It was about a month ago and, according to an eyewitness account, around the corner from our new home in Irvine, five policemen were in front of a neighbor’s home, with guns drawn, yelling for those inside to come out with their hands up. Now I’ve been confronted by police several times, in pretty much the same manner, and have also witnessed quite a few similar incidents. But this is Irvine, California, the place where I told my neighbor that I felt safer in, than anywhere I’d ever lived. What a timely reminder that black folks, abeit protected by the police form a criminal element, must be continually cognizant of the fact that we are never fully protected from the police in racially related situations.
According to the person who witnessed the encounter, a young man had come out of the house with his hands up, gave his name, and informed the officers that he lived there. The witness happened to recognize the young man, and sensing his apprehension and fear, yelled out that he was present and that he was watching. After the young man responded with a thank you, one of the officers crossed the street, and asked the witness about he and the young man’s affiliation. As he responded that they were not only neighbors, but that both of their families were friends, the officer called out a code 4, at which time the other officers holstered their weapons and stood down. Soon after, two more young men, one black, the other of Arab descent, came out of the house voluntarily.
As the story goes, the police had received a report that mail had been taken from a nearby mailbox, and that the affiliated family was on vacation. When the police arrived however, the garage was open, there was a car in the driveway, and someone in the house, who didn’t immediately answer the door when the police announced their presence. Reportedly, the guns were drawn in response to the situation.
Now I’ve looked down the barrels of police weapons pointed directly at me, and have experienced the helplessness that ensues. I’ve also approached an area down the street from my own home, surrounded by officers with pistols and assault rifles drawn. But that was Chicago ya’ll, and that’s the nature of stuff that occurs there every day. What happened last Tuesday in Irvine is not a normal occurrence, and I’m not convinced that what happened had nothing to do with the fact that two of the young men, coming out of that house with their hands up, were black.
My heartfelt intent is to inform others about what’s going on, and to ask that we at least consider the ramifications that may occur. Our civil authorities claim to be working on the issues that accompany the matter of diversity, yet the manifestations of these very issues are hushed up, and hidden, as if they never happened. The incident of which we speak, points to the possibility of white parents, informing their white children, of the potential danger that may accompany their affiliation with black youth. Is that particular aspect of diversity going to be addressed here in Irvine?
Can’t tell you what you should do, just reminding you that this kind of stuff ain’t gon stop until something is done. As for me and mine, we’ll be here in irvine, hoping not to forget what time it really is, and seeing things as they really are, and not how we wish they would be.
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