Why We Distrust and Fear the Cops in Oxnard and Throughout the Nation

 

 

By Armando Vazquez

All of us in Oxnard, throughout this nation, and the rest of the world for that matter, are indoctrinated from womb to tomb to believe that this country, the United States of America, is a nation of laws. Many of us would agree with that assertion, the problem is what set of laws are we talking about? The laws for Trump, his billionaire cronies, and rich folks in general? The laws of white folk’s privilege? The laws for the politically well connected? Or the laws for the rest of us that seems to show no mercy or empathy? Exactly which set of laws are we talking about? Trump dumpster fire of lawlessness has rip off the shameful mask of the (in) justice system and expose it for what it is; hypocritical, and often deadly for poor folk and people of color in this nation.

Invariably for many people of color in this country our first contact with this evil paradox is with the cops. It turns out that Freddie Grey, the 25 year old black man, was killed by the Baltimore police for making eye contact with the cops. That was Grays only crime and he paid with his life for it! That sick and warped mind set of the nation’s cops that automatically prompt them to rabidly execute the law and exact justice on us for simply being Black or Brown has been around forever in the barrios and the ghettos of this country.  Just ask the folks that live in these impoverished and often lawless communities. Ask the barrio and ghetto parents of brown and black male youth what they fear most when these youths go out to “have a good time” on any given weekend in America. The universal response will be a fearful muted choked response, “the cops!”

Something cold, inhumane and sometimes evil happens to a cop when she/he patrols the barrios or the ghettos of this nation. Why is this so? At this point where is the vast majority of the American public faint naiveté, stupidity and ignorance, why indeed! We, the American public create this militarized monster. Because in America we fear most those folks that do not look like us, talk like us, live like us.  In pathetic panic we discern, they have come to snatch our hard earn bounty and blessing. So we must arm ourselves, our police officers, and our military to the teeth to make sure that the “browning of America” never happens.

For decades the American policing narrative has been to blindly grant, concede, acquiesce, and rollover (like the fear driven lapdogs that we are) at every turn. This cowardice come at a huge price, where common sense, legal, moral, ethical and innovative community safety programs are systemically discounted or ignored. The cops must have full control of all the guns, laws and toy. So with  every stupid, inept, and deadly new experiment that the cops wanted to roll out, the American public gives the cops a free and unfettered pass, as long as the polices’ brutal often lawless macho war games are conducted in the barrios and ghettos of this nation. So the barrios and ghettos get the tanks, the armored vehicles, the war on crime, the war on drugs, the war on gangs, the gang injunctions, the no knock laws, the three strikes, the zero tolerance, the mandatory and enhanced sentences, the elimination of the Miranda rights; we are the new slave beneficiaries of the prison industrial complex curtsey of the billionaire 1% and their minion.

We in American have become a psycho-hybrid of cowardice and alpha bully, our fear and hate drives us to do inhumane acts and atrocities that we level on our own besieged citizens of color and export it throughout the world. We talk peace and justice and then execute precision drone massacres throughout the world, and kill and injure at horrifically alarming rate unarmed, defenseless people of color in this country. We have become a nation of killer hypocrites!

The modern militarized cop is a creation of our worst delusional and sick fears; this is the modern police Frankenstein monster that we have created. And for the past four or five decades this police monster has been given free and unrestricted license to wreak havoc and death here in Oxnard and throughout the nation. Meagan Hockaday, the 23 year old black woman from Oxnard, was perhaps inebriated, in full psychological meltdown, allegedly with knife in hand when she allegedly attacked the OPD cop; she was shot and killed almost instantly by the officer. We will never know her side of the deadly encounter. Sometimes, and far too frequently, when we, in the hood, make stupid or bad decisions with cops and it costs us our lives. Sometimes we are just the innocent victims of police murder. 

The violent and deadly psycho-policing genie (Trump) is out of the bottle, it is now the horrible truth that has universally been revealed that we are a nation of violent hypocrites, living in a nation controlled by greed, violence and money; and that the more money you have, the more justice you can buy or exact on your enemies, foreign and domestic.

Brothers and sisters we must take a hard sober look at what we have become as a nation; and at this very historic moment decide where we want to go with this current and abiding pathological myth that we are a nation of one set of laws for all of us. We are not and in our gut we know it! So where do we go America?

We must my brothers and sisters go to love, nonviolence and reconciliation; that will lead us to justice and peace! There is no other path if we are to save this nation. How can we possibly justify and live with ourselves if we continue down the same evil, violent and horrific world of apartheid “American style” where less that 1% of the mega-rich rigs and control the entire capitalistic game?  In a country where the upper and middle class is drowning in delusional fear of losing everything that they have worked so hard to acquire; and the rest of us (the poor and people of color) smolder in our hopelessness, despair, rage and hatred ready to explode like an apocalyptic volcano the likes that no one has ever witnessed or experienced, that will rain justice for all or buries us all in fire and brimstone once and for all. Justice for all or peace for no one, no matter your riches.

Love demands that we put down the fear, the hate, and weapons, and open our hearts, souls and minds to the simple demands of peace. Peace and love are the greatest community safety paradigms, but this will require us to roll up our sleeves and work hard with mindful and patient hearts to begin to sow the best community safety practices that currently exist and are successful in turning even the most trouble and beaten down residents and communities into productive and mindful individuals or sectors of our communities.   We are in this mess together, all of us! Together, only together can we transform our hearts, souls and minds; extend a caring hand to help uplift our brothers and sister, and slowing begins the massive redemptive job of transforming this town and this nation into a just, equitable and peaceful world. We have nothing to fear and our humanity to regain, love will illuminate our path!


Armando Vazquez, M.Ed.  is Executive Director of  Acuna Art Gallery/Café on A, Executive Director for The KEYS Leadership Academy and Chairman of the Oxnard Multicultural Mental Health/coalition

 


The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Citizens Journal.


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7 Responses to Why We Distrust and Fear the Cops in Oxnard and Throughout the Nation

  1. M. Decker October 2, 2019 at 5:18 pm

    Rick, I recommend taking another look at the situation in order to determine who the real racist is. Hint it’s the one claiming racial discrimination.

    Reply
  2. Paul White October 2, 2019 at 3:28 pm

    After all these years, Armando…your racist, hateful heart just keeps pumping the same venom at every opportunity. You’re only hurting yourself,brother.
    As usual, you included lots of half-truths, as in your mention of Freddie Gray. Gray had no “ONLY crime of looking at a white cop,” as you stated. Over the 8 years prior to his death, Gray, was a habitual criminal and had actually had been convicted of 18 crimes. He was not killed by racist cops. He was improperly secured in the transport van, which was how he sustained his tragic injury, that, had he not committed still ANOTHER crime, he would never have been in that situation.
    Your article also had your usual conflict of many mentions of “love, peace, harmony, non-violence, reconciliation,” etc., that were drowned out by your repeated hatred against White people,
    calls for “apocalyptic volcanos of rage and hate” against cops, and non-acceptance of the democratic process, if it elects someone you disagree with. You say you love America, but are against everything it has ever stood for. Your attempts to be the Voice of every person of color is delusional, and your effort to try and sound like an heir of Chavez/King/Ghandi is ludicrous to anyone who’s ever dealt with you. This is 2019, not 1919. You don’t speak for all the black or brown people. You speak only for the bitter, unhappy, youthful-mind-poisoning, self-interested bigot you have always been. NO one of ANY color who wanted their children to grow up to be independent, accountable, children of God would want anything to do with you.

    Reply
  3. Rick Wilson October 2, 2019 at 10:53 am

    Well written by a racist himself. Time to take away your privilege of informing the public.

    Reply
  4. Camille Harris October 2, 2019 at 9:45 am

    This is the maximum in broad brush painting. The police are murdered and nothing is said. A lot of fear exists on both sides and both sides have reasons. However, after reading multiple paragraphs of hyperbole without data or facts but filled with hatred and racism, this line seems to be a non sequitur: “We have nothing to fear and our humanity to regain, love will illuminate our path!” Speaking of hypocrisy….

    Reply
  5. Michael Greer October 2, 2019 at 9:08 am

    I’ve spent time in minority neighborhoods working with various groups. Why do most of the houses and businesses have high fences and bars on their windows and doors? Because they are HIGH crime areas.

    I hate to say this but if minorities have more contact with the police it’s because they are involved with more crime. What neighborhoods have the most gun violence? And, sadly, most of the crime is perpetrated on their own community.

    We’ve all seen video of gangs of kids running through stores grabbing handfuls of merchandise and running out. Who are those kids?

    There aren’t different laws. If I shot someone I’d be arrested just like anyone else. If I robbed someone I’d be arrested.

    Police have reason to be afraid of US. They are being handcuffed by new laws daily. I wouldn’t go into a high crime area if I couldn’t use necessary force. Police are having people throw things at them, people interfering in arrests, being second guessed on everything they do.

    Trump isn’t responsible for lawlessness. Obama is who demonized law enforcement. He is the one who said the police acted stupidly. He’s the one who blamed the police for Ferguson.

    Another claim the Left makes is that minorities receive tougher sentences than Whites for the same crime. Actually, most crimes that require jail time have sentencing guidelines that are based on their criminal record. If they have a long criminal record they will get the harshest sentence.

    Also the majority of police officers, prosecutors, and judges in any city of size are minorities, so to suggest they are racist is absurd.

    Reply
  6. Mark Savalla October 1, 2019 at 8:31 pm

    Mr. Vazquez diatribe reads like a chapter out of the Communist manifesto. His allegations regarding different laws for the president “his billionaire cronies and rich folks in general” are fallacious credos of the Left. He supports nothing he says with any facts.
    “Ask the barrio and ghetto parents of brown and black male youth what they fear most when these youths go out to “have a good time” on any given weekend in America. The universal response will be a fearful muted choked response, “the cops!””
    Well that sounds like a great line from some third rate foreign film but it is a lie and unsupported. I worked for LAPD for 33 years and I worked Uniform patrol in primarily minority areas. The truth of the matter is that ninety percent of the people not only wanted us in their neighborhoods but they wanted more of us in their neighborhoods. The politicians and soothsayers only took tax money and did nothing to help the problems they faced. We were the ones they called for help.
    Mr. Vazquez has a great imagination but it is inspired by hate. It is inspired by one who lies to those who may be down and out, in the lower income brackets, the uneducated and the left wing postmodern neo Marxist. He has no facts to support his nebulous, vitriolic, ridiculous claims.
    When I went to a radio call most of the time I heard “Thank God it’s the police.” When I stopped someone on the street it was because they were up to “no good”,
    Mr. Vazquez may call for Stalin, Hitler or Mao but they are not around any longer. Only the likes of Mr. Vazquez are here and they have only hate to share.

    Reply
    • Citizen Reporter October 1, 2019 at 9:56 pm

      Citizens Journal makes its pages available for varying opinions. We don’t agree with all of them. This was one we had a lot of disagreement with. But, we saw the value of dialogue. You and Mr Vazquez have made the dialogue a reality. I wish more would join in. I think some of what he wrote was true at one time. Mr. Vazquez has been around a long time and seen some bad stuff in his time. I do not believe it is true in Oxnard now. This is just my opinion, not Citizens Journal’s.

      Reply

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