TALK TO THE DADDY

Hello. Come on in. The daddy writes about current events, literature, music and, once in a while, drops something on you from back in the day to make you pause and ponder, stop and stare, and begin to wonder. Who knows? You may start to pace the floor, shake your head from side to side, then fall down on bended knees in a praying position and cry, "Lawd, have mercy! What is this world coming to?" Check yourself! But this blog is NOT about the daddy. It's about you: your boos, your fam, your hood, your country...our hopes and dreams of a better tomorrow. So let's make a pact: the daddy will put it on the track if you'll chase it down and hit him back. Together, we can definitely take it to another level. Shall we?"

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Cops Take The Daddy to Dinner

Can The Daddy kick it like the wicked Wilson Pickett ("I'm a midnight mover!")? But don't make a brutha rub it, spank it and bank it like Sweet Sweetback in the sack just back from a 7-year stint at the ghetto-pen fasttrack otherwise known as "the man's plantation." Don't make him do it! Slow that roll! Check yo'self. And check this.

While on vacation, several groups of friends took the opportunity to take him to dinner. One group was a bunch of Minneapolis police officers. You see, The Daddy used to be the Security Manager of Minneapolis Public Housing Authority (MPHA), a semi-federal agency with a large number of highrises and family developments. MPHA purchased 15 or so officers from the city of Minneapolis to work exclusively in public housing to look out for its residents, many of whom are older women and children. These officers hadn't seen a brutha in a long time; so they took him to a fancy Japanese restaurant with lots of raw food and saki.

The Daddy took a few bites of the raw food and almost threw up. But he more than made up for it with that saki, a drink which threatens to supersede New Zealand white wine as his addiction of choice.
But here's the thing: Rightly or wrongly, The Daddy has never felt comfortable around police officers. It may have something to do with the fact that, when he worked with gangs, they sometimes stopped him, harassed him, tried to intimidate him, even called him names like "niggah," "monkey" or "coon."

It may have something to do with the fact that often he was stopped in the surrounding suburbs and asked for his ID. Oh, they were professional enough, but a brutha could barely conceal his anger about the fact that they would never give him a reason he was being stopped (And The Daddy used to teach Anger Management classes). Actually, he knew, but he asked anyway. The Daddy drove a new SUV Explorer at the time, and it was like:

"Nigga, how did you get that nice car?"

"Nigga, what are you doing in a nice, white neighborhood like this? Are you a drug dealer, boy?"


And even though he used to be their boss, had invited him to dinner to say thanks for hiring them and treating them fairly, had complimented him as "...A straight shooter," a brutha wasn't feeling these cops either.

Out of the 15 or so officers, most were African American males. But about a third were white, female and male. Many had worked in Internal Affairs department and had gotten a reputation for calling some of their own on the carpet for thumping (beating up on people) or being overzealous with drunks hanging on Hennepin Avenue, First Avenue and other main streets downtown after a Viking's football or Timberwolve's basketball games.
These are good officers. They take serving the public seriously. They just wanted to take a brutha to dinner and show him some love.

Still, The Daddy felt uncomfortable. For one thing, whether they showed it or not, each one had a piece on them. Everybody was packing heat but The Daddy. He only had some cold, raw fish and two or three small, empty saki glasses to throw at somebody. The Daddy felt naked and a little... small (if you know what a brutha means); and he kept looking under the table between his legs for his manhood.


After dinner, outside the sushi bar, every cop gave The Daddy a hug the way we bruthas do it. And, as he drove away to get a cheeseburger from a White Castle up the street (love them smothered onions on top of the hamburger), he couldn't help but smile at the fact that he had renewed genuine friendships with a group of decent people. Unfortunately, he also confirmed the notion that the only person with a hang up about it was him. But three sliders and two glasses of wine later, a brutha was still feeling naked and a little small.

Do you have a friend who happens to be a police officer?

Do you feel comfortable around him or her?

17 comments:

Lenox Ave said...

I like this post. Sometimes we project. It's very human. I don't know any police officers as friends and my ltd. interaction (I intend to keep it that way), has been decent.

My house had been broken into and some things taken and I had an interesting, frank and sometimes humorous chat with said officers.

For me it's like hanging around doctors. Death and what they do for a living is always in the air. It makes me uncomfortable.

Anonymous said...

"But don't make a brutha rub it, spank it and bank it like Sweet Sweetback in the sack just back from the ghetto-pen fasttrack otherwise known as "The slave plantation."

Ooooh!

CareyCarey said...

What leaves the heart will find anothers.

White, black, yellow or green -- cops hang around other cops and their spirits entwine. First and foremost they are humans.

I had a friend on the force whom I used to smoke weed with (back in the day). Before he was a police officer we did all types of mess together. To some degree black police officers are required to assimilate the ways of white folk. Now, my boy wanted to be part of the black "flow", BUT he always reminded me that he WAS a policeman. He continued to smoke weed while on the force but this black man (me) always smoked "his" weed. He told me he would give brothas a break and let them go after he took their weed.

I am feeling this one Big Daddy. The brotha always came by my house with his pistol (even when he was off duty). Now I was thinking that if we got in an argument (which we often did) this Mfer can shoot me :-).

Yes sir, lets see ...friend-cop-friend-cop cop cop cop. We can be cool but all closed eyes ain't sleep!

msladydeborah said...

Sliders is what's up! You make me want to go get myself a sack of 'em.

I am realted to two law enforcement officers. Even though we are family and I love them with my whole heart-I feel you on this post Daddy.

MadMike said...

I spent my life with cops. I spent my life as a cop. My career began before Richard Nixon became president. My career began when LBJ was president. I worked at a time when racism was rampant and "nigger hating" was the time of the day and the day of the month. I was just a kid, who at the age of 18, was exposed to a world that heretofore he had never seen. I saw, as a young dispatcher who worked right next to the holding cells, beatings, berating, and bullshit beyond belief. I thought that was what one did.

As I got older, and became a patrol officer, I realized that cops responded, action and reaction, to the neighborhood. In the black neighborhoods we acted differently; we were more aggressive, because the community was more aggressive toward us. On routine patrol rocks and bottles would be thrown at our cars. We would be called pigs, and little children waiting for school buses would flip us off. That was depressing.

I am rambling. The fact is there are two sides to this street. Years later, many years in some cases, I would be confronted by people of color when doing my job. For example:

I stop a car. A routine traffic stop. Middle of the day. Car has tinted windows. Driver is black and immediately, before I can say a word accuses me of being a racist and stopping him only because he was black. He was speeding in a school zone. The posted speed limit was 25mph. He was going 60mph. Should I have let him go because he was black?

So help me understand. This is only one anecdote out of many.....I wish it didn't have to be this way.

MacDaddy said...

Lenox: I think you're right. My feeling uneasy is probably not that big a deal I think part of it, too, was that I hadn't seen them in a while. But if I see them more often, I think my feelings will change, or at least subside.

Carey: What's this cop doing with weed? That's some heavy stuff. But it sounds like you handled it well.

MadMike: It sounds like you were one of the cops just like the cops who are my friends. They just do their job. And, black or white, female or male, they get called names.

In my opinion, it's a situation where the police reputation precedes them. In most black communities in which I've worked AS AN ADULT, cops basically only came around to arrest someone. Sometimes they would come hard, push people around, call people name. All it takes is for this to happen with overly aggressive cops for the people in that neighborhood to generalize that all cops are that way. While this is not true, it is true that cops don't basically don't tell on other cops. So the people in those communities, without saying it, view those cops who will not speak up against the overly aggressive cops as enablers and see them as no better than the rest.

When I was growing up in Atlanta, Georgia, cops practiced serious community policing. They walked the neighborhood. They knew everybody in the neighborhood. And they didn't automatically preconceive a resident as a potential criminal but a neighbor. Neighbors would come out on the porch, give them lemonade and tell them they heard a lady screaming two door down and to watch out for her husband or they would complain about their kid playing hooky and beg the cops to watch out for him.

During this time, cops didn't even have phones. They had to go to phones that were in boxes every 5 blocks or so.

Because they knew the people, because they didn't automatically act aggressive toward them, because they stopped a lot of fights before they even started, because they would oftentimes, bring a drunk home rather than jail, we respected and appreciated them. They set the tone for other cops. They made community policing work.

Now cops just ride around in their cars. They don't get out unless it's to go directly to a house. They don't live in the community, and they don't know anybody in the community or want to. So when they come into the community, they have a different mindset than those who practiced community policing when I was growing up.

If we look at all the good we had in community policing then, we can see how badly it has deteriorated now-- and why the people called you names and accuse you of being racist.

nicki nicki tembo said...

heyyyyyy, welcome back!

MadMike said...

I fought my entire career against cops who abused their authority Daddy, and even today, while teaching my university classes, I make it clear that officers who target minorities, or otherwise betray their badge or their oath should be arrested and prosecuted. I am pleased that we are able to entertain a thoughtful dialogue on this most difficult subject.

Vigilante said...

Since you asked, Daddy, I have to think about it. I think I have to say "No friends in the P.D., just acquaintences."

But so-called 'meter-maids'??? Talk about 'abuse of authority'? I'll stop before I go 'postal' ...

Vigilante said...

And welcome back!

MacDaddy said...

MadMike: When you say you fought against cops who abused their authority. My friends who are cops do too. This is why I hired them to work in public highrises and family developments that I managed. But they were the exception. The history between the black community and cops in metropolitan areas is filled with black males, often juveniles, being killed in such a way that it could be perceived as murder. And almost always, it was judged by other cops to be "justifiable homicide." In communities with those experiences, don't expect a balanced evaluation of cops. My cop friends tell me that they know this history and don't take the name calling seriously and just try to do the best they can.

I know we're coming at this from different directions. But thanks for hearing my point of view. I hope I heard yours.

MacDaddy said...

"Welcome back!"
Vigilante, it's great to be back.

MadMike said...

I hope you did also Daddy. I value my friends, and that includes my cyber-friends. I would be very sad if I thought this issue in any way interfered with that friendship. I would be very sad indeed.

navas said...

Here are the keyords in the essay:

13th Amendment, 14th Amendment, 2012 Election, B.E.T., Barack Hussein Obama, Booker T. Washington, Bryant Park, Cipriani's, Colin Powell, Criminal Industrial Complex, Deb Slott, Do The Right Thing, Heidi Klum, Hip-Hop, Mark Penn, Melting Pot, Pink Elephant, Racism, Reconstruction, Robert Johnson, Seal, Segregation, Shelby Steele, Sidney Poiter, Sonia Sotomayor, Spike Lee, Tavis Smiley, Terrence Yang, The Dance Flick, To Kill a Mocking Bird, Virginia Davies, W.E.B. Dubois, Zero Mostel, Politics






Prologue to Obama 2012







We approach the future walking backwards, our gaze forever fixated on the past. Predicting the future is not a passive exercise; we invent it every day with our actions.

I began the sketches for what would ultimately become Obama 2012 in March 2007, a month after Barack Obama declared his candidacy. I had spent much of the previous 18 months living abroad as an entrepreneur and statesman of sorts, and I was slightly out of touch with the pulse of life on the street in the United States. I learnt about Sen. Barack Obama’s Springfield, IL speech formally declaring his candidacy for president of the United States through one of the international cable news channels and thought how great it would be to have a fresh start after years of mediocrity in Washington and a plummeting reputation around the world.

By September, after what seemed like raising a six-month-old child, my sketches had turned into Why the Democrats Will Win in 2008 the Road to an Obama White House. It was my answer to the burning question everyone had back in March: Can he really win? Actually, not everyone thought it was a question. For many people, including Mark Penn, director of the Clinton campaign, the answer was an easy “no way.” This strategic blunder made it that much easier for the Clinton campaign to be defeated. Then there were Black pundits like Shelby Steele, a fellow at the Hoover Institution, who came out with a 2007 book entitled A Bound Man, Why Obama Can't Win.

Being Black did seem to be an automatic disqualification, but then why did someone need to write an entire book arguing what should have been patently obvious? Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Colin Powell came to my mind and I remembered that he could have run for president in 1992 as a war hero. But Colin Powell was Ronald Reagan’s protégé and got a special pass on the race question. Black conservatives like Justice Thomas, Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell were careful to disassociate themselves from liberal thinkers and activists like Jesse Jackson, who lost, as expected, the 1984 and 1988 Democratic primaries. Ultimately, Colin Powell, in spite of all his honors, declined to run for president. His wife Alma feared for his safety. Common sense said that a candidate like Obama, for numerous insurmountable reasons, didn't stand a chance of winning the Democratic primary, let alone a general election in which 10% of the electorate is African American and Republicans controlled the White House for 20 of the preceding 28 years. But I decided that Obama's chances merited a closer examination. In it, I would bring to bear my gambling skills.

judy said...

Daddy, I like this post because of your honesty - shows how intact your manhood is. And your conversation with MadMike is why this blog deserves some serious recognition.

Nice to have you back.

Daniel Bruno said...

On the 64th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, essayist Daniel Bruno Sanz has written a unique piece about the nuclear arms race and the Black experience on film:

  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/daniel-bruno-sanz/bad-dreams-from-my-grandf_b_250751.html

You may post it on your website and follow us at Twitter.com/DanielBrunoSanz

Here are the Keywords:
5ive, Adolf Hitler, African-American Poetry, Al-Queda, Albert Einstein, Arch Oboler, Carl Sagan, Charles Bronson, Charles Lampkin, Cosmos, Douglass Macarthur, Elizabeth Montgomery, Emperor Hirohito, Enrico Fermi, Fahrenhei 451, Fat Man, Five, Francois Truffaut, Frank Lloyd Wright, Genesis, Gyokuon-Hoso, H.G. Welles, Harry Truman, Hiroshima, James Anderson, James Weldon Johnson, Julius Rosenberg, Klaus Fuchs, Lavrentii Beria, Leo Szilard, Lord Of The Flies, Los Ultimos Cinco, Manchuria, Manhattan Project, Mao Tse-Tung, Martini Movies, Mokusatsu, Mulholland Highway, Nagasaki, Nietzsche, North Korea, Nuclear Holocaust, On The Beach, Orson Welles, Pearl Harbor, Potsdam Declaration, Reagan, Red Army, Rod Serling, Schopenhauer, Semipalatinsk, Stalin, Stepin Fetchit, Suzuki Kantaro, Taliban, The Day After, The Day The World Ended, Twilight Zone, Uranium Fission, Variety Magazine, Will Smith, Wille Zur Macht, William Golding, William Phipps, Living News

Assistant.to.Daniel.B said...

New essay "The Gates Affair:Why We Care" yours to publish
Dear readers and webmasters,

Author Daniel Bruno Sanz has written an essay about Gatesgate. We encourage its publication and distribution.

Regards,

Navas S.


"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

- 4th Amendment to the The Constitution of the United States of America