Straight Outta Compton

straightoutofcomptonSo, there we were, Sept. 1, Tuesday afternoon.

Toni and I, westbound on University Avenue, minding our own business, approaching Dale Street, in route to see the movie “Straight Outta Compton.” A bunch of commotion up ahead set my spider senses tingling. Alert. Take emergency evasive measures. Turn off University.

But no.

Against my better judgment, my car proceeded due west. As we approached, on the sidewalk just ahead, a group of teens attacking another came into view. While stopped for the red light, the fight rolled out into the street directly behind my car. Up to this point, the lone victim had been holding his own. But now he was on the ground getting punched and kicked. Toni and I watched as my hand slid the gear into park. I exited my vehicle and ran back, like I was gonna do somethin’ ’til I suddenly realized I ain’t got no business intervening in nothin’. My feet came to a screeching halt in the nick of time, remaining just out of reach, I repeatedly yelled. “No, no! Stop it!” Others in surrounding vehicles joined in, yelling through car windows and honking. Two ladies behind us also exited their car yelling.

The attackers glanced up, distracted and surprised to see us in their face. For a moment they seemed embarrassed, let go, backed off and fled on foot. A female bystander captured this on video.

I hopped back in my car. The light turned green. Toni said, “Good job.” My gear slid into drive. We rolled alongside the fleeing assailants as they veered the corner, looking to see if anyone was following, holding up their falling pants. Toni, observing our eye contact asked, “Do you know them?”

Well that depends on what you mean, now doesn’t it?

Anyhow, this happening on the way to see “Straight Outta Compton” has to have some kind of meaning, doesn’t it?

Initially, I had no intention of seeing it. I remember NWA and “Boyz in the Hood.” Dope slinging, and Black on Black violence depresses my spirit, causing me PTSD and personal flashbacks. Besides, if we are made in His image, ain’t the N-word blaspheme? Makes me shudder, cringe, and sometimes duck, whenever I hear it.

The street fight and movie brought me face to face with everything we grapple with; Black on Black violence, police corruption, the combination of both, as well as what Twin Cities must not become.

Critiques of Black Lives Matter, ask the question, “Where is the outrage” of what I call Black on Black Siblicide (the killing of our brothers and sisters). This question presumes that the only action we take as parents, elders, communities, is in regards to unarmed Blacks being shot by police.

In response to the call for outrage we are many in the trenches, aggressively shouting for peace in city streets. But why are you asking? Are you seeking factual information, or simply offering rebuttal, in order to marginalize the Black Lives Matter movement?

This was about the fourth street fight I broke up this year. But I’m no lone ranger. There are countless others working for peace in many ways. There are multitudes of peace warriors who contribute generously and effectively in their own way, as it is revealed to them. These are too numerous to itemize.

So when asking about outrage, you are calling us out. But FYI, we accepted this challenge, long before the question was asked. So now, pick a peace team and join us in whatever way inspires you. Raging peace is a team sport.

September 17, 2015
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