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Protests against police brutality to police brutally enforcing curfew.

How did we get from marching and protesting the brutal murder of yet another unarmed Black man to cops all over the country violently beating Americans exercising their right to peacefully protest?

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How did we get from marching and protesting the brutal murder of yet another unarmed Black man to cops all over the country violently beating Americans exercising their right to peacefully protest? The narrative from the government and the media looks like this:

Black people protesting police brutality turned into Black people looting stores for the hell of it. To stop the looting, the government has had to step in and deploy law enforcement to keep everybody inside and our cities safe.

That’s not how we got here, and that’s not where we are now.

Protest

Black people across the country marched for George Floyd and all the other Black people killed by state-sanctioned violence. Sometimes property damage happens when people are angry and have nowhere to direct that anger, when people are silenced and no one is listening. I wrote about it here and you may have already read it.

Agitation

Here’s where the media first dropped the ball, but we saw it at the protests and we shared the videos on social media. Cops, both undercover and in uniform, along with anti-Black protest infiltrators wanted to instigate riots to stoke the fires of racial tension. They wanted the police to have a reason to justify beating Black people for exercising their right to protest, so they went out and destroyed property.

Entertainment

The media continued to ignore bored white kids ransacking shopping districts for fun. Social media influencers discussed their “riot outfits” before getting drunk and going out to the protests for entertainment.

https://7news.com.au/news/world/influencers-slammed-for-attending-us-protests-as-instagram-opportunity-c-1073184

Here in NYC, they emptied entire stores in SoHo and set fires downtown one night and the next night tried to do the same at Queens Center Mall.

The radio scanners picked up cops responding to projectiles being thrown at the police from rooftops on 56th and Lexington Ave, and if you’re unfamiliar with NYC demographics, there are no Black people there — it’s all rich white folks. They wanted to be a little rebellious, act out a little, dabble in some light anarchy, so they put on their little hoodies and sneakers and went out to the protests armed with privilege and spray paint.

Looting

There’s some looting along with property damage associated with most civil unrest, but looting as a distinct, planned, and specific activity outside of a peaceful march is what particularly sent NYC into curfew mode, and this is where the media picked up its narrative. White kids from Staten Island burning up SoHo didn’t really make a dent in the media coverage. Black people converging on Macy’s in Herald Square two nights later was cause for mass panic in newsrooms and the halls of government. There are a few different reasons we started to see that.

One, there was opportunity for personal enrichment in a time of chaos. People have been out of work for months and underpaid for generations. If you see people breaking into stores one night, you might be inspired to do the same the next night so you can get some free stuff too.

Two, the same reasons people cause property damage in the course of a march apply to people who destroy storefronts and clear off the shelves as a form of protest: white people in power don’t listen until you mess with their money, so mess with their money on a larger scale.

Three, we watched white kids tearing up stores for two days, white kids who are neither oppressed nor economically disadvantaged. Why should they get all the free stuff when they don’t even need it?

Police Response

Now the police have been presented with a reason to do what they always want to do, even if they have to embellish the facts or make up lies to give to the media who will then try to convince us that their response is wholly necessary to protect the public.

I am a very online person in a very liberal city, so I often lose touch with the tenor of the country. I don’t always know what white people in rural Nebraska are ingesting from cable news. I don’t always know what Black people in Southern cities are being fed from local reporters. From snapshots of conversations people are having with their relatives, I get the sense that most people think cops are okay, save for a few “bad apples,” the ones who were involved in George Floyd’s murder should be charged, Black people are treated unfairly but too many are using this opportunity to just steal stuff, and curfews will help get everything back under control.

There are so many videos where people of color are attacked for peacefully protesting.

 

But need you to send them videos of white people talking about their attacks by the police.

Jason Rosenberg, an HIV activist and one of the nicest people in NYC, was beaten, arrested, refused medical treatment by the police, and finally released in the wee hours of the morning so he could go to the emergency room.

Show them videos of the police trapping people with nowhere to go, only to gas them in a smaller space.

Show them videos of journalists being attacked by the police.

Show them videos of white people being attacked by the police.

If it’s just the case of of “a few bad apples,” why do all the videos from around the country look so similar? Brutality is a feature, not a bug, and if someone in your life is defending law enforcement, show them these videos. T. Greg Doucette has been building a thread on police brutality — and he keeps adding to it here — and you need to make your Blue Lives Matter associates and relatives watch every single one. (Threads on Twitter are tricky, because when they get too long, the thread breaks, but if you scroll down and the tweets stop loading, click the last tweet and more should populate.)

The Civil Rights movement hit a real turning point when white people across the country could turn on the television and see other white people who look just like them standing side by side next to Black people being attacked by the police with dogs and fire hoses. We can go deep into why Black people being brutalized isn’t enough to incite massive changes in society, but it is what it is. White people don’t believe it until it happens to white people. White people won’t believe the cops are bad and that it’s not just a few “bad apples” until they see white people who look like them being gassed, sprayed, tossed, and shot at. So show it to them, because the media isn’t doing enough to focus on the real narrative: law enforcement in this country created this situation (by killing us), exacerbated this situation (by inciting riots), and are prolonging this situation (by trapping and baiting protesters so they can brutalize and arrest them).

Curfew

Curfews are a way to take the police response and kick it up a notch. In many municipalities, the goal seems to be trapping likely protesters outside after curfew so the police can use force to arrest them or violently frighten them into never protesting again. It didn’t quite go as planned last night in NYC because the protesters didn’t take the bait and there was more publicity than they planned.

Curfew here in the city was at 8pm and some people did not receive notification until well after 7. The police started barricading entrances to subway stations around 6:30 in many areas and we saw crowds of people in places like Columbus Circle wondering how they were going to get home before 8.

Further downtown, thousands of people from three different protests around Manhattan converged and made their way toward the Manhattan Bridge to continue marching into Brooklyn. When they got there, they couldn’t come back, because the NYPD blocked the Manhattan side of the bridge. They also couldn’t turn around, because the NYPD blocked the Brooklyn side of the bridge. Thousands of people were just stuck hundreds of feet above a river with no water, no bathroom, and nowhere to sit for hours, and the images spread around the country (and the world) faster than they anticipated. AOC saw them got ready to leave her home to see if she could do anything. It was front page on CNN — the nation’s largest police force holding thousands of people hostage on a bridge — and helicopter footage.

The police wanted a riot. They had police vans ready and a wall of cops prepared to gas, spray, beat, and shoot anyone who got agitated, but the protesters didn’t give them the opportunity.

The Brooklyn side of the bridge opened and the marchers were told to go back that way. The subways still run at night for essential workers and some entrances were cleared for protesters who live in Manhattan to get home, but many decided to find shelter in Brooklyn for the night. If you know the police want to arrest you, would you take the subway with a crowd of people coming from a protest?

While this was going on, Mayor deBlasio said the city was calm and curfew was working.

In other cities, trapping protesters didn’t end so peacefully.

And that’s where we are now. We’ve gone from the police refusing to take accountability for its treatement of Black people to the police instigating violence to the police trapping people for the sole purpose of enacting violence, to scare the population into submission.

I don’t think it works that way. When you’re an essential worker walking home from your shift at the hospital and you get beaten by the cops , you might be moved to join a protest yourself next time.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8381603/Hospital-worker-32-beaten-kicked-NYPD-cops-filming-clashes-protesters.html

When you’re sitting on your porch and the police roll through shooting everyone in your neighborhood to force you to go inside, you might be moved to join a protest yourself next time.

When you’re on your couch and you see video of the police getting a kick out of inciting violence, you might be moved to join a protest yourself next time.

There are now protests in all 50 states.

Across the world, people are marching in solidarity against American law enforcement officers.

I don’t know what’s going to happen or where this will end up. For all of the white allies marching with and for us, there are equal if not greater numbers on social media calling for us to be shot and roaming the streets armed with weapons at the behest of the President.

Racism set the stage for this, the police created this, and the government is endorsing this. What are you going to do?

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Cops

Eric Adams supports terrorizing Black people.

Stop & frisk puts us in a constant state of unease around law enforcement, and Eric Adams supports that. 

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I was stopped by the NYPD multiple times under the city’s stop & frisk policy of harassing Black and Latino men as often as possible. Eric Adams supports that policy and I want to remind everyone what it was like to be stopped for no reason by the NYPD.

I will remember Officer Francavilla for the rest of my life, and his stop wasn’t even my most violent interaction with the police. In the West Village, I was put on the ground face down by two cops and my phone was cracked when I landed on it. In Harlem, I ended up with a scratch on my forehead after I was held face first against a brick wall for fitting the description of a robbery suspect. Still, my stop at Columbus Circle is the clearest example of discrimination under stop-and-frisk and I still remember the cold hatred in that man’s face to this day.

I wrote this on November 11, 2014.


I got on the subway at Broadway-Lafayette, put on my headphones to let Azealia Banks provide the soundtrack to my ride home, and then I settled in for the ride.  I must have fallen asleep, because when I came to, there was a white NYPD officer whistling and saying “hey, hey you, off the train.”  I took out my headphones to see who he was talking to, vaguely upset that I missed whatever commotion made the train stop.  I figured there must have been some kind of fight.  I looked around and there was a homeless guy and two other guys behind me.  I assumed the officer was pointing to them and they started to get off the train.  I sat back and put my headphones back on.  When I faced front again, the officer had moved closer to me and was telling me to exit too.  “Are you ignoring my orders?  I said off the train.  Now.  Get off this train.“  I was still confused because nobody else was getting off, so it wasn’t an emergency and all I was doing was listening to music so I couldn’t have done anything wrong.

I asked, “Why?”

“I don’t like explaining myself on the subway.  Out of the car.  I’ll explain in a minute.  Get up.  Get up.”  So I got up.

I was standing on the train platform seething as the D train pulled away. It was 4:30 in the morning. I had been drinking in the East Village all night. All I wanted to do was go home and get in bed, but now I was standing in a subway station between two other guys with a cop – Officer Francavilla according to his badge (couldn’t remember the number and wasn’t about to reach for my phone) – in my face.  The guy to my left was Latino, wearing baggy jeans, a baggy sweatshirt, and a baseball cap.  I think he said his name was Jose, and he had a thick accent.  The guy to my right was also Latino with long, shoulder-length hair, wearing a sweatshirt, jeans & sneakers and carrying a  skateboard.  I can’t remember his name, but I’ll call him Rob.  Officer Francavilla made us slowly retrieve our IDs.  Rob handed his over, but Jose said he didn’t have one.  That’s when another cop (there were 3 or 4 on the platform) took Jose aside and it was just Rob & I.

I still have a South Carolina ID because I don’t feel like going through the hassle and cost of getting New York one.  Plus, if you show an ID from a Southern state at Brother Jimmy’s BBQ on Wednesdays, you get a discount.

Officer Francavilla asked me if I lived in NYC.  Mind you, I was enraged.  This is my fourth stop by the NYPD and I was seething with anger.  Looking back, I finally realize how confrontations with the cops turn so quickly, because I could not stop myself from being completely pissed off, standing there on the platform mean-mugging with my head cocked to the side giving clipped, one-word answers.

OF:  Do you live in NYC?
Me: No.
OF:  What are you doing here?
Me:  Visiting.
OF:  Who are you visiting?
Me:  Friend.
OF:  Where are you going right now?
Me:  Friend.
OF:  Where does your friend live?
Me:  Harlem.

By this point, Officer Francavilla was visibly upset.  His attitude had met and exceeded mine and he had an obvious chip on his shoulder to compete with my anger and confusion at being in this situation.  He stared me down and I stared back at him.

OF:  Look RAF.  Listen to me.
Me:  Not my name. Pronounce my entire name.

He stepped a couple of steps closer and stared me down again.

OF:  Look.  If you treat me with respect, I’ll treat you with respect.  That understood?

Staring at him the whole time, I cocked my head from one shoulder to the other and I could not tell you why.  The entire time I was in this situation, I was livid and couldn’t control my expression or my body language.  I’m never like that.  I’m so fully in control of my faculties at all times, but it was like someone else had taken over my body because I was just THAT PISSED at being accosted by law enforcement AGAIN.  I see how a stop & frisk turns into a resisting arrest at the drop of a hat because if I was acting this way, I’m sure other people do too and that “attitude” angers the cops who are trying to get their arrest numbers that night anyway.  All they have to do is push just a little and they have another collar for the month.

Anyway, Officer Francavilla sneered and asked me how many times I had been arrested.  When I told him none, he asked me how many times I had been stopped by police.  Again, I told him none.  Incredulously, he asked me how many times I had had to talk to police.  Once again, I told him none.

OF:  You’ve never had to talk to the police?  Ever?
Me:  No.

The look of SHOCK on his face made me want throw him in front of a train.  Yes, I’ve been stopped by the cops 3 times under this city’s baseless stop & frisk regulation, but he didn’t know that.  The fact that he was SO SURPRISED that I said I’d never been stopped by the police says everything you need to know about how cops treat young Black & Latino men in this city.  A 20-something Black male wearing baggy sweats, a black fitted, a white tee, and fresh Jordans has never been stopped by the cops?  WOW HOW INCREDIBLE.

Still seething from that moment.

At that point, he moved on to question Rob instead.  Luckily for me, I guess Rob made a more enticing candidate for arrest once he said he was supposed to report to community service later that day for a sentence.  I’m sure OF’s thinking was “Oh he’s already in the system.  This will be easy.”  I tuned out while they were talking, but then OF instructed us to walk down the platform.

OF:  We’re going to walk down the platform to the last set of stairs and then you’re going to go up.
Rob:  Where are we going?
OF:  I don’t like explaining myself here.  For your safety and mine, keep your hands out of your pockets and walk slowly in front of me.

We were paraded from one end of the platform to the other like criminals.  It was a walk of shame I never thought I’d have to endure.  The whole time I was hoping no one would recognize me…but on the other hand hoping I ran into someone I knew so they could see I was being detained by cops for seemingly no reason.  Remember, I don’t know why I had to get off the train, I don’t know why I’m being detained, and I hadn’t asked because it hadn’t crossed my mind really.  I could only see red.  If I started speaking full sentences, I knew it would go off the rails quickly.  I can’t express to you the full magnitude of my anger, but by the time I got to the last stairwell, I had a throbbing headache and my whole body was tense.

At the top of the stairs, Rob and I were instructed to back up until we were on the wall, keep our hands out of our pockets, and not make any sudden movements.  At the same time, Jose and his cop had caught up – he was being walked past us in handcuffs into the precinct (some subway stations have police precincts inside).  Officer Francavilla finally decided to explain himself.

OF:  Are you two familiar with the subway rules and regulations?
Rob:  What?
OF:  You two are being stopped for taking up more than one seat on the subway.
Me:  No I wasn’t.
OF:  I saw you with your foot in another seat which is a clear violation of the rules posted in every attendant booth.
Me:  What’s that?
OF:  You see that sign where you walk up and buy your Metrocard from an attendant?
Me:  No I use the machine.
OF:  It’s there.  Read it next time.

This is the kind of car I had been sitting in.

I was sitting in a yellow seat leaned up against the window with my leg draped over the corner of the orange seat perpendicular to me.  My foot wasn’t in it, I wasn’t in anyone’s way (because it was 4:30am and the train was empty), and my thigh was just kind of casually resting on it.  If you didn’t know, that’s a violation, so now you know.

Officer Francavilla said that our violation gave him probable cause to run our IDs to see if we have any outstanding warrants.  He gave both of our IDs to another cop who went into the precinct while we stood against the wall for another 20 minutes.  Rob had some kind of violation, so he was cuffed.  I was let go.

Now, let me just take a quick minute so you can fully realize how racist this policy is.  You can read this story from the NYT first or you can read it after.  Either way, this “regulation” isn’t enforced during the day.  It isn’t enforced in Soho or Gramercy or Chelsea during business hours.  This policy is only enforced late at night on trains where cops can make a quick “score.”  Think back to all of the times you’ve been on the subway between 3am and 5am – most of the riders are Black or Latino.  A large number of them, especially in trains coming from midtown, are late-night workers in kitchens and service.  The cops get on these trains and basically look for brown people to harass.  In order for this regulation to be equally implemented, the NYPD would have to stop white men with their briefcase in a seat down in the financial district.  White women shopping downtown would have to be stopped for having their bags in the way.  If the “regulation” were in any way applied evenly to the entire population, the NYPD would have a class action suit filed by every person who takes up two seats on the subway because that $2.50 only entitles you to one space.

If you want to make the argument that “If you don’t have any warrants, you don’t have anything to worry about,” that’s fine.  You’re wrong for three reasons:

One, I don’t have any warrants but I still have ONE MORE POLICE INTERACTION than most of my friends.  Do you understand how this resentment toward law enforcement builds up?  I have been delayed or detained by the NYPD FOUR TIMES in 6 years.

Two, Officer Francavilla didn’t write us a ticket, but many cops do.  That’s squeezing money out of a largely under-privileged demographic to fill the city’s coffers.

Three, white people have warrants too.  This is another example of the cyclical nature of law enforcement.  The crime rate is higher among Black & Latino men because we’re always being stopped by police who then find out what we did or what we’re carrying.  We get convicted and become a statistic.  The statistic says we’re criminals, so cops pay closer attention to us.  Then we get arrested, and all the while no one is looking for white people.  White people commit crimes.  White people do drugs at the same rate everyone else does.  White people carry guns.  But nobody is checking for them.  Nobody is pulling white guys off the train to check what they did and see if they can be arrested for anything because the NYPD is intentionally picking times and routes when they are more likely to have Black & Latino collars!  Everything about the entire system is stacked up against us from actual legislation to the implementation of such.  This doesn’t have to be a racist regulation, but the NYPD has applied it in a blatantly prejudiced way that virtually excludes the vast majority of white passengers from ever being subjected to it.

If you’re a white person who has been stopped for this violation, before you send me any messages, ask yourself three things:  what time was it?  what train was it?  what did the other people who got stopped look like?  They NYPD wasn’t targeting YOU – you just happened to be there while they were targeting US.

So.  That’s my fourth stop & frisk.  I’m still alive, but that’s number four.  I guess stay tuned for number five since apparently I have a tracking device that puts me on the radar of any cop in a 20 foot radius.

UPDATE:

A friend just found the guy who stopped us and apparently he has a suit against him for beating a passenger for the same violation.

Los Angeles transplant Evan King says a cop called him a “d–k,” threw him to the ground, then was joined by other officers in roughing him up because he dared to ask why he was stopped and questioned at a Midtown subway station.

King claims police officer Anthony Francavilla even made a remark about wanting to kill him.

“Oh, you wanna be a d–k? You wanna be a d–k? Turn around and put your hands behind your back,” Francavilla said, according to the lawsuit King filed against the city and several police officers Wednesday in Manhattan Federal Court.

(source)

Another friend found a picture of these cops from that precinct and Francavilla is the one on the right:

If you see that guy…stay calm, because apparently he beats people.  I feel even more lucky to be in one piece with this new information.


Back to today…

I just tried to look up Office Francavilla and I can’t find any salary information after 2018, so maybe he’s finally left the force (after losing three lawsuits brought against him). But that’s the climate Eric Adams supports. Each time I got stopped by the police, I didn’t think they were talking to me. When I got detained in the West Village, I didn’t hear the cops telling me to stop because I was just walking and I was wearing my headphones listening to Sade. I had no reason to pay attention to the cops, because I wasn’t doing anything wrong and I hadn’t ever done anything wrong. They were upset that I wasn’t listening to their commands and that’s why I was thrown to the ground. When I was stopped at Columbus Circle, I assumed the officer was talking to someone else, because I wasn’t doing anything wrong and I hadn’t ever done anything wrong.

Now, I pay attention to the police. Everywhere. That’s what stop & frisk did to me. I don’t walk by a police officer with my headphones playing any music, so I can hear them if they command me to do something. I don’t blithely walk by the bag checks in the subway. Cops don’t pass by me on the sidewalk unnoticed. I’m not casually standing behind a police officer in a bodega. I’m on high alert anytime there is a police officer around. My whole body goes into high anxiety and I’m waiting to be commanded to interact with them.

That’s what stop & frisk does to Black and brown communities. It’s a tactic of terror that puts us in a constant state of unease around law enforcement. And Eric Adams supports that.

 

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Cops

NBC News: Arkansas woman suing police after brief chase ends with her car flipped on its top

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A pregnant Arkansas woman’s car was flipped on its top by a pursuing state trooper who accused the motorist of not pulling over fast enough, according to video of the brief chase that’s being used in her lawsuit.

Nicole Harper, 38, went to bed on July 9, believing her unborn child had died in the crash on U.S. Highway 167 in Jacksonville, Arkansas, her lawyer Andrew Norwood said.

“She cried herself to sleep,” Norwood told NBC News on Wednesday.

(cont.)

This woman and her baby could be dead (they both survived) because yet another irrational boil on the ass of humanity hopped up on aggression and authority decided to pop.

If you’re being pulled over, you move to the right lane, turn on your hazards, slow down, and look for a safe place to stop your car. She was doing that.

If you’re a woman being pulled over at night, you do all of that in addition to making sure the area is well-lit. She was doing that.

She wasn’t doing it fast enough for Officer Rollover so he flipped her car for the indefensible act of going 14 miles over the speed limit and taking two minutes to look for a place to pull over.

You can’t reform the police. The entire mindset is “do what I say immediately because I’m in charge of you and nothing else matters, and if you don’t, I have the right to kill you, regardless of the circumstance.” There’s no reforming an entire culture of abuse and bullying behavior.

 

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Weaponizing Whiteness on Christmas

White people have the upper hand if the police are involved. Remember that always.

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Nolis doesn’t want me to write this. I asked him to send me the screenshots of the text conversation between him and Bobby and he won’t because he doesn’t want anymore drama with his roommate. I respect that, but Bobby can’t blame Nolis if want to get on the internet and tell everybody about how that asshole threatened to call the murderous New York City Police Department on me for sitting on his overpriced couch. I wrote an entire blog with the exchanges between Bobby and I from April through August to lay the foundation for just how irrational he is and how I was 0% at fault for this bullshit situation, because I hate seeing someone online standing in their truth and the first response is “well you must have done something to push him to that point.”

No. White victims know how to use their whiteness to get what they want and Bobby got exactly what he wanted. The shortest summary that still gives you the meat of our prior conflict:

In July, I became friends with a guy Bobby used to fuck in March/April and he was pissed that we weren’t including him when we hung out together. He blocked me in August when I said I wasn’t interested in trying to build a friendship with someone who only wants to hang out with me when I’m with his friend and treats his friends like possessions. That was the last time we ever spoke.

He never explained it to me. He blocked me instead.

Christmas is a little stressful for me because, not only are there constant reminders of Family Togetherness all around, but it’s also the time I feel most alone because my friends are with their families. If I miss my sister, I can walk down the hall and talk to Travis. I can’t do that at Christmas because he’s at home with his family. I haven’t had a Christmas with a family unit since my last one with my family the year before my sister died. I won’t go home with Travis for Christmas, even though I know I’m welcome, because I don’t know how I’ll react. I’m emotional, I’m depressed, I have social anxiety, and I miss my mom. If I have a breakdown from all the family togetherness, I don’t wanna be stuck five hours from NYC in a house with all these nice people who are just meeting me for the first time.

This year, I was going to test the Family Togetherness with Nolis’s family. They live in NYC. If I felt overwhelmed, I could just hop in a cab and come home. On the other hand, if it went great, I could take Travis up on his offer next year. Unfortunately, that plan got canceled at the last minute because one of his sisters just had a baby and the family decided it was too much of a risk in the age of COVID to have an unknown variable come into their home, so I was disinvited the day before dinner. I respect that. I know I have antibodies and a negative swab and I’ve been in my room since, but they couldn’t be sure of that.

The new plan was for me to teach Nolis how to make yams on Christmas Day instead of dinner with his family on Christmas Eve. Usually when we hang out, we do it here, but my roommate Aaron was having a Christmas party so the kitchen wouldn’t be available for cooking. Nolis said it would be fine for me to come down to his apartment and cook, so I asked him if Bobby would be there. He said yeah, because he and his current boyfriend are always there, but they could just go to Bobby’s room before I arrived.

Okay, that’s your living situation. If that’s how it works, that’s how it works.

I got there at 6 and unpacked my supplies. I heard the door open when Bobby and his boyfriend left, and I thought that was even better. I wouldn’t have to make small talk with Bobby after four months of silence stemming from a conflict that existed only in his mind.

And then the walls and walls of texts started pouring in. Nolis is conflict averse and he gets hot and flustered easily. I told him to let me see what Bobby was saying so I could help him respond because I didn’t understand what the problem was. Bobby went on and on about how he told Nolis he didn’t want me in his home, how could he bring me there, he had to take a Xanax and leave immediately, he was walking around with his boyfriend trying to figure out what to do, not only was Bobby now displaced on Christmas but his boyfriend was as well…

It was a LOT! Over some yams and a Christmas movie!

Nolis: Let’s talk this out. Can we have a calm discussion?

Bobby: No, let me know when he leaves.

Nolis: The yams are almost done. We can hang out in my room once they are so you won’t have to see each other.

Bobby: No, let me know when he leaves.

When I say Bobby can text, I mean that little boy can TEXT. I saw so many essays when I was with Adam because when Bobby has decided he is right, he will throw mountains of words at you if you don’t disengage. Nolis was getting upset and it was unfair to both of us. We couldn’t even hang out and enjoy Christmas because Bobby was texting every two minutes.

Nolis: I’m putting my phone down. I can’t enjoy time with my friend if I’m answering texts from you every two minutes. Call me when you’re on the way back and I’ll make sure we’re in my room, but I’m not answering anymore texts.

Bobby: That’s unfortunate. If he’s not gone in 30 minutes when I get back, I’m calling the police.

His exact words were “that’s unfortunate.”

So, back over the summer when I was trying to introduce Bobby to people and help him make friends in a new city, we talked about the marches and police brutality and Black Lives Matter. We were on the same page with what was happening with the protests around the country. He posted Instastories all summer in solidarity with the resistance and agreed that the police are a huge problem in this country.

But he decided he needed to call those same police on a Black man on Christmas because he doesn’t like me being friends with his former fuck buddy.

From there, the situation could’ve gone a number of ways, and I thought through all of them before I made my final decision, but a lot of people who were in my inbox about the conflict the next day weren’t thinking a few steps ahead like I was. Nolis said he probably wouldn’t call the police, Travis said he hoped Nolis punched him in the mouth, another friend said the police wouldn’t bother to respond to a call so petty, and a stranger told me Bobby should get knocked on his ass and that would straighten him out.

Let’s walk through the hypotheticals.

Calling His Bluff

A bluff is fine in poker, because you only lose some money if you get it wrong. A bluff is not fine when the potential consequence is thugs with guns. I didn’t want to see if Bobby would actually call the police. I personally thought he absolutely would because he’s an irrational toddler who only cares about himself and has zero ability to see reason. I found that out over the summer. Even if I didn’t think he would, was I willing to put my life at risk to test that?

Waiting on the Police

So Bobby calls the police and we wait calmly with our yams. The police show up, Bobby in tow, and we don’t know what he said to them to get them there, if he had to lie, exaggerate, cry, etc. The police see two Black men (Nolis is AfroLatino) sitting on the couch and this white man has just told them we’re tresspassing.

Talking to the Police

Assuming the police even let us talk, we have to convince them that I have a right to be there because I’m an invited guest. All Bobby has to say is “he threatened me!” and it’s my word against his. Who are they going to believe? The white man who is in tears or the Black man who is annoyed that Christmas is ruined because this emotional terrorist thinks I stole his friend over the summer?

So.

I left.

Bobby knows that I am terrified of the police. When we were talking about my blog this summer, I told him about all the times I’d written about being stopped by the NYPD and how I start to shake whenever there are cops in the subway doing bag checks or cops walking by me on the sidewalk or cops on the train doing patrols. I have been face down on the sidewalk with a knee in my back because a cop said I looked suspicious when I saw his car and walked the other way. I’ve been pressed up against a brick wall being frisked because the police saw me in the dead of night and said I fit the description of a robbery suspect. I’ve been abused by cops for just walking from point A to point B. I’m too afraid to wait on the police who are coming specifically to see me on the word of an irrational white man.

Whether Bobby intended to call them or not — and I fully believe he would have — he is wholly aware that cops are domestic terrorists (because he was posting about them all summer), that cops are terrifying to me personally (because I told him face to face), and that cops are there to save white people. Cops are state-sanctioned bodyguards for white victims and Bobby decided to take full advantage of that privilege because of a dynamic he created four months ago.

And now that the police are on the table, I can never go back to Nolis’s, so Bobby got exactly what he wanted. White victims usually do.

 

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