There’s so much going on around the world that is so damn troubling. Like countless others, it seems that no matter what one does individually or collectively, these troubles persist. Yet we try.
I’m one of those who in the past few years has tried to avoid “the news”, as in “mostly the relentless accounts of the worse current events”. In fact for me almost everything about what we call “the news” is among the most troubling of our current events.
As hard as I try, one simply cannot avoid some stories, such as the ongoing Ferguson debacle. I usually don’t blog or comment about these terrible tragedies, but for some reason this one has gotten me down more than most . . . I’m reminded of an incident that happened about 12 years ago, in Birmingham, Alabama.
I was there for a few days on business, along with a few others. One evening a co-worker and I decided to go for a walk, check out the city a bit. We were close to downtown, walking distance from the convention center, and there was plenty enough to see and do. In other words, we came across a pool hall.
It seemed like a nice, safe area. It was clean, lots of lights, a beautiful evening, friendly people around, and so on. We felt extra safe when we noticed a few police officers. They stood out partly because they were on bikes, just strolling around. One especially stood out because he looked like Arnold Schwarzenegger in his prime. They also had on these skin-tight uniforms – a tight shirt and shorts – at least on of the Village People would be so envious.
A few minutes after seeing these police we were safely inside this nice, clean pool hall. We got ourselves some whiskey & coke and soon the game became so relaxing. In other words I began to kick his ass . . . oh, how I missed my snooker! To make matters sweeter, the music came on. Nice tunes on the jukebox, courtesy of two very attractive young ladies in the corner, the only two others in the place, aside from the bartender. I glanced over. They really were stunning to be honest, especially with their smiles and giggles.
My friend and I continued with our game. Then Arnold entered the hall. I had my back to the ladies in the corner, which is where the policeman was headed. All of a sudden those giggles turned to loud screams. In a horrible flash I turned to see what was going on. The ladies had their arms up and backs arched away from Arnold – a defensive posture. It was necessary because the policeman had a long nightstick raised and extended in his right hand.
In this flash I saw this nightstick begin its downward assault. Almost miraculously, it stopped. No one was hurt. The young ladies left their drinks behind and made a quick exit, visibly shaken but at least not beaten. The officer had his back to us the whole time. I can’t remember if he glanced over in our direction behind he quickly left the place as well.
We asked the bartender what had just happened. She told us that apparently these young ladies did not have any I.D. on them, so it was unclear whether they could legally be in this licensed hall.
My reaction now remains as it was then, and it’s the same for Ferguson, “WTF!!!”
I forgot to mention that these were ladies of color and the officer was white . . . they also appeared to be close to the same age.
Anyway, I can’t stop any of this madness. About the only thing I can do is offer my little sign of peace. It’s not much. It’s just a savings of five bucks, and by that I mean I’m giving away my novel – today and tomorrow – November 26th and 27th.
While the book is about love, it does have its unsettling parts and aspects . . . did I mention fear? Still, overall it’s about the best of humanity . . . at times like these it seems we all need reminders of that means . . . a temporary escape from some of these troubles.
So here’s my Amazon link to “Dawn at Last”. While I know it doesn’t mean much at all, at least it’s a little something . . . a little gift.
Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends. Finally, to my friends around the world, even those whom I have yet to meet, I’d be honored to have you accept my gift.
Very kind of you Lawrence. The fact that it’s an officer of the law that offers violence like this is sickening. Who can we trust to protect us if we know they don’t regard the public-us- in the same way?There should not be people like that on the force if they can’t accept we’re all the same under the skin.
Wishing you a great Rest of the Week.
One of the dangers is over-generalizing. Of course not all police officers are bad. I actually have a few funny, nice police stories, like the one when a college friend and I crashed a local police Christmas party at one of the officer’s homes. Things got a little tense when my friend started flirting with a few of the wives – he was bad for that. I suppose there were no detectives around, because we managed to get out of there before anyone figured out who we were, or that we had no business being there!
How kind of you to give your book away for Thanksgiving. MR N and I are saddened by the Ferguson situation and honestly the cop needs to be charged with murder because that is exactly what it was. It shouldn’t matter what the skin color is. America has reverted back to before the Civil War and I never thought it would happen. I pray for peace, truth and Light. Happy Thanksgiving to you, Lawrence. Stay safe!
Thanks Mrs. N. I hope you have a great Thanksgiving. The “situation” has become so much bigger than the killing of this young man. Peace to you too.