Tag Archives: black

A Skunk of A Different Color

I went out this morning to clear the snow from my driveway. All 100 yards of it. I noticed some of the usual animal tracks in the snow.

There were the deer, who cross the road here to get to Flint Creek. And , of course a number of squirrel prints . There was one I didn’t recognize. It was like a thick tunnel across the newly fallen snow. I thought it might belong to the weasel or mink we saw a few years ago.

As it happened my neighbor, I will call him Sparky, was driving his tractor/plow down the road. Now, Sparky is a good old boy who used to be a deer hunter. He no longer kills animals. I recall one year he took down a deer near our adjoining property with one shot from his back porch. So, he knows guns.

And Sparky will always come over during really heavy snowfalls and plow out my driveway. A couple times a year. He won’t take payment for it, so I usually leave a couple of six packs of brew on this front deck . Sparky knows animals.

So, I stopped him and asked him about the snow trail. Yep. He said it was skunk. They had seen skunks in their yard this morning and he was pretty sure they had ambled this way. Skunks it was.

There is a family of skunks that drops by in the fall, usually in the middle of the night. They dig up the yard looking for grubs, I presume. I have seen them and watched as they slowly make there way, unafraid.

A couple years ago I noticed something odd. I mentioned it to Sparky and he assured me that my eyes were not deceiving me, he had seen it ,too.

For those of you unfamiliar with skunks. They are an amazing deep black color. With an even more amazingly bright white stripe down the back. The black and the white are pure, bold and uncompromising. As black and white as it gets.

Except for this family. One of the skunks is the exact opposite of this color pattern. Where the others are black, he is white. A white skunk with a big bold black stripe down his back. An oddity. An aberration. A skunk like no other.

The other skunks don’t seem to mind. He is, after all, just a skunk of a different color.

Too bad humans aren’t more like skunks.

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Filed under gay rights, Politics, racism, Society, United States

Darren Wilson and the FBI

(Darren Wilson was the police officer who confronted and killed a black man in Ferguson, Missouri. He was subsequently NOT indicted by a grand jury. he has since retired from the police force.)

I was involved in an internet argument with someone who I will call “Billy Bob” the other day. Billy Bob is a died-in-the-wool supporter of Darren Wilson and his rights to kill unarmed people if he feels threatened. Billy Bob’s main argument is that Wilson was a cop. Being a cop gave him the right to kill.

I disagree. Be that as it may, Billy Bob went one step further. He thinks that Darren Wilson, (now that he has resigned) , is going to end up in the FBI. Really. He does. So,  I imagine the job interview as follows…

FBI: So, Mr Wilson, I see you have 8 years experience as a police officer. Why did you leave the force?

Wilson: I did it for the good of the community.

FBI: I see. Can you expand on that?

Wilson: Yepper. I shot and killed a bad man and people in the community got mad at me. They even tried to indict me but I beat the rap.

FBI: Well. I assume you killed this man for a reason.

Wilson: Yepper. I felt my life was in danger.

FBI: So, he drew his gun first and then you shot back in self-defense?

Wilson: Nope. He didn’t have a gun.

FBI: So, he had a knife and was coming at you and was going to stab you ?

Wilson: Nope. He didn’t have a knife.

FBI: Well,  he was carrying some weapon, obviously. What did he attack you with?

Wilson: He didn’t have a weapon. But he hit me. Hard.

FBI: I see. Couldn’t you have used some self-defense techniques? Some of your training?

Wilson: Nope. I was in a car when he hit me.

FBI: You were in a car? Couldn’t you just drive a few hundred feet away and wait for backup?

Wilson: Never thought of that. But he hit me. Hard.

FBI: So, why did you shoot him?

Wilson: I feared for my life. He was big. REAL big. Made me feel like a 5 year old little boy. So I shot him. I don’t like feeling like a little boy.

FBI: So, you shot him in the leg or arm to incapacitate him ? To slow him down?

Wilson. Nope. In the head. In the body.

FBI: You shot him more than once?

Wilson: I shot AT him about 10 or 12 times. I hit him 6 times. That did the trick.

FBI: So , he was right next to you and you missed 4 or 6 shots?

Wilson: Yepper. That is why I kept shooting. DUH.

FBI: Well, Mr Wilson. The FBI prides itself on being a highly-trained, well-regulated peacekeeping force. We demand top level skills, intelligence, split-second decision-making and respect for individual rights. We do have to use force, but we train our agents to use only necessary force. I really don’t think we will be interested in interviewing you for a position.

Wilson: Did I mention that the guy was black. And very big. And scary. And that he looked like a demon ?

FBI: So. You see demons? You know what a demon looks like?

Wilson: I seen pictures of them. In demon books. And I tell you, this guy LOOKED like a demon. No joke.

FBI: I see. Thank you for coming in Mr . Wilson. And best of luck in the future.

So, Billy Bob, I don’t think the FBI will be calling on Darren Wilson to join the force anytime soon. Thank god.

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Filed under blacks, crime, police

Will I Be Shot in Florida

I am worried. I am going to Florida next month, just for a couple of days. But I am worried. Here is why.

Last year a young black kid, armed with Skittles, was murdered on a public street. Walking home. He possessed no weapons. Except for Skittles. An older guy, who happened to be white, shot him. Dead.  His defense. He (the killer) had questioned the kid’s right to be on the street and followed him. The kid (according to the killer), then challenged him and a fight ensued. He felt his life was in danger. And in Florida that evidently gives you the legal right to kill someone.

Another case. (I think it was Florida). A guy is texting his babysitter in a movie theater. Annoying. But the movie had not yet started.  A guy behind him (again, an older white guy) complained. An argument broke out. Popcorn was hurled. The older guy pulled out his gun and killed the texter/pop corn thrower.  His defense. He thought his life was in danger.

A third case, going to the jury as I write. A man (an older white guy again) pulls up to a car with its music blaring. He tells the black kids to turn it down.They mouth off to him. He pulls a gun out of the glove compartment. He fires three times into the car. As the car pulls away he fires 7 more times. A kid is dead. The killer’s defense? He thought his life was endangered. He felt he had the right.

Three killings. Three victims armed with Skittles,  popcorn and a music cd. All dead. Because an older white guy felt his life was endangered.

I am not black. I am an older white guy. And I fear for my life. Will I be shot by some black kid if I visit Florida? Will he be justified in killing me? My reasoning.

As a young black man I would now suspect every old white guy. Every old white guy MIGHT be carrying a gun and might put my life in danger. As an older white guy I wonder.  Do I dare take out my cell phone around a black kid?Will he think it is a gun? Do I smile at the checkout clerk and reach for my wallet ? Will he think I am carrying “heat” and decide his life is in danger? Do I dare play Bob Dylan on my car radio? Will some black kid take that as an indication that I am threatening his life and decide to act first?

Luckily I have taught many teenage black kids in my former life as a social studies teacher. I know that most of them have the common sense and decency not to shoot someone for no reason other than a paranoid fear of the perceived “other”. Still,  I wonder if I should go to Florida. I would hate to be killed based on a stereotype. The stereotype of crazy, paranoid old white men.

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Filed under Conservatives, crime, Politics, Society