Tag Archives: police

Uncategorized

If Police Kill Me, Don’t Let Them Change the Narrative

Okay, y’all. I wanted to avoid writing about this, because I’m tired of writing about black people killed by police. Seriously you all, I AM TIRED OF THIS. This is not my idea of a good time. I have a birthday coming up, and I’d rather be playing video games than dissecting the hypothetical scenarios of my improbable demise at the hands of police, which, judging by the headlines, seem a bit more likely by the day.

What I’m saying is, the story of Botham Shem Jean’s killing by Amber Guyger in Dallas has me shook.

Like Jean, I’m known in my community as a Christian, and specifically as a worship leader. Like Jean, I am somewhat larger and physically imposing (although not in great shape like he was). Like Jean, I live in what is a fairly exclusive apartment complex, made possible because of work I do in and among a suburban locale, where even though there is a modicum of diversity, most of the seats of power are filled by white people. Also like Dallas, the police department of my home city is also helmed by a black woman, which might give off a more progressive impression than what the truth should warrant.

Anyway, the shooting — as tragic as it is — is not the thing that completely burns me up.

And that fact — all by itself — is all kinds of f***ed up, because all by itself, that morally reprehensible and societally-aberrant act of unnecessary lethal state-sanctioned violence should make me furious. I should be marching in the streets right now. I should be dropping f-bombs in my sermon, stopping traffic on the highway, interrupting dinners of whoever is complicit in this nonsense in order to get through to people that THIS KIND OF THING IS NOT OKAY AND IT KEEPS HAPPENING.

Uncategorized

What Traffic Cops Can Teach Us About NFL Protests

So yesterday, on the way to church, I received a citation for speeding.

It happened while I was listening to a song from my middle school years, in a blast of nostalgia. The weather was nice, I was grooving along, and before I knew it, red and blues were flashing behind me. 75 in a 55, with my wife and two nephews in the car. My interaction with the officer was civil, if not pleasant. I didn’t take it personally. I didn’t think he pulled me over because I was black and driving a nice car (though the thought did cross my mind). Not my finest hour, but I’ll take the penalties and try to do better.

What’s interesting is that at church, our guest preacher also had a story about being pulled over by police. Except it wasn’t for speeding, but for continually driving in the left lane, a practice that is illegal in the state of Washington, several other states, and in my opinion, should be illegal everywhere.

Uncategorized

When Passive Aggression Turns Deadly

Okay, so let me be up front about something.

Many of my pieces originate with me ranting about something that annoys me, and this is no exception. It’s hard to write this without coming off as self-serving, because on a basic level, this is about me being annoyed with people who are passive-aggressive.

I’ve often heard it said that the things we hate the most are the things we dislike about ourselves, and for me, this is true! In general, I hate passive-aggressive behavior, and I hate it even more now because I find myself surrounded by it enough that it’s starting to affect me.

Which is really janky, because black people… we don’t usually do passive-aggressive. It’s not what we’re known for. But Portland is a very passive-aggressive place, and living here, it’s like I can’t even help it.

True story…