|Copyright 2014 Turtle Heart|
Monday, July 28, 2014
The Fatherless Child : Homicide By Police
So many police departments have militarized. It seems nearly epidemic. And each time we hear about another incident, we see clear evidence of what can only be described as murder by police. California, New Mexico, most recently in New York city. For decades I have been haunted by Eleanor Bumpers. An agitated, 90 year old lady, murdered by New York city police officers. Nothing happened to those cowards. Nothing ever happens to police who murder citizens.
Why is that? Why the fuck is that?
The national media is serving us a narrative implying that the problem here is related to fatherless children, specifically fatherless black children. American Indian communities have a rate of fatherless families. (Conversations about people of color usually implies blacks, occasionally hispanic….American Indians are rarely included in MSM rhetoric, but face all, and more of the racially motivated problems of blacks).
On the other hand, so many millions of children were beaten, abused, denied and oppressed by worthless fathers, the fatherless families seem much more fortunate than one might expect. Women are sacred; women have raised more of the world’s finest citizens than any father.
My father was an ice man, a violent, rage-fueled old soldier that was impossible to have a conversation with. My childhood experience, at home, was of a hostile and dangerous silence, until the day came I could hit the door and move out. Getting away from my father was one of the most important moments in my life and probably saved it as well.
In the old tribal communities, everyone raised the children. Even when I was a boy, visiting my mother’s huge family in the south, everybody took responsibility for the children My mother’s brothers told me stories, bought me gifts, taught me how to drive, take a drink of beer and talk to girls. I never had any conversations in this area with my father; he never told his two sons anything about life, anything about himself, anything about the world.
I find, 66 years later, that my father damaged me, deeply. I made a good life for myself, on my own terms. Yet, in the silence of my old man memories his words, used like bullets, and his silences used like a wall, his continuous ridicule and contempt for the subjects I was interested in…..it was hard to take, hard to carry. Even now there are moments when my experience with my father brings big tears and waves of sorrow. When I meet good children who had great parents, you can usually tell right away. There is a balance about them missing from the millions of us hated and beaten and abused by our fathers.
Yes. Overcome. We can overcome the limitations, terrors of our childhood. So many of us do. But we are all the walking wounded.
Perhaps the police stalking black fathers had fathers like mine. I might have grown up as a killer, as an outraged police or a jealous and greedy politician. I once seriously considered becoming a mercenary and trained very well in many violent arts. America will never fully understand how close they came to experiencing an armed revolution overthrowing their government. There were some very determined and powerful men, well known men, who were doing this planning in the shadows. I was part of it for a short time. The old American Indians rescued me. They snatched me out of being fascinated and charmed by rage, seduced into striking back. They carried me into the sweat lodge, covered my bleeding spirit in sacred smoke, carried me with old old songs to a different world. It is a world as ugly and dangerous as this world, with the same broken fathers. But it is a different place. It is a place that set me before a great table of knowledge about peace, about personal responsibility, about how one person can make a difference, about healing, about helping other people. And that is where I have been ever since. Sacred Pipe saved me from the world of my father.
Seeing video of the murder by police of Eric Garner in New York City…..I lived in NYC. Eleanor Bumpers lived in NYC..those cops were determined to fall down on this big black man, this father, you could see it in their body language. Their license was the cigarettes he was selling one by one, for fifty cents. “Losies”. Murder by police. Live. Again. Murder by Police.
I struggle with coherence in my efforts to understand, to express my understanding as if I were actually able to make sense of the death of this man. Just as getting far away from my father saved me a young man, moving away from AmeriKa ten years ago has saved my life as an old man. I moved to Italy. To a little island. Filled with peace. Without guns. The police are polite. A few years ago some police beat a citizen. After a long hearing they were fired and one of them sent to prison. There is no tolerance for overtly violent behavior by the police here. No citizens with arsenals of military weapons. A free and gracious and reasonable healthcare for every citizen. Italy’s corruptions and sins lay elsewhere, in its bureaucracy, in its mafia culture entrenched in business, and food distribution and construction projects. Our criminals are shadows without guns. I like it much better. It is not perfect, but I feel more freedom of actual safety and life here than I ever felt in the USA.
America has a black father. All the white people hate him. He is intelligent, articulate, capable and compassionate even in the midst of several shortcomings as a US President, he is a sterling adult human male father. And those sterling Anglo enablers and protectors of police exoneration for every bullet and legislators of law obstruct and denounce every word that comes from his mouth. And nothing changes.
The yellow police who choke-holed and murdered Eric Garner should be arrested and charged with murder one, in an honest court, but murder two at the least, “reckless abandon of the value of human life”……..until armed police accept responsibility and represent the humanity of our democracy every police officer in the United States is marked by this shame, every day.
Death By Police For selling a cigarette.
And now more fatherless children, who will be made to carry the guilt of the yellow police rather than the dignity of their father, who was present in their lives until the police murdered him.
It is not right, what happened to Mr Eric Garner.
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