Matter Times the Velocity of Passion [Flash Fiction]

Most of matter is empty space.

–another fun fact from physics


Why he did not name this piece, Human Lives Matter; Black Lives are Human Lives, I cannot say; no, I will not investigate why I did not say as I could have about what he has said, what is herein presented by me for him. The title is the title, what it is how it is, what he made of it. Do not let it sidetrack you away from the main rail, yes there are always many exits along the highway, if you permit me to extend my examples for what you should be doing when you read what I have herein presented, represented as he has, a short history of his father who had been a beat cop in Brooklyn from the late forties to the late sixties when he got out because he did not want to continue to work for half-pay as he had said and explained to him,his son. It is a short trip on the main line—and we’re not talking junk here. Please always re-read what I write, when I present what others have written; all good reading is re-reading. Do not make an ass of U and Me; yes, don’t assume. Call me who you wish to call me; I will not tell you my name, nor why I have decided to write what I have here, or present what I had edited prior to presenting. Copy editing is all I have done; you can trust that.

He says what he does here as he says it; I have not chosen to change what he intended. This has become a matter of motif for me to present pieces as I do in the review, and I would also like to thank the Publishing Editor, Jay Ruvolo, for his kind appreciation of the piece I have edited for his on-line review. He and I have developed a close working relationship.

Here now is the piece entitled as it is above; that I have left untouched.

No one should assume there are not many reasons historically evident that support the hesitation African American males feel when questioning what response they should have when asked to comply with arrest. There are many responses police can have within the law (as the law reads without respect to or for the race or ethnicity or creed of the suspect) that do not always have to have happened. My father was a beat cop on Fulton Street in Brooklyn New York and he had pulled his revolver out of its holster twice, neither time firing his weapon. It is important to understand this. Can a justifiable shoot also be a shoot that did not have to happen? He asks.

The thing my father was most proud of during his years as a police officer was the fact that he had never fired his weapon. Could my father justifiably have fired his weapon the two times he drew his revolver (and you cannot peel off 8 rounds with a revolver the way you can with a 9mm)? The answer is, Yes. If my father had fired his weapon each time; it would have been a good shoot. If the perpetrator had died, it would have been justifiable homicide. This is not part of the dialogue. We are only concerned for the fact that the perpetrators in the incidents were African American; we are not concerned for the law and how it reads and whether the laws need to be adjusted for all, but that they only need to be modified for African-Americans. The focus is wrong. We are fixed not on rights, but on privileges; and privileges are always what the elite offer to the oppressed or repressed in lieu of them having rights that are supported and respected (and I insist on this supported and respected because the oppressed have rights independent of the the social structure supporting them or not).

I will go so far as to say from what I see, for instance, Pakistani women do not have rights, they have privileges; Sharia Law is not about granting rights to women, but how to modify or control culturally bred misogyny; it is at best a way for men to barter privileges in lieu of supporting rights. I have been teaching now for a very long time and Pakistani women appear to be some of the most infantilized women I have ever met from anywhere; their rights are not respected, their lives are harnessed. It is a carefully choreographed dance they dance socially. I even had a friend, a woman friend say that that’s why their men beat them . . . I did not want to agree, but I did not openly disagree—I was more interested in hearing what she had to say, or in hearing someone say something we would or should consider horrible . . . Yes, she said, their men keep them infantilized and then use it as an excuse to control them, abuse them, malign them, kill them, even, because these women are as stupid as donkeys—you’d have to be Saint Francis to have compassion for them when face to face with them? I’m asking, she said, I’m genuinely asking because I do not know what to do with them.  She did not say it was justified, but in all of its homo-sapiens’ dynamic, it was logic, she thought. They treat them no better than animals, thinking them only a little better than dogs, and you wonder why they are so corrupt, she insisted, she said over and over in these and other words about Muslim men and women and how utterly fucked up the whole thing is, or how, we can’t allow ourselves to conclude that Sharia Law is not an affront to women and democracy and freedom and everything we do hold dear in the matters of liberty just because we are not perfect in our democracy. Islam is not a solution for anything or anybody anywhere at any time—it is a giant moral step backwards, she said. She went on to say that that’s why women have to stand up for their rights and demand that they be respected. You can’t, as a woman, allow yourself to live by a man’s by your leave; men will never have noblesse oblige for women, she said. She said a lot more I will not say, he says. He continues, She said a lot and more, and one argument in particular, I recall, if we wait for a noblesse oblige, [then]  we are waiting for a return to privileges instead of rights respected.

The tribal nature of our politics, of our rhetoric, of then our critiques that come from anyone who used to be outside the parameters of hegemony or outside the mainstream is an impediment to furthering democracy. It is part of a Machiavellian effect socially. Why we cannot see it has everything to do with how the media in America is managed. We are all of us in Us and Them camps of otherness;  we are all of us creating social identity from otherness at the same time we balk at there being no inclusion–how is that even possible unless we are talking about nothing other than wrangling and wrestling for power, more power to exert power for ourselves, never possible unless it is against some other group or person, he adds.

Let us not forget that when fascism comes to America it will come in the form of Americanism and that that Americanism today is multicultural and diverse. Do not imagine that fascism can only be white, can only be European. That would be our political death, yes, yours and mine. You do realize this, don’t you? You have to. You are not that stupid irrespective of how much power and money try to undermine us with pedagogies of failure. We are not changing the dynamic of power by making it more diverse alone, and this does not mean we should not make it more diverse because we should (and it is a shame that I know I have to add and say “because we should” because if I had not, there would be too many readers who would not follow the turns of the negative construction and be able to understand this appropriately—too many would misread it with the way we have been taught to read, and yes, you do have to be taught how to read and read deeply), he reminds us.

The paradigms remain drawn the same way, with the same lines and the same relationships. The color of power’s face has changed a little bit; it has become a bit more colorful; just as the Ivory Tower was painted rainbow colored when its being ivory became offensive; it’s still, though, the ivory tower, only now it is rainbow colored, he has said many times since I met him, in these and many other words.

We need help, he says.

What do you imagine we need?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s