Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Race Relations

When the vendor returned, Roc's immediate partner questioned him as to why he had abandoned his cart. Roc's partner is Dominican; to the untrained eye, he may seem African-American, but he's fluent in Spanish and was able to ascertain that the guy just needed to go to the bathroom. He saw the cops on the corner and figured they would watch his cart. So he left his cart and ducked into a nearby bodega with with no explanation. Roc's partner went on to explain to him what had happened. He thanked him in Spanish and the other cops in broken English. The roving band of idiots had dispersed by now, and things were seemingly back to normal.
Except for the four cops, all was good in the 'hood. Jamal was still shooting Roc murderous looks and Roc had no problem returning his gaze.
Finally, Jamal and his partner went back to the post they had originally come from and Roc and his partner stayed on their corner.

Let me just say this: Roc's NYPD Graduation ceremony closely resembled a meeting of the UN General Assembly. Gone are the days when you had a police force basically populated by white men, read: men, and they had a token person of color thrown in for the hell of it, or to fill a quota. In fact---if I remember correctly---the Valedictorian of Roc's class was a female originally from Poland, who came to the United States, fought in Iraq, gained citizenship, and then became a member of the NYPD.
I can also say this: Roc doesn't have a racist bone in his body. He was floored and affected by this incident because he simply couldn't believe the outburst spewing from Jamal. He was dismayed to learn that they were not in fact, all blue. And the residue of this particular incident lingered...

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