22 July 2015

PTSD and the Execution of #SandraBland

The Execution of ‪#‎SandraBland‬ has triggered trauma that I thought I had dealt with. I have a very strong aversion for black people who call the police on black people to settle non-life-threatening disputes. Who does that?
Bullies and insecure people use calling the police and threatening to call the police as one-uppence when they are challenged for some wrong doing; or when their usual and escalating abuse has not elicited the desired response that would legitiminze-- to protect and serve-- the presence of police intervention. Who does that?
As a black woman who survived-- I do mean SURVIVED-- graduating from the State of Texas Law Enforcement Academy in the early 1980s; in a class of three women of which two were black, one black man, and droves of white Texas good ol'boys; to become only the second black cadet and first black woman to deliver the class speech; to become the first black female Deputy Constable in Travis County, Precinct One; then trust me, I am having a very difficult time with the Execution of #SandraBland and traumatic flashbacks of two people whom I loved deeply threaten me and my son with calling the police because we were not moving on and moving out fast enough to appease their egos although their lives, property, or loved ones were in no danger of our causing harm.
My training and licensing as a gun packing law enforcement officer taught me a couple of lessons which caused me to grow in wisdom and swiftly. First, black people are not safe on either side of the badge, gun or bars. Second, only call the police on a black person as a passive-aggressive death threat. Black people dying in police custody is not new-- evidence of the need of a revolution is just being televised. 

The reason I am traumatized is because in both instances of which I was directly and indirectly threatened, causing harm had never entered my mind and I was actively in the process of leaving both of them, and I had let them know that I was doing so. No surprises. No anger. Just a need to survive and thrive out of striking distance. I left them both better than they were when I arrived. I would do it again; and leave sooner; and even perhaps with greater discretion so as not to give the opportunity to threaten me with the police as sort of a checkmate.
The Execution of #SandraBland at the hands of white Texas law enforcement officers reminded me of white privilege; and the abusive act of black people who pull that privilege on other black people. #SandraBland had a right to get out of the way of the on-coming cruiser, get pissed when she realized the trumped up probable cause for pulling her over; panic when she understood that she could be lit up; and the right to state American citizen rights. Except she was black and a woman; evidently an exception invoking those rights.
Black people know this. That is why I am traumatized, stilled, prayerful, sleep interrupted, having nightmares of running away from my abusers, and writing. Dear Black People, do not call the cops on other black people unless your life is in imminent danger. To do otherwise is to put a hit out on someone who is really just trying to get away from you, not do you in.

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