By Qadir Shabazz for BCN #133
March 20, 2021
When it comes to police brutality, I come forward speaking in the perspective of someone who has spent most of their life growing up in the projects—the streets are filled with brothers and sisters who are trying to find a way to make it happen—looking to make their dreams and aspirations come to fruition no matter what the cost is. When you absorb the atmosphere of these various lower income environments, you begin to realize that the struggle brings the motive of having to make sacrifices in order to fill up the fridge in your house, in order to pay the rent, in order to build your image. Coming from nothing, you see the light at the end of the tunnel, but you’re surrounded by darkness until you get to the end of it-- that light is a representation of dreams and nightmares. The tunnel that produces warriors, the tunnel that puts you to the test to see if you’re willing to go all the way through the realistic obstacles that mold you into the character chosen by God itself. There is no final boss -- the final boss appears every single time you make a chess move to determine your income. The police hate a brother, and have no choice but to abuse the law and manipulate the rights of our people. Having no choice is built through the mind manipulation of racism, white supremacy and the thrill of beating the black and blue out of people of color.
The bittersweet truth is acknowledging the fact that all odds are against us coming out of the project. The bittersweet truth is facing the stereotypes and constructing a mindset that will allow our spirits to maintain the strength it needs to power through the lower frequencies that linger around the bottles of Hennessy and weed smoke in which is produced to intoxicate and numb the emotions of our brother’s and sisters. To not feel is to remember that we are living in hell on earth, to remember our fallen soldiers that we’ve lost to the politics of the hood - the streets. To feel completely nothing but the materialistic possessions purchased through taking risk and to end up parked in a car at midnight smoking trees. The image isn’t suspicious, it’s how my brothers got there - it’s their story - it’s their expression within time to appear in certain places of the night to remember that they’ve still got a chance at success. Minding their own business, planning the next move before the sun comes up again. As a witness of this truthful imagery, the police will always be there to interfere and to harass our people due to their lawful instincts and motive to trespass privacy.
To the world, the image and appearance of any black and brown person will strike a good amount of curiosity and tilt and turn your head. Filled with questions, filled lust, filled with hatred, filled with love (perhaps) -- and that is what we see -- that is what I see. Waiting for the moment for one of us to slip and show our vulnerability is always on the bulletin board of society - of the government.
Since image is supposed to be someone’s impressionable identity, the labels fly around in a bowl -- just as the time comes to get ready to pick a card out of this bowl, this black or brown person has already shown you through their words and mannerisms who they are. It’s completely different from what you already picked out in your mind and then the guilt trip begins, the narrative changes. This person has a story of their own to share and their willingness to do it through how they dress in order to be allowed in certain social environments. How come police don’t profile a black man in a suit? But they will profile a black man in a black hoodie. They will profile a young boy who is 6’3ft tall with a hoodie as he’s coming from the gym in the city and has to make his way back to the hood.
Sometimes when a beautiful object is spotted, it either attracts its own reflection—or it attracts something that chooses to be the same way but hasn’t gotten to the point of self evaluation to build those deep internal feelings. The police are one of the biggest gangs in America because they have no love in their hearts for the idea of living as a black human being. It’ll all end when the dreamers release fear from their path.