Friday, May 23, 2008

The Straw That Broke the Camels Back

by Antonio Franklin


Before I start venting and losing grip of what i'm truly pissed about, let's simply explain the details of the event.

A year ago, I recieved numerous tickets for fare evasion on the train and was given a fine that I obviously couldn't pay off, given the fact that I had to evade the fare in the first place. Fastforward to last night, as for the third time, i'm pulled over, on the sidewalk, coming from work and boxing classes by LAPD by motorcycle. They've stopped me numerous times for not having a light. With that squared away, now, my crime is simply riding my bike on a completely empty sidewalk. I am completely polite and answer all their unconstitutional questions to help the process go faster. I discover that I have a bench warrant for my arrest because of the ticket fines and because my patience is wearing thin, I DEMAND to just speed the process up and take me in.

I've never been in jail, nor did I ever expect to go. As a completely hardcore wimpy law abiding citizen, why should I see it in my future... Oh, that's right - because I'm a young, black male in America. Or should I put it as, a proletariat underclass neo-slave in a fascist dictatorship. Let's not mince words.

I am interrupted and found to have a warrant because I rode my bike on the sidewalk? What's next? Arrested and held for a year for not having a helmet and bike seatbelt? This is getting ridiculous, and I simply can't take it anymore.

We're all boiling in this melting pot and I for one, want out. I remember the days when you'd say that to another typical ignorant, uneducated white American male and they'd say, "WELL GOOD! LEAVE THEN!" Today that smugness is slowly being replaced with silence. As they morph into their proper slave masks of compliant little automatons as this country becomes the dreaded dictatorship it was always destined to become - see: Antony Sutton.

I think I'm done here. My rant should be kept simple and direct, yet as in almost all cases, the story is so deep and unnappealing that everyone should hear it. So let's rewind and provide the gory details about this soon to be American dictatorship escapee.

My whole life has been filled with a certain clarity of who and where I am, and how I came to be in the position that I'm in. I discovered that I was a black lower class heathen at 13 and as a highly advanced student/bookworm/nerd/hermit, whatever you want to call it, I soon came to deeply despise this nation, built entirely upon lies. Who propogated the lies? Obviously the media and "traditional" American family, as a quick glimpse into a history book, ANY HISTORY BOOK, PLEASE! - will give you a contrary story of just how equal every human being truly is. All our histories are just as bloody, complex, and riddled with slavery, strife and hardship as the next, but try explaining that to your average day Joe, and if you have any success, please blog it and allow me to review. I learned to keep my mouth shut early on and allow those ignorant, soulless blokes to wallow in their own devoid-of-curiousity filled days. It became quite the burden, sure, as the days turned into years and the bigotry, backwardsness and ignorance became so rampant and loud and in-my-face that I could burst with torture.... But I didn't.

I just wanted to live my life and let them live theirs, but see how far society can crumble in a matter of a decade? My journey from central Indiana to Southern California came, of course, against the wishes of my family, yet I was never an individual that could be kept from doing exactly as I wished. With barely a penny in my pocket and minimal help from distant relatives living in the area (and by minimal, I mean basic starvation) I achieved that which could be considered independence. In three months I had a job, an apartment (share) and a chunk of manhood I could call my own, yet at 18, curiousity got the best of this cat. After a string of quitting jobs, losing a place to stay, finding odd jobs and odd living arrangements, I learned how to become comfortably independent in Los Angeles, and was it grand! Of course it didn't last as my desire for continued upward mobility drove me to all corners of this lively city. That traveling on pressed pennies, infinite dreams, tumultuous gasps of a fuller, richer life are what life is about, but they also brought me the tickets.

People don't comprehend that the LA Metro System is a merit/trust system, with open spaces and minimal police presence. With such a vast landscape, of course there will be those who don't have the currency to pay, and so if you're trying to hold on to job and home, it is a God-send, guarded at times by angels in bulletproof vests, of course. And so, after a year of relative freedom, and a move back to North Hollywood, where transportation of any sort other than the foot is MANDATORY, I found myself in a police state, with sharks for police cars, four or more to a street, where in my 15 minutes home every night, I could count on spotting roughly seven.

We know they have quota's, the veritable stock option put on the future of criminality by the police, which ironically turns police from defending crime to enforcing it. The trick is to recognize that they're forced to make a quota, of say 4 arrests a night, which will translate at the end of day to them being FORCED to "FIND" "criminals", i.e. blacks, latinos, skaters, homeless, drug abusers, anyone in plain sight who the general public won't raise a fuss about being disproportionately detained or abused. This translates to a rise in the percentage of crime, which, the same police force who enforced a quota will decry the lack of personel/capital and demand that the local corrupt/inept politician will throw on a couple hundred million onto the back of the taxpaying public. The game is disgusting, but let's not pretend it's not easily readable and not entirely the fault of the complacent public, meaning that nothing will ever come to it, because that which is in place view will fail to be spotted every time.

This is why I love America.

And so I happen to be a victim of the police state, which appears as the snake which eats its own tail, and I found myself in a hellhole for one night which If ever faced with again, you can surely count on my unwillingness to cooperate (Tupac Shakur, anyone?)

The conditions of this "police department" were horrendous, large numbers of hispanic and black vagabonds, domestic abusers, angry, trashy, wreched, old, urinals in the open, inneficient police offices, a 5 hours waiting period to be simply processed before placed into a cell, personal items disposed of or misplaced, rude, pompous "officials", lack of proper sanitary conditions ('want something to eat?' 'while staring at the feces on the floor and the urine in my nose, no thanks' 'no thanks what?' '*sighs* no thanks supreme almight official who i've seen beat people in wheelchairs to death on youtube'), horror stories, abuse - generally a cornicopia of everything right in our "justice system". Afterwords, after another four hours of sleep, two hours transport to a facility 20 miles away, two more hours waiting for a judge to say something and nothing at the same time and to find out that this "holding cesspool" was the actual punishment, I was let out.

Ahhh... The sweet smell of fresh air...

Of course the fresh air loses its luster once you discover that all your belongings, keys, wallet, shoelaces, belt, glasses, are all at the facility you were processed at, and you'll need to take a bus to get there, but don't worry, there's a group of taximen waiting for you.... even though they can't seem to comprehend that they're right in front of a holding facility with people who have to wait hours to have their belongings returned or recieve tokens to travel the hours back to retrieve those said belongings. And so, here I am, a victim, yet again, of more police ineptness, type-type-typing this away on a library computer, with another two hours of waiting time before I can get my keys, to my beloved bicycle, so that I can travel to where I need to go to retrieve the rest of my belongings, which won't be brought to me.

That's the wondrous American penal system at work. With 5% of the worlds population and gaining on 35% of it's prison population, America is the quintesential beacon and idea of freedom and justice. Ignore that China, with roughly four times our population has only 75,000 prisoners.... With over 4 million within its walls at any one time, and record instances of police brutality, there is no better place in the world to call home than America, which is exactly why our tourism industry is flourishing, our standard of living is approving, and the peaceful pot smokers are staying here and not immigrating to the Netherlands.

Thank you so much for my freedoms, officer.

Oh... and How low do you want me to bend?

Noooo!!! Please! Don't go to, you might learn something.