By: Leon Kwasi Kuntuo-Asare
I hate walking down this street, I always have I guess, but for different reasons now. I walked this street for years to get to my job, before I used worry about having to defend myself against street thugs, robbers, drug dealers and other criminals. I had to keep my head on a swivel, so to speak, before my head “ended up” in a guillotine. But, at least then I knew who my enemies were and how to avoid them if possible and how to “take them on if necessary”. Now it’s a lot harder, the biggest and baddest thugs don’t wear red of the Bloods or blue of the Crips street gangs. Now the thugs wear the deep-dark blue of the local terrorist cell known as the local police department.
These new thugs (technically not new, the first police were slave catchers) rough-up young Black men and women the very same way as the old thugs. The only difference is they do it with the law behind their actions. Guilty until proven innocent, assuming you can afford a good lawyer, most Blacks in the hood can’t and will be turned into the 13th amendment version of slaves .
For a Black man in America, this gentrification is more dangerous than the White supremacist Hell’s Angels motorcycle gang. Hell, at least the Angels have to worry about going to jail for their crimes and they only really tend to mess with you if you mess with their bikes, money , women, business or fellow members of their criminal organization.
Two weeks ago a young Black man was leaving his home, where he was taking care of his elderly mother. On that day he intended to go to school , afterwards he was going to go to work, before ultimately returning back to his two-bedroom apartment to cook breakfast for his mother and to give her, her daily medication. While he was in his way to class, in this formerly poor Black neighborhood, he was gunned down by the police.
The officers claimed one of these new residents (tech yuppies ) who have helped gentrify the area, called the cops and claimed he had a gun. He did not, he was in a small neighborhood park, texting his mom, asking her if she was okay and if she needed anything.
As I look down from heaven and see my elderly mom crying next to my silver and gray coffin in the middle of our local Baptist church.
“To protect and serve, whom?”
I say to myself from my new home in the clouds.