Long hot summers

The heat.

The long, hot summer of 1967 refers to the 159 race riots that erupted across the United States in 1967.

In June there were riots in Atlanta, Boston, Cincinnati, Buffalo, and Tampa.

In July there were riots in Birmingham, Chicago, New York City, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, New Britain, Rochester, Plainfield, and Toledo.

231 incidents were reported every hour.

Middle class neighborhood

“Before the riot, public perception had deemed Detroit a thriving, peaceful community with a rising middle class and ambitious redevelopment projects. Ironically, the city had earned accolades as the “model for police-community relations.” However, experts claim Detroit’s rising black population was dissatisfied with persisting segregation and issues of discrimination, particularly in policing, before the riots. The 1967 Detroit riot remains one of the deadliest riots in American history.”

2,509 stores were looted or burned, 388 families lost their homes, and 412 buildings needed to be demolished.

“The riot put Detroit on the fast track to economic desolation…”

The smoldering decline

Armed v Unarmed

“If you’re not ready to die for it, put the word ‘freedom’ out of your vocabulary.”

— Malcolm X

Destroyed

The night was hot and sticky, and the crowd’s initial teasing of the arrestees devolved into raucous goading of police as they became more aggressive, pushing and twisting the arms of the women.

Broken

between 1947 and 1963 the city’s manufacturing economy hemorrhaged 134,000 jobs, triggering the start of Detroit’s long decline.

In the 1950s Detroit was the wealthiest city in the world. … Since 1950, the population of Detroit was dropping by 50,000 people per year for nearly 4 decades.

“The auto industry’s instability started in the immediate aftermath of World War II, when materials shortages bedeviled the business. As the nation converted from wartime back to civilian production, there was huge demand for steel. Automakers stood in line with railroads, stove and refrigerator manufacturers, and many others for limited supplies. Strikes in the coal, steel, copper, and glass industries, whose workers struggled to keep pace with postwar inflation, further limited supplies, shutting down auto factories for weeks and sometimes months. With thousands of parts going into each car, any missing items—from seat frames to bolts and screws—could quickly result in tens of thousands of auto layoffs in Detroit.”

Freedom matters

“We are nonviolent with people who are nonviolent with us.”
— Malcolm X

The man whose son started the riot (by his own admission) had lost one of those car factory jobs, which, in turn, caused him to lose his house.

If you’ve ever lost a place you had once lived to economic adversity, not necessarily caused by you, then you understand the despair that pervades this pattern of money changing hands we call the economy.

What this beast actually is though is nothing like the happy-go-lucky term economy – no, it’s simply a death sentence to too many of us. Poverty leaves you few options. Those Oprah affirmations about how bad luck is just bad choices are not actual fact. Life doesn’t line up good and bad choices to tick off like some kind of chore. People make choices based on the present situation, informed as it may be by heaps of bad choices smothering out any good ones because sometimes there is no way to reverse the course of a life where poverty is a given. When enough people just can’t take any more of the unfounded blame, cultural degradation and physical, emotional and psychological pain, they push back.

Where do we go from here? The police have not changed in 50 years, just become more crafty in exploiting the law (the law they break) and more blatant in their systemic violence, predominantly inflicted on African-Americans.

The cops view everyone as a target (see NYPD calling a camera crew “a piece of shit” for documenting the protests that seem to be a personal affront to them). Just watch LAPD shoving a homeless junkie so hard and so many times that his brawny handler had to pull him back-coz cameras.

They “protect their own,” which is code for a gang replete with tattoos, spirit patches and hand signals. Like the gangs they demonize except they’re worse. Their “turf” is our country.

Where do we go from here? Will it play out as the biblical version of Armageddon sold in airports because natural disasters won’t relent, worldwide pestilence and plague, raging floods no ark, infernal fires, and the hand of Satan in man’s inhumanity to man grinding us down til the day we die? Alone with a virus in a hospital bed, asphyxiated by a brutality made official? The people we’ve put in charge think we are a herd to corral, who deserve police calling us a piece of shit when we can’t take their lies anymore.

The blue lives matter cult must justify their own fear, rage, rush to judgement and consistent overreactions. The hostility towards us because we want to be heard, the violence directed at us for just not being them, their addiction to excessive force, meted out in rubber bullets tell us we cannot be trusted.

Hostile and heavily armed (with military grade toys they’re untrained to use) the always prejudiced cops merely seek quotas (“we plan to make lots of arrestsand will plant evidence and lie about the circumstances to achieve this”) and calmly, calculatingly cut off our breath.

How does anyone do that and continue on about the day? Protect and serve should be struck from the propaganda they snarl. They want to hurt people, fail to prevent egregious harm, much less catch rapists, assist the distressed or serve any form of justice. I come to this opinion through personal experience, from four Rampart LAPD terrorists to six City Terrace Sherriff thugs brutalizing me, lying about “evidence” and falsifying another arrest to destroy a person’s life without impunity. The worst of the Rampart four hissed at me for asking why I was being arrested since no crime had been committed. As he forcefully tightened the handcuffs (giving me nerve damage), and twisted my arm and shoulder before finally, locking me in a 100 degree car so I’d pass out, Ponce snarled, “If you don’t shut the fuck up, I’m charging you with resisting arrest.”

The City Terrace sheriff cunt said there was a “warrant for my arrest” (there was not) after illegally searching my car (actually, ripping it apart) in their local chop shop. This is standard. At least in Southern California. I’d never experienced the 0-60 escalation over exaggerated or entirely fabricated infractions until I moved to Los Angeles.

There’s a reason LA evokes riots. It’s called years enduring the LAPD. But we are not alone. They’ll kill you on no evidence of a counterfeit bill in Minneapolis. Or for, god-forbid, selling single cigarettes on the street in NYC. They’ll bring out riot gear to combat artists’ drawing with chalk on a sidewalk during art walk in DTLA. You could die in a “routine traffic stop.”

some reason, these are the humans among us looking to punish anyone and everyone. I’ve heard laymen say, well if you’re here (jail or court or anger management), you must have done something. Well, that’s actually not the case. And with AI, robo-cop profiling of “criminal” intent – an imperfect science if there ever was one, like the whole assumption that police can tell if you’re guilty by how you behave in the aftermath of trauma. I hear fat detectives on the justice network say all the time how they knew he did it because he reacted too calmly (can’t be in shock) or was not responding the way their psychology training declared. We’re talking negative emotional intelligence when it comes to cops. Bullies or they were bullied and now we are here for payback.

What’s worse is the political tough on crime policies have been circumvented to allow the procurement of military grade weaponry, armored vehicles use of armored personnel carriers, assault rifles, submachine guns, flashbang grenades,[2][3]grenade launchers,[4]sniper rifles, and Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams riding in the back of camouflaged trucks. And let’s not forget the drones.

Shock and awe can be had by the highest bidder. Pay for the toys not the training, for the privilege of assaulting your very own fellow countrymen.

It’s appalling how it’s gotten worse. How Rodney King’s experience changed nothing. How shooting a man in the back, shooting an unarmed suspect while serving a warrant because the man with books not guns in his jacket was nervous, and black. I do know what it’s like to feel like a target because of the color of my skin. I can’t even begin to know the experience of my whole life being threatened all the time because of it. It’s the feeling women have all the time about the probability that at some time in our lives we will be sexually assaulted. I have never felt entirely safe and just the past four years’ experience would verify that such vigilance is required having been beaten within an inch of my life and left for dead at a hospital that never reported this violent beating and brain trauma but assumed I was drunk because why? I don’t quite know. I have amnesia the kind where you dissociate to survive. Your brain cuts off the trauma. You get t keep its effects.

I want to do something with this awareness, it is founded in experience and real pain. I want to do something with it, help somebody, advance the human race which is devolving so fast even I am surprised.

Not that I’m much of a Pollyanna but I’d fought for many better things and accomplished some. I’d felt a common ground with others and a belief in those God-awful truths we hold selfevident. Treated equally before the law, freedom of expression and the pursuit of that naive American playbook which now only wreaks of secret societies, corrupt judges, and an endless loop of warring factions’ scorched earth policy of mutually assured destruction, rolling down a never-ending trail of tears.

This is not the only narrative. It’s mind-boggling how ideas thousands of years ago about tyrants, power and oppression still hold true.

“Does the government fear us? Or do we fear the government? When the people fear the government, tyranny has found victory. The federal government is our servant, not our master!”

Thomas Jefferson

How we can’t as a social whole re-calibrate without rage and excessive force, how supposed men and women of faith of all kinds can’t even follow the basic tenants of their religions (which profess love as a collective goal) to shape communities. Instead we are defined by our inequity, our lack, the corruption of power, and adherence to the bellwether of consumption. Breaking your glass because I want what you have or better yet, I don’t want you to have it if I can’t.

The dark ages followed the plague. These dark times hit us right as we were trying to get back up. All because one cop who’d been written up 17 times decided he could kill because he was a cop. This wasteland of grief caused by the actions of one vile human being should be answered for.

Don’t expect leadership from law enforcement. (Camden and Denver may be exceptions, but in LA, we see cops shoving homeless people around while businesses burn to the ground). The cops are the same type of people as those who would prey on whoever is weaker or different or vulnerable.

The police want that. It justifies their undisciplined ignorant rage. Their actions belie a preference for shooting fish in a barrel (roughing up addicts, busting people for possession and attacking the poor for existing) over keeping a community safer. The cops here degrade our communities. Cutting their “budget” will only make their resentment grow. Training by civilians with expertise in human behavior is never even considered. People with the power and they feel professional discretion to decide whether you live or die do so on the basis of their own prejudices and dishonest intentions. Lots of arrests the police chief here vowed, talking tough. He admits on the news that they only planned for a “peaceful protest.” What the fuck is that? That’s like saying we only planned for no deadly accidents on the freeway so fuck you for not adhering to our stupidity. Planned for easy overtime. Bash a few hippie heads. Bust out the bear spray, have fun with tear gas, fire away those rubber bullets – watch em scatter.

Perhaps a gladiator tournament that’s in order so cops have to fight against all the hatred they’ve spread. Perhaps fire rubber bullets at a bunch of them for daring to express that justice is for them. Just because they’re cops, we shouldn’t shoot them in the back, put them in a quick chokehold or pin down with our knee even after they say I can’t breathe. It could be cathartic to have a public melee since all police understand is violence. Our president would sit front row.

That’s the only way you will get through to an entrenched band of outlaws with violence as their creed. Reform won’t happen because they are scared, weak and incapable of understanding what justice looks like. The cornerstone of police work is making sure we know your place. Protecting their own. Knowing the DA won’t charge you. The rules don’t apply to Steve Cooley, Jackie-no-charges-for-cops and False Arrest king Ponce.

As I’ve mentioned, my distrust, fear and hatred of cops is entirely built from personal experience. I’m just a 54 year old adoptee so I don’t know my “race,” and choose not to identify with it. I have no family ties and no lineage to protect, preserve, be proud of. I speak as an American citizen. And as an American the matter of race has eclipsed our consciousness because insecure white men have exerted their corrupt power over our shared values.

We don’t have time to grieve. One evil man destroyed any chance of collective recovery from the latest scourge. We have a leader who flaunts his ignorance as some kind of proof that he is speaking the truth – a deep state when it’s convenient, military protection from the losers, and declaring anti-fascists are the enemy because we really do want fascism, particularly his brand.

Why the hell is there an insurrection act in the country designed to overthrow bad government?

No justice, no peace.

When tyranny becomes law, rebellion becomes duty.

Thomas Jefferson

Published by katherinewalker

Director, Writer, Producer Nominated for two primetime Emmy's for the Apprentice Emmy award winning episode The Amazing Race Columnist, Editor, Grantwriter UVa-B.A. English/History VFS-Certificate Film Conflict Resolution Mediator Facilitator, State of Hawaii, DOJ Published poet, filmmaker, photographer, music aficionado. Canoe paddler, horse wrangler, gem dealer, fixer, The Wolf. https://about.me/katherine.walker Katherine Walker EP-Show Runner, Director www.imuafilm.wordpress.com katherineelizabethwalker LinkedIn Los Angeles, CA Schedule a time

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