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Monday, March 23, 2009

Tongue-Tied in Oakland

I don't know what to say about the cop-killings in Oakland, but I feel compelled to say something.

It's expected of me, law enforcement advocate and supporter that I am. You knew it was coming. You knew it was time for another sad blogpost, one that would not make you giggle or titter, or comment. A sad one. As it says on the banner a'top "My Masonic Apron," this is a sometimes sad place.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, here we are. It's time to put a strip of black over the badge. It's time for the white gloves. It's time to acknowledge a sacrifice greater than ourselves.

They're saying a lot of things in Oakland this morning, and much of what they're saying has to do with the killer. They say that he was "frustrated with the parole system." They say that he was "trying to better himself." They say that he "wasn't being treated right." They say that he "wanted to get rehabilitated and to find a job."

Well. That's what they say anyway. People say a lot of things that don't make any sense when they're upset, and Lovelle Mixon's family has every right to be upset over the blood that this man spilt in Oakland on March the 21st, 2009.

I just don't understand how arming yourself with an assault rifle is a logical component of a plan to "better yourself." Maybe one of Lovelle Mixon's family members can explain that to the people of Oakland or, better yet, to the family members of the deceased officers.

You know-- this isn't what I want to say. This is coming out all wrong. I'm sorry. Let me try again.


It is a rarity when I am at a loss for words. This is one of those times. I felt sure that I could sit down at the computer this morning and just start clicking away, and that, as usual, something cogent and passionate would pour out, but I'm not getting anything. Maybe I'm just spent. Maybe all the death and despair of Philadelphia has bled me dry, and has disabled me to the point where I cannot respond to what has happened 3,000 miles away. 3 dead cops, one brain dead-- a police department in shambles and a city in fear and despair because some fucking bastard was "frustrated with the parole system?"

How, exactly, do you respond to that?

What do you say?

Someone wrote a comment on the Oakland Tribune's website that said, "They all got what they deserved. Everybody knows cops are brutish thugs."

And how, exactly, do you respond to that?

What do you say?

Here's what I have to say personally, and it's nothing that I can say in any commentary or any editorial or any newspaper: if this tragedy doesn't move you in some way-- if it doesn't make you see that the criminal element of this society has effortless access to a plethora of guns that they are unafraid to use, if this doesn't give you a pang of guilt for every "cop-with-a-donut" joke you've unthinkingly made, if this bloodbath doesn't give you a moment's pause: then I guess I just don't know what to say to you.

I guess I'm just tired. Tired of the violence and the meaningless words that follow afterwards, from them, from me, from the governors and the mayors and the presidents. From everybody. I'm just so fucking tired of it.

So, go on. Play your bagpipes. Write your hateful, spiteful comments to the newspapers, and your supportive ones, too. Send your flowers. Lower your flags. Cross your breast.

Just get on with it.

1 comment:

  1. It's true, I never do comment on your serious posts. I just don't know what to say either. But I do appreciate them, and I am glad they are here.


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