Back on December 4th, I joined a march for Eric Garner and against police brutality. While we were stopped on the West Side Highway, I asked a dude what was being said or happening further away then I could see (he was tall). We continued chit chatting for a little while and then in the midst of a confrontation between police and protestors, we lost each other.
The following Saturday I decided to post on “Missed Connections,” fully expecting nothing. I wrote every piece of information that I could remember about him. A few days later, after I’d forgotten about the post, I got an email. It was him. His friend (who, he said, was the kind of person who spent free time reading Craigslist ads) had found it and forwarded it to him.
We met up a few days later after we both marched (separately) in the Millions March. It turns out that he was a fan of Buddhism and regular meditator. We also both loved John Lennon. And reading, among other things. It was really nice. It was easy. We meditated together. He met one of my best friends. He was completely honest with me about how he felt (and it was good) and I was with him too. I was pretty sure he was one of my soulmates.
Then he found out that he’d gotten accepted to a great school to go to their post-bac pre-med program and everything changed (understandably). He wasn’t a science person and he was trying to make himself one so he needed to study. And study, and study more. We decided last week when he came downtown to have lunch with me that it was for the best not to date anymore. He just didn’t have the time that he wished he had.
It was hard and it sucks. But it was also the logical decision. I still believe he was one of my soulmates, but as Elizabeth Gilbert points out above, it doesn’t always mean that’s the person you’re meant to be with.
I’m still trying to sort out what the lesson was that I was supposed to learn from these past two months. I’m sure it’ll come to me when I least expect it. Just like he did.
I don’t know if you’ve turned on the news lately, but we have a very serious problem with the law right now. The problem isn’t the police themselves, it’s the fact that officers who kill unarmed citizens aren’t facing trials. They aren’t losing their jobs. It’s become blatantly clear that the NYPD is above the law and doesn’t need to follow it.
I’ve been to three different protests now (last Wednesday up here, Thursday downtown, and tonight at Barclays), and things are 100% peaceful. Things only go south when the cops (some of them, not all) start riling protesters up. Even the people who are stuck in traffic and can’t move because we are aren’t mad – they’re raising their hands too. They’re smiling. They’re honking their horns and telling us to go get it.
I love the above video. Probably because it’s set to The Hanging Tree from Mockingjay: Part 1 which I think is extremely relevant right now, but I don’t agree with their point, that we can get along without a justice system, or a police force. I think that’s extreme, and it sounds really silly. What we do need is an overhaul. Cops who are blatantly racist need to be fired, and those who kill unarmed citizens in broad daylight need to be brought to trial, and then probably fired as well.
All of this being said: I know not all cops are bad. Hardly. One of my very dearest girlfriends is married to a wonderful man who happens to be a cop.
I think part of the problem is the ego trip that sometimes accompanies being one of “New York’s Finest,” as well as deep seeded racism. You aren’t born racist, you are taught to be that way. So, like I said before, if there’s a racist cop in a certain precinct, shut it down. Just like you don’t let one bad apple spoil the bunch, don’t let one racist cop teach otherwise good and decent cops to be racist.
On Wednesday night I had wanted to go to Foley Square to march with the protest for the non-indictment of the officer who killed an unarmed man, Eric Garner, in an illegal chokehold. But I had therapy (gotta take care of yourself mentally first before you’re of any good to anyone else). So I went to that first and then came home to watch the livecam of the march. I watched them walk from 52nd to the West Side Highway, get off at 72nd and march north.
I thought they’d be at my door soon after, so I went downstairs to walk, or at least support from the sidelines. But they never made it as high as my street because they were corralled at 105th and Broadway. The NYPD corralled them on both sides of Broadway, made a few arrests, and then walked the rest of them up to 113th between Amsterdam and Columbus, outside of St. Luke’s Hospital.
I walked with an older gentleman, a lawyer who lives in the neighborhood but is from England, who was appalled at the force the police were using and off we went up Amsterdam. There were cops in riot gear everywhere along Amsterdam, and lots of cop buses, ready to make arrests. I asked one cop on the street where the other protesters were and he said quietly, “113th…"
The long-time neighborhood residents couldn’t believe what was going on, why the NYPD were doing this to peaceful protesters, and the students of Columbia were out in full support of the protest. There was an NYPD helicopter flying overhead, flying REALLY low, using it’s light to scan the streets for more protesters.
After about an hour (maybe half an hour?) of the protesters being corralled on 113th, they made an announcement (not that you could hear it – those police bullhorns are the WORST) that they were going to let them all go without arrest.