Weekend Read: “The Talk” About Police

Estimated Reading Time: 9 minutes

What I have told my children and grandchildren

President Biden, in his address to the graduating class of Morehouse College, said:

“If Black men are being killed on the streets, we bear witness. For me, that means to call out the poison of white supremacy, to root out systemic racism.

I stood up for George — with George Floyd’s family to help create a country where you don’t need to have that talk with your son or grandson as they get pulled over.”

“That talk?” What is he referring to? In 2017, PBS presented a documentary called “The Talk: Race In America.” The premise was that black parents need to warn their sons about interactions with police, to protect them against racist police officers who might beat or kill them.

In the documentary, Kenya Barris, a television writer and producer (“Soul Food,” “Black-ish”) said, “You know, my mom’s conversation with me is ‘Whatever they say, you do’… It was really like, ‘Yes sir, no sir, thank you sir’ is I think more of a contemporary phrasing that is – comes from the same ideology of ‘the police tell you to do something, you do it., because I want to make sure you come home.’ Um, it’s, you know, I think that, that, for me is sort of just parallel with being a black kid, you know, growing up in an inner city, like you understood that they were the boss – quote/unquote – ‘the boss,” and you do what they say, or something bad could happen, and they were above your parents being able to help you, even if they were wrong.”

Let’s get this straight. Doing what the cops tell you to do is good advice, but it’s the same advice that all parents – black or white – should give their sons (and daughters). There are not separate rules; we all need to do what police tell us to do, All parents are supposed to teach their children to say “Yes, sir,” “No sir,” “Thank you,” and “Please” to everybody, including police. All parents should tell their children that society has given police great power over us, and that we should do what they say – even when we think they are wrong – because (unless you are politically connected) police outrank all parents of all races.

Do Kenya Barris and Joe Biden genuinely believe that white parents tell their children that they should not do what the police say, not say “yes, sir” and “no, sir”, not keep their hands on the steering wheel, because their white privilege exempts them from the rules that apply to black people? Good luck with that! Do Kenya Barris and Joe Biden genuinely believe that if a black police officer (male or female) tells a black driver (male or female) to keep his or her hands on the wheel, that it’s OK to take their hands off the wheel? Good luck with that!

Watch Chris Rock’s hilarious video, “How To Not Get Your A** Kicked By The Police.” For those who are afraid of getting their a** kicked by the police (and for those parents who worry about their children getting their a**es kicked by the police), Rock offers helpful hints, several of which I have adopted in my own “Talk” to my children and grandchildren. Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lpjcdZpXrnk

The idea that police officers are racists who hunt down young black men for sport is false. Biden’s assertion that “Black men are being killed in the streets” is a damnable lie and slander, from a man who has been a liar and slanderer his whole life. (Not to mention a racist.) To the extent black men are being killed, they are being killed mostly by other black men, not by white supremacists., and not by white police officers. It is evil to teach that lie to children, and frankly it is a form of child cruelty to terrify them like that.

Here is the truth: most police officers are decent people, but some are not. The same is true of teachers, doctors, lawyers, priests, nurses and pretty much everybody else. There are always a few (in all walks of life) who are more interested in what they can do to people than what they can do for them. We have all heard of teachers who slap little kids around, of doctors who sexually abuse gymnasts, of priests who rape altar boys, and police who enjoy beating up people who are helpless – handcuffed and/or drunk. Sadly, some people are sadistic SOBs, but the proportion of sadistic white SOBs and sadistic black SOBs is about the same – low, but still problematic. There are sadistic SOBs (of all races) who are also racists, but they are a small subset of all sadistic SOBs. Mostly what sadistic SOBs look for in their victims is not race, but helplessness. They like that feeling of power.

We need to weed out the power-mad sadists in all occupations and in all races. Promoting the myth of “racist police” is counter-productive, because even if you weeded out the racists, you would still be left with the rest of the sadistic SOBs.

Despite the coroner’s report, which said that George Floyd died from drug overdose and heart disease – not from asphyxiation or neck trauma — police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murdering him. In the trial, the prosecution never produced any evidence that Chauvin was motivated by racism. None. Racism was simply assumed. Chauvin was white, and Floyd was black; what more proof do you need? Reportedly, Chauvin had 18 prior complaints of excessive force. Let’s see them. Were all the complaints from black people? All white? A mix? Was he an equal opportunity sadistic SOB, motivated by the helplessness of his victims rather than the race of his victims? When the prosecutors looked at his Facebook and Twitter postings, did they find praise for the KKK and the Aryan Brotherhood? Did his co-workers testify that he was a racist? No such evidence was presented in the trial. If it had been, we would be able to conclude Chauvin is a racist, but until we have some evidence, we can’t say for sure.

“But, but – systemic racism! The racism was baked into the system! Also, Trump’s fault!” Unlikely. Consider that in Minneapolis, the mayor, city council, city attorney, county attorney, and police chief are all Democrats (well, one Green on the city council, but zero Republicans). Is it likely that all those Democrats were inspired by Trump to “systemically” hire racist police officers? The chief of police, Medario Arradondo, a man of Hispanic ancestry, once sued the department for racial discrimination (along with four black officers), and was thereafter appointed as head of the department that investigates racial discrimination. After that, he was promoted to chief of police. Is it likely that with his background, Arradondo would systemically have racists in his department? By design, the racial makeup of the Minneapolis Police Department was and is in proportion to the racial makeup of the general population of Minneapolis. There is nothing “systemically racist” about that, is there?

In Atlanta, a white police officer, Garrett Rolfe, shot and killed a black man, Rayshard Brooks. “Black Lives Matter” riots erupted; the city burned. Thirty-one people were shot (five died) in eleven shooting incidents. A beautiful little eight-year-old black girl, Secoriea Turner, was one of the five fatalities, murdered by a mostly peaceful Black Lives Matter protester. The mayor of Atlanta is a black woman. The chief of police, Erika Shields, was white, but she was a lesbian woman, so it’s a pretty good bet she is not a MAGA Trumper. Sixty-two percent of Atlanta police officers are black. Does it seem likely that the Atlanta police department, with 62% black officers, is “systemically” racist, or that they would tolerate racists in their ranks, because Trump?

Here, then, is what I think The Talk should be for all children and grandchildren, of all races:

My Beloved Children and Grandchildren, most police officers are nice people, but there are a few who are really mean and nasty, and some who are purely evil. The police have great power over all of us, so you should avoid contacts with the police as much as possible, to reduce your chances of crossing paths with one of the bad ones. Here are some ways to avoid interactions with the police.

Obey the law.

If you don’t steal, kill people, assault people, sell/buy/use illegal drugs, drive drunk, or commit other crimes, you will be much less likely to be in a situation where you will be handcuffed, arrested, and/or imprisoned, all of which make you helpless, and which can therefore put you at the mercy of a sadistic, power-mad police officer, if you have the bad luck to run into one.

George Floyd was not walking down the street minding his own business, when the police randomly decided to attack him. He was trying to buy merchandise with a counterfeit bill, and the store owner called 911 to report that. The store owner also told the 911 operator that Floyd was acting crazy and appeared to be high on drugs. Sure enough, Floyd was high on drugs (fentanyl and methamphetamine), and he had a long history of crime – including violent crime.

At this point, some racialist is going to be outraged, and accuse me of saying that George Floyd deserved to die, that he had it coming, that I am “blaming the victim.” I am not saying that at all, and anybody who makes that accusation is, in the words of Joe Biden, a “lying dog-faced pony soldier.” George Floyd did not deserve to die – he deserved to be arrested and he deserved to go to jail.

Do What The Policeman Says.

When he saw the police lights flashing in his rear view mirror, Rodney King did not pull over, but led the police on a chase. He got brutally beaten – undeservedly, in my opinion. However, notice that his passengers did not get beaten. Why not? Because they followed the officers’ orders and did not try to fight with the police. Hmm, is there a lesson there?

Have you ever seen a police chase on TV? Of course. Have you ever seen one in which the driver got away? Mmmmnope. What does that tell you?

If you see the flashing lights, or if a policeman says “Stop,” then stop. Don’t try to run away, just stop. Do you think you are more likely to get your a** kicked if you pull over, or if you try to run away? Running away can only make things worse, not better, so just pull over, OK?

If the officer says “Stay in the car,” stay in the car. If the officer says “Get out of the car,” get out of the car. If the officer says “Show me your license,” show him your license. If she says “Get face down on the ground and put your hands behind your back,” then, as humiliating as it is, and even if the officer is wrong, swallow your pride, get face down on the ground and put your hands behind your back.

Be Polite.

“Yes sir, no sir, thank you sir.” That is not offensive or racist. That’s how all people – black or white (or Asian, Hispanic, Arabic, etc.) should address all other people – cops or not.

Don’t Be Impolite.

Don’t insult police officers or call them names or express anger or hatred toward them. But don’t insult anybody else, or call anybody else names, or express anger or hatred toward anybody else. That’s bad manners, and you should not have bad manners. Above all, whatever you do, never never never use the F-word, or flash your middle finger. The great majority of personal violence, police or otherwise, begins with somebody using the F-word.

Don’t Be A Stereotype.

If you don’t want to be profiled, don’t fit the profile. If you wear a white pointed hood, people are likely to think you are in the KKK. If you dress like an outlaw biker, people are likely to think you are an outlaw biker. If you wear your pants around your butt, people are likely to think you are a gangster. Look and dress like the person you want people to think you are. Look and dress like a responsible grownup. Choose a personal style that will make a police officer (or any other person) look at you and say “There goes a decent person. No way is that person a criminal.”

Smile.

Walk around with a slight smile on your face, like you know a happy secret. When asked to describe you, people should say “You know, the one that is always smiling.” Criminals never smile; it’s not cool; it’s not part of the tough guy image. In a contact with a police officer, smile pleasantly. What? You are going to get a ticket that will cost you $500? And it was from an unfair speed trap? And the officer is wrong? Relax. You are going to earn a million dollars or more over your lifetime. Five hundred dollars may be a hardship right now, but in the long run, it is going to be pocket change. Smile, take your ticket, and drive on.

Observe John Farnam’s Rules.

1 – Avoid stupid people.

If your friend says “You know what would be awesome? Let’s smash some windows!” then you need to drop that friend, and get a better friend.

2 – Avoid stupid places.

So many crime reports come from strip clubs and liquor stores. Don’t hang out at places like that. Did you hear there is a riot happening on Oak Street, or people breaking into the Capitol building? Don’t go there.

3 – Don’t do stupid things.

Car surfing is stupid. Eating Tide Pods is stupid. Graffiti tagging is stupid. Setting your hair on fire is stupid. “Partying” until you puke is stupid. Holding up convenience stores is stupid. Before doing anything, ask yourself, “Is this stupid?” If it is, don’t do it.

Don’t Get Drunk.

Grownups drink. Children and other fools get drunk. Alcohol is good for you. Getting drunk is bad for you. Apart from making you physically sick, it impairs your judgment, which causes you to hang around with stupid people, go to stupid places, and do stupid things. “Let’s try to beat that train to the crossing! It’ll be awesome!” No it won’t.

Pizza and Mexican food taste good. With beer, they taste better. Steak is good. With wine, it’s better. Just don’t drink too much. How much is too much? More than one drink. Seriously? Seriously. Have one beer, or one glass of wine, or one cocktail. Don’t gulp it down; savor the taste. It should take you as long to drink the wine as to eat the steak. Then switch to non-alcoholic beer or wine, or sparkling water.

Needless to say, lay off the drugs for the same reason. It makes you lose your judgment and violate Farnam’s Rules.

Be In Bed By Ten O’clock.

Most police reports involve stupid people in stupid places doing stupid things – at 2:00 in the morning. Don’t be out during the Stupid Hours. Be at home in bed getting a good night’s sleep. That way, you will miss most of the Stupid.

Beloved Children and Grandchildren, if you follow this advice, you will greatly reduce your risk of encountering or antagonizing one of the few bad policemen.

TAKE ACTION

The Prickly Pear’s TAKE ACTION focus this year is to help achieve a winning 2024 national and state November 5th election with the removal of the Biden/Obama leftist executive branch disaster, win one U.S. Senate seat, maintain and win strong majorities in all Arizona state offices on the ballot and to insure that unrestricted abortion is not constitutionally embedded in our laws and culture.

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Read Part 1 and Part 2 of The Prickly Pear essays entitled How NOT to Vote in the November 5, 2024 Election in Arizona to be well informed of the above issues and to vote in a way to ensure the most likely chance your vote will be counted and counted as you intend.

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