, she saw real good in him. Potential that was overlooked by the prison system. Out of the kindness of her heart, Marilyn allowed Kellmann and his girlfriend to stay at her home.¬† He performed odd jobs around her house.

Kellmann painted and made Marilyn’s awnings look bright and new again but he¬† also caused her a fair share of trouble.

From the Chicago Tribune

On May 27th, 2010, Marilyn bailed Kellmann out of jail. He had been arrested for driving with a suspended license. Marilyn only living on her modest school teacher’s pension and part-time library job, used her credit card to post 10% of Kellmann’s $25,000 bond.

On the bond forms, Marilyn listed herself as Kellman’s “friend”.

On June 14th Marilyn was found in her home, dead.

From this article in the Chicago Tribune:

Woman paid bail of man now charged in her slaying

June 18, 2010

Weeks before a retired school teacher was found dead inside her Brookfield home, she posted bond that freed the man now charged with her murder, the Tribune has learned.

Marilyn Fay, 65, used her credit card on May 27 to put up the $2,500 bond for Steven Kellmann,  according to court documents. Fay was found dead in her home on the 3300 block of Arthur Avenue on June 14.

Kellmann had been arrested in May on a felony charge of driving with a suspended license.

Fay posted 10 percent of the $25,000 bail set in the case and is listed on the bond document as a “friend” of Kellmann.

Fay had repeatedly tried to help Kellmann — an alleged drug addict with a lengthy criminal record — and had even let him stay in her home when he was homeless.

Kellmann first met Fay at the Brookfield Public Library, where she worked part time, and for a time she allowed him to live at her home, according to authorities and Fay’s friends.

She had tried to help him repeatedly because she saw the good in him, and even after she asked him to move out because he had anger management problems, she allowed him to do handyman work at her house, friends said.

Several times in the past, Kellmann had posted bond but violated the terms for his release and forfeited the money.

In the May arrest, a Chicago police officer spotted Kellman driving on the Eisenhower Expressway without a seat belt and pulled him over about 10:30 p.m. May 16, according to prosecutors. He was arrested on a charge of driving with a suspended license that stemmed from a prior DUI arrest, prosecutors said.

This morning, Judge James Gavin set a $2 million bail for Kellman, citing his arrest record and bond forfeitures.

Assistant State’s Attorney Andres Almendarez said Fay was last seen alive with Kellmann about 7 p.m. Sunday. Her body was found by police the next day in the bedroom of her Brookfield home. She had been stabbed, beaten and suffocated.

In the hours after her death, Kellmann tried to use her credit cards three times. He also called family members telling them he had messed up, was suicidal, was going back to jail and that he had killed somebody, Almendarez told the judge.

Using a locating signal from a cell phone, Kellmann was arrested about 5 p.m. in a hotel room on the Southwest Side of Chicago with a 23-year-old Arlington Heights woman.

Fay’s SUV was parked a block and a half away. In the hotel room police found bloody clothing and more than 40 bags of heroin. Kellmann also had Fay’s cell phone, credit cards and keys, Almendarez said.

The woman was later released without charges.

Kellmann’s criminal background includes an aggravated robbery for which he was sentenced to six years in prison for forcing someone to withdraw money from their account at gunpoint. Other convictions include battery and theft. The ongoing suspended license case stems from a previous DUI, Almendarez said.

Do you think that Steven Kellmann knew that June 15th was World Elder Abuse Awareness Day?

I did.

Did Marilyn Fay know? Probably not because she was dead.

My mother passed away sometime between June 9th and 16th in 2007.  Now 2010, three years to the week,  is another senior, dead in her apartment.  She was likely a liberal, voted for Obama.  Hoped to help and rehabilitate someone who was beyond repair. Taken advantage of by someone who did not appreciate her wisdom or kindness.   Marilyn had dogs and I noticed that her obituary requested that donations are to be made in her name to her favorite animal shelter.

I will do that in the name of Marilyn and my mother.

Today will be sunny and warm. How perfect it would be if I could sit in Grant Park, watch the children play, bicycles going by, bumble bees on the tulips.  How perfect it could be if I could do all of those things while sharing a fruit cup with my mother and Marilyn.

How perfect indeed.

Autographed Letter Signed,


Drawing by Rembrandt "Children with Old Woman"


Face Punching COPS: Bad Girls, Bad Girls, Whatcha Gonna Do? June 17, 2010

Well there is a first time for everything.

Afrocity is going to take out her handy dusty ol’ urban race card concerning the Seattle police officer who punched the 17 year old woman over a jaywalking offense.
(Places race card on the table, dust bunnies fall everywhere)

Understanding the often adversarial relationship between blacks and law enforcement is really something that you really have to be of color to understand.¬† Many African Americans do not trust the police- even when you are a law abiding citizen like myself.¬† My past experiences with the men and women in blue have been 99% horrible and traumatizing.¬†¬†¬†¬† There are some professional figures in America that we are just expected and taught to trust without question…Doctors, clergymen, teachers, firemen and policemen.¬†¬† Maybe part of this is due in part to how members of these professions were portrayed in cinema and media during the mid 20th Century.

Beaver Cleaver would get lost in the store and some nice cop swinging a billy club, chomping on a Red Delicious Apple that he took from the neighborhood fruit vendor, would sport a soft but commanding Irish accent.¬†¬†¬† Think Sean Connery’s character in The Untouchables.¬† Think little old woman wearing a floral print duster from Kmart needing to get her tabby cat¬† “Tobias” down from a tree.

The pictures that cinema rendered of policemen may have had some basis in fact.¬† The 1950’s are very different in terms of crime levels¬† from the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s. ¬† I am not dismissing the law enforcement of yesteryear as bumbling keystone cops.¬† Of course there were murders and bank robberies. Indeed the guys from Dragnet were dealing with some serious issues.¬† Bad things did happen in pre-1960’s America and there were bad cops but television and movies were less likely to challenge the societal expectations of “Officer Friendly”. ¬† When Officer Friendly dealt with a jaywalker it normally did not turn out like this:

I would not characterize the Seattle policeman as “Officer Friendly” .¬† While I believe that the teenage girl was wrong for resisting an officer’s detainment, after viewing the video numerous times, I do not see any reason as to why she should have been punched in the face.¬† Let’s remind ourselves that the post-Rodney King Era face punching cop hails from present day Seattle.¬† Seattle is a city in every sense of the word.¬† A routine distress call will involve mush more than old duster lady’s cat. ¬† Here lies the difference between what a cop would and would not do in certain situations.

Once the 1970’s¬† descend upon us,¬† enter the “urban cop” .¬†¬†¬† Serpico, The French Connection, Dirty Harry, Baretta.¬† The world gets ugly and so do cops.¬† Cities become overcrowded with people and crime.¬† You have dirty cops, overworked cops, cops on the edge. Yes there are mentally unstable cops and cops who just cannot hack it.¬†¬† Being a policeman in a large urban area like Chicago, New York, or Seattle is not an easy job.¬† You develop expectations for any given beat.¬†¬† This is where race comes into play.¬†¬† Let me go back to Officer Friendly for a moment.¬†¬† Stay with me.¬† I grew up in Chicago.¬† I am admitting openly here on my blog that I do not trust policemen.¬† The way I have seen blacks, Hispanics, hippies, women and children treated by the Chicago Police in my forty years has been enough to make Afrocity run far, far, in the opposite direction when she sees that Chicago sky blue and white patrol car.

Have I ever done drugs? No.  Committed armed robbery? Nope.   But I have called on the policeman when I have been harassed or attacked and their response was to treat me like a criminal. Why? Because I  was African American and in an high-crime urban ghetto.  The cop shows up with an attitude.  He shows up thinking the worst of you and in my opinion this is where trust ends for me.  Officer Friendly is cloistered in Oak Park, Illinois.   Beautiful green suburban Oak Park.  Where during all a cop has to worry about was rain ruining the Easter egg roll competition at Rehm Park or the occasional rape of a female jogger at 5am.

I briefly lived in Oak Park as a child.  There was a situation once where my bicycle was stolen.  It took a special kind of humility to admit to myself that I was an idiot for not having locked the pink chunk of Huffy metal up while I went into the local drugstore for a candy bar.   My friend went to the pay phone to dial 911.

“What are you doing???!!!!”¬† I asked.

“Calling the police! We have to report it stolen,”¬† she answered as if I was a dummy.¬† Her blond hair and blue eyes were a contrast to my so badly needed to be relaxed nappy hair and brown eyes.¬†¬† This girl was a born and bred suburban child.¬† I was a transplant from the West Side of Chicago.¬† Cops don’t help us.¬† If he finds my bike, more than likely he will keep it and give it to his niece as a Quinceanera present.¬† Against my instincts, I sat and waited for the policeman. This will take a while, I thought to myself.¬† Maybe 30 minutes, an hour…tomorrow.

It did not take long at all.¬† No sooner than I could say ” Betty’s got a blue bonnet”, did the orange and white Oak Park Police car pull up to the curb.

With increasing heart rate, I imagined what would happen next.¬† He would probably say something along the lines of¬† “Okay girl is this even your bike?¬† Did you steal it from someone else?¬† Did you get it during the 1968¬† looting on Madison Avenue?

I was wrong.

“Someone missing a bicycle huh?” asked the Oak Park police in a calming voice. “Who lost a bike?”

My friend pointed to me.¬† I went up to the policeman wringing my hands.¬† He asked me what happened. I explained that we were in the drugstore buying candy.¬† I laid the bike down without locking it because I thought I would be just a minute but we started looking at nail polish and magazines. ¬† “And nobody steals in Oak Park like in Chicago,”¬† I declared during my statement.

The officer shook his head, “Oh yes they do and you should always secure your bicycle no matter how long you will be. “

I put my head down as the officer wrote on his pad.¬† The cop car began drawing a crowd of kids licking on ice cream cones.¬† This was surreal.¬† Where was the crazy welfare mom yelling about her shot son?¬† Where was unplugged fire hydrant with kids swimming in the black waters of the street while officers inspected a dead body left in the trunk of a Cadillac?¬† And why isn’t this officer yelling at me? Golly gee this is extraordinary.¬† It is freaking “Officer Friendly”.¬† Like the talking M&M’s he does exist!

“Was your bike registered with the Oak Park Police Department?” asked the nice cop.

I shook my head.¬† You could see the look of disappointment on his face as he shook his head back at me. “Always register your bikes with the police,”¬† he lectured.¬† “It makes it easier for us if it gets stolen…Now I have to talk to your mom about the serial numbers.”

Oh no, not mother.  Her knowing I lost the bike will be a childhood killer.  She paid $100 for it from Marshall Fields Department Store on State Street.  Damn.

“Move along kids,” the cop instructed.¬† He looked at one little boy eating a slice of white bread. “You’re gonna get fat off that bread kid.”

I got in the police car with him and he drove me home.   Mother must have been on Afrocity is in trouble radar because she bolted from our apartment building as I exited the car.

“Oh no, she didn’t do anything!” she yelling running up and grabbing me. “Why is she in the police car-“

“Ma’am your daughter’s bicycle was stolen today and we need some information on the make and model, serial numbers…She does not know anything besides it color- hot pink.”

My mother was more self-conscious and afraid of police than I was.¬† They were no friend of hers after her experience during the 1968 riots.¬† They were no friend of her son’s either.¬†¬† Mother turned her lip up.¬† “Her bike was not stolen.”

I did a double take. What?

She continued, “I saw her bicycle laying by the light post unlocked.¬† I told her not to do it because it would be stolen.¬† O knew she was in that store buying candy or testing make up – whatever she does.¬† I took it home to teach her a lesson.”

Relief was a wonderful feeling.¬† “You mean you have it?”¬† I began jumping up and down.

“Yes it is in the house,” she motioned with her head towards our apartment building. “I did not expect her to call the cops. Why did you do that?”

“Sue made me.” I answered “It is what they do here when something happens.”

The policeman interrupted, “Your daughter did the right thing.¬† Guess you taught her a lesson though.”¬†¬† He looked down at me.¬† “What is the lesson?”

I shrugged my shoulders “Not to leave my bike unlocked.”

“And????”¬† he asked.

There was a long pause.¬† “I don’t know”

He playfully tapped me on the head with his pad- not a billy club or the back of his hand.¬† “REGISTER YOUR BIKE”

“Oh yeah.”

“Okay you be good now and lock that bike”¬† Officer Friendly said getting in the patrol car.

Once inside the apartment, I saw my shiny pink bike leaning against the living room wall.  I had never been so glad to see a toy in my life.

“I told you to never call the police,”¬† Mother scolded.¬† “If someone is bothering you just start screaming in the streets…but for something like a bike or if you see something happening to someone else just stay away from them.”

“But he was nicer than the Chicago–“

“Yes because you are in a suburb with white people that he respects.¬† You think he would have been so nice if we were back in Chicago? He would not have given a damn about your bike or you.¬† Could have took it himself.”

During dinner, I asked mother if I could register my bike.¬† She flatly said:¬† “No,¬† we are not going into any police station unless someone drags us into one.”

Paranoid?  Yes.

Unjustifiably so?  No.

The more interesting question we must ask ourselves about the Seattle punch drunk urban cop is let’s suppose he was in La Jolla, CA and someone jaywalked.¬† Perhaps a well known doctor’s wife who had one too many martinis during the bake sale committee luncheon.

We all know how stressful those can be.

The officer stops her and she gets ugly and loud- hitting him with her Kate Spade wicker handbag. ¬† If that doctor’s wife was punched in the face by the cop–all litigation hell would break lose.¬†¬† One has the impression that if Mr. Seattle Cop was in a nice suburban enclave that he would not have punched at all.¬† I have seen enough white boy frat party raids to know this.

I have seen cops treat peace disturbing white yuppies far differently than blacks. Usually on the more physical roughness deficit side. Usually when the white law breaker was being far more aggressive towards the cop.   To be clear I am talking about white, black, Latino cops. ALL COPS in my opinion are more aggressive towards citizens in certain urban areas.  I have seen policemen detain shabbily dressed people when they were the ones who were attacked by the man in the three piece suit.

Policemen have biases just like every normal human being.   There is no reason for a man to be shot over 40 times by the New York Police or for a 17 year old teenager to be punched in the face for a jaywalking violation.  Force and power are gifts bestowed upon law enforcement that should be executed with a keen sense of judgment and without prejudice.

We will hear more about the Seattle case I am sure but in the meantime. I am on her side.¬† The crazy cop used unreasonable force. He needs a Training Day with Denzel Washington’s Oscar winning character “Alonzo”.

I call it how I see it.  It has nothing to do with being conservative or liberal.

Autographed Letter Signed,



‘Nuff Said- Finally Someone Got it Right June 14, 2010

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