Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Abuse Of Power Dream and Reality

I was standing next to a three foot glass cube in a museum when a man ordered me to do or not do something.  I looked at him and made some small protest comment.  Immediately, he said something like, "OK, you're out of here" and started to escort me to the exit.

That's when I woke up.  Upset.  WTF?  I wasn't doing anything and this jerk guard totally abused his power.   I tried to go back to sleep but I was agitated.

This time the guard grabbed my arm to escort me out.  I looked around to see if anyone was getting this on their phone. 

I'm on the edge of sleep and waking.  This time I demand his identification.  Who are you?  He refused to share his identification.  He wasn't wearing a badge or even a guard uniform.  He grabbed my arm.  I sat on the floor. 

The next time after I demanded his id and he refused - I said loudly to other people in the room, "Make a video."  I said I didn't have to listen to him because I didn't know who he was and he looked just like any museum visitor. 

I bobbed up above the dream surface, got some air, then slid back down under. 

This time I said forcefully, "I'm a museum investigator asked to find the guy who's been harassing museum guests."

This time I surfaced above the dream and stayed awake.  I described the dream to my wife.  Then I hit the snooze button, hoping Morning Edition would put me back to sleep.  But soon we were hearing my dream as a real-life nightmare.  It was bits and pieces of the tape of the Texas police officer harassing a black woman he'd pulled over for not signaling a lane change.  I have to say, as we've been driving around LA, that there are a lot of people who don't seem to know they have a turn signal.  These folks should be pulled over and shown the indicator and told to use it.  It should go on their record, so if they are seen without signaling again, they wouldn't get off so easily. 

But the cop in the tape is way over the line.  And then he tells the lady who is sitting in her car still, to put out the cigarette!  Even if I thought he might have been concerned about her health, I'd say he was way out of line.  That it sounded more like he just got off on his uniform and the ability to order people around. 

I was pissed when I woke up from my dream.  My pseudo guard was way out of line and had no business ordering me around.  But this cop was even worse.  I can imagine the woman, Sandra Bland, was thinking about the days not so long ago that blacks had to take crap from whites in the south and just bite their tongues. 

This Texas cop seems to be keeping the old days alive.  Oh, yeah, as most of you probably already know, the next day Sandra Bland was found dead in a jail cell she never should have been in.  Trying to keep one's cool when one is being humiliated for no reason is not easy.  And how long has this been going on - out of sight of most people - before anyone began taking the victims seriously.  Only the advent of people's video cameras and a platform to play them has caused enough people to seriously protest. 

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