Monthly Archives: July 2013

A Dedication to the Many Victor Steens

This is an old poem I wrote in 2009 after a black boy named Victor Steen was killed by City of Pensacola police deputy Gerald Ard on his way home from a friend’s house where he was working on a gospel song. He was unfairly portrayed as a troublemaker by the local media, and there were some seriously suspicious circumstances surrounding his death that are included in the poem. I met his very kind family who was being constantly harassed and intimidated by local police to the point where they were afraid to leave their homes and their employment suffered.

It was shortly after the murder of Oscar Grant and other police brutality cases, and I found it particularly relevant as these instances seem to be on the rise. I included the video from the cruiser, so you can see for yourself how this officer broke numerous laws simply to harass a terrified boy who had done nothing wrong. The officer was given a paid vacation only to be reassigned to the area despite public outcry and other complaints of formerly abusive behavior. The family did end up winning a lawsuit against the city a couple years later, but the money they received can never replace the life of their child.

The debate was centered on whether or not it was right for him to run from the cops. Anyone who has experienced harassment from the police knows the intense fear associated with their interaction, and I fault no one especially a young, black boy in the South who decides it is in their best interests to avoid any altercation with them.

It was not running from the cops that ended this boy’s life; it was a flagrant abuse of power by a determined agent of the state that was known for causing trouble in the area.

The headline read, “Tragedy, but not a crime”
When it was a travesty, cop outta line
But who polices the pigs?
Who do you call when a cop kills a kid?
Do we need cocktails Molotov
When a cop breaks the law?

Policeman passes prevalent prostitute in pursuit (silently)
Of a boy on a bike whose skin color
Was suspicious
Passing a construction site getting closer
Suspecting the boy could steal
A bulldozer?

Who polices plotting, planting, paramedics,
And truth hiding fire trucks?
Who cops the cop outs drop outs in the courtroom?
With their cigarettes and scorn, thorns reaching upward tearing truth…

It takes a lifetime to recover from a loss
And just seconds to gloss
Over
Turns, and speed limits, and curbs, and guns, and bullets
Finding their way into a dead boy’s pockets
With no prints…
Well, someone had the gloves

Mrs. Piggy and planter paramedic switching bunks
And reversed testimony from trust fund punks
Laughter from hearts of shrunk
At the video of a boy falling
Falling up
Into the accelerator of a justice abater

::::::::::“Hey that cop killed that kid!”
“Nevermind, we could get in trouble, it was
Unavoidable!”
Judge says,
“No crime here, let the chief deal the fear.”
(But you better not dismiss Piggy Ard ‘cause you’ll have
The fraternal order of police to deal with)::::::::::

I have seen the little piggies in their
Starched blue black shirts
Getting worse and worse
With time
Brothers forever, regardless of the lies

Inconsistent delinquencies
Well, I see why
How can you see the truth
Behind the fire truck guise?

My town, you never fail to depress me
When defending a hog
Through racist emanations
In the newspaper’s blog
Like,
“Good job Ard,
One more thug off the street.”
Lacking the time to meet
The mother who lost her son
The sisters who lost their brother
The brothers who lost a friend

God knows it’s not a sin to
To ride a bike at night
With darker skin
Or take flight
From cops too lazy
To use legs right

We would like to make
A citizen’s arrest
‘Cause if the cops won’t police themselves
It’s up to us to attest
To their power filled delves

Better yet, let’s know our rights
And make this an intellectual fight
Point and shoot cameras at night
Until the truth comes to light
We’re still in the dark
As long as our bite is weaker than our bark

Too often “to serve and protect” means
To rape and neglect
To hate and eject
To shoot not reflect
To lie and inspect
To kill,
No regrets

The abuse of power behind badges runs free
But don’t listen to me
Read your headlines and your by-lines
But most importantly
Read between the lines

The headline read, “Tragedy, but not a crime.”
When it was a heresy along the blue line
But who polices the pigs?
Who can you call when a cop kills a kid?

*Author’s note: I wish to apologize to the animals in the genus Sus. The domestic pigs as well as their wild counterparts are highly intelligent and mostly peaceful animals; only lashing out in the case of real threats. It is insulting to them to equate them with abusive Persons In Government.

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Filed under Poetry, Srs bsns

Obligatory Independence Day Post

Every year America steals my thunder. You see, my birthday is on the fourth of July, known to many as Independence Day, and it couldn’t be more ironic. I’m not a hater of freedom by any means, in fact I love being free so much that when a federal holiday comes around with rules and regulations protecting us from the very thing we claim to be celebrating, well, doggone it, it kind of rustles my jimmies.

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I know, Gorilla Munch gorilla, I shouldn’t let my jimmies be unjustly rustled! I guess a part of me deep down questions how much effort to put forth for a people who love and even believe they need their shackles. Now, ain’t nothing gonna break my stride because I still know how to get down for my birthday, even in my increasing old age.

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That’s how we roll at my office.

Except for the massive amount of rain that will be descending upon Florida, I look forward to celebrating my freedom as much as I am allowed to. Scratch that, it’s my birthday, I might even break some laws or participate in some victimless crimes! I mean, it’s not like you can avoid breaking laws anyway.

So, if we are in constant danger of breaking meaningless codes, what does that say of the state of freedom in this country? Even more crucial are the questions that arise when we consider a particular individual named Edward Snowden who revealed to the US public what many already assumed: that the NSA was spying on us by reading our naughty text messages. The fedgov wants to charge him with espionage which by definition is giving state secrets to the enemy. Consider who he gave this information to: the media who in turn released it to the public. Now think for a minute, who do you believe the fedgov considers the enemy?

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Meta Ed waits patiently as you ponder that you are indeed the enemy.

Isn’t the realization that the American public and ally governments are considered the enemy a wee bit unsettling? But what about muh freedomz?! While I believe that mental freedom in this age is more and more accessible, the loss of our civil liberties is cause for concern. Snowden’s plight reminds me of Henrik Ibsen’s play An Enemy of the People, where Dr. Stockmann reveals damning information about the expensive baths that the town has invested heavily in. Stockmann was fervently behind the baths as a way to increase tourism and promote health, but discovers that they are being contaminated and tries to warn his friends and neighbors in the community. He is ridiculed and even threatened with violence for disrupting what would be a very profitable plan, and the play makes an excellent point about the tyranny of mob rule.

We are seeing Snowden being painted as a traitor by mainstream media and even people coming out demanding he be hanged (or worse) for treason. Let that sink in. The guy who wants you to know the truth about your government’s covert and criminal activities against its own people and other innocents around the world is being persecuted by the very people he wants to set free. Now, many in the libertarian and anarchist community share my views that this man should be considered courageous for infiltrating and uncovering the dark secrets of the largest intelligence gathering agency in the world, but let’s not fall victim to our own echo chamber. Mainstream ‘Murica wants his head.

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There something delicious about the rubber on the boot squishing their faces.

So, while we blow things up and stuff our gullets on the fourth, consider that there is a man out there who is being hunted like a dog for having a conscience, and that many people support that. Is this the majority’s idea of celebrating freedom? Freedom from what, exactly? It is one thing to love your own shackles, but quite another to advocate that free people be subjected to them also.

I could say more about what that says about US society, I could blame former administrations for implementing the legislation making illegal/immoral activities legal, I could make the claim that it doesn’t matter what was done in the past but rather how that legislation is being used in the here and now; but for now I will hope against hope that Snowden escapes from the clutches of a government that is the real enemy of the people. I can’t remember the last time I wanted so badly for someone to evade the sociopaths of the state, and that’s all I really want for my birthday.

Well, that and maybe a little more action to clog up the NSA’s text logs.

Warning: this blog post is about to get stinky.

What if a lot of people participate in some good ole fashioned civil disobedience by sending ridiculous texts back and forth describing an everyday physical activity like say…pooping? Maybe we should show the NSA that we not only give a shit, but we give many shits about them spying on us. Shoot, maybe we could even have a name like People Opposed to Oppressive Public Spying (POOPS). Maybe it’s a shitty idea, maybe it could be well organized and effective, maybe I’ve had too much coffee, maybe this is a job for Chuck Norris wherever he is.

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For real, whatever happened to this guy?

 

 

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