Some movies like to tell of grand adventures. The Favourite starts in the mud and tells a “small” story instead, and then expands to give a political power play between cousins, one at the pinnacle of society, and one fallen from those heights and trying to reclaim her position.
Released on the 23rd, The Favourite didn’t see a wide release, so you may have to do some looking around to find it, but to me it was worth the search.
On October 1, 2014, the Washington, D.C. police department decided that Dennis Stucky, a black man walking through a neighborhood where mostly affluent white people live, might have been involved in a burglary which by accounts appear to have not had a police response yet. The reported phone call came from an alarm that sent an automated call to police. Even worse (f that is possible), the officers involved were themselves black.
In our country, we have made amazing strides toward equality for those who have been disenfranchised by the government and by society. We are still working to better ourselves, and the most recent example are the recent court rulings regarding same sex marriage. Even so, we must be ever vigilant in order to ensure we do not take steps backwards in our pursuits of equality.
Jody Westby, CEO of Global Cyber Risk, LLC, stepped forward on October 1st when she saw institutionalized racism at work in the Washington, D.C. police department, its response to a black man walking in her neighborhood.
Said Westby, “Just because he’s black, doesn’t mean he’s here to rob a house. He works for us he’s been in this neighborhood for 30 years.”
I acknowledge that the police should be allowed to ask questions about a crime that happened nearby (even though the crime occurred nearly a mile away); that said the manner of the questions and the style in which the questioning took place leave something to be desired. Westby’s housekeeper filmed the below video, in which you will notice the following:
The police demanded and required that Stucky get on the ground
The police demanded he explain where he came from and where he was going
Given that the police officers involved did not have a description of the suspect at all, the appropriate way to handle this, I think, should have been:
Ask him if he had a moment to speak
Ask him if he was aware of any suspicious activity in the neighborhood
Had they approached the situation in this way, they would have learned (without confrontation) what Westby had to explain to them: Stucky has worked in this neighborhood for 30 years, and his presence in the neighborhood was both expected and welcome by the community.
And finally: as there was no break-in that occurred, and the alarm went off erroneously causing an automated call to be placed to the police department, an important question is raised. Why were the police stopping someone walking at a normal pace nearly a mile away from an active alarm going off instead of rushing to the scene of the “crime”?
Please be sure to watch this video, and share this message with people you know. We must work to be ever vigilant and cognizant of this type of behavior, now and always.
For more information about this event, please visit the following links:
Neil Armstrong, a great American hero, passed away today at the age of 82.
I’m not old enough to have been around when Mr. Armstrong first set foot on the moon, but he still managed to capture my imagination and admiration. When we look back at what he accomplished, that he left the planet and actually stepped foot on something other than planet Earth, we can only hold the man in high esteem knowing that he did so with a computer with less power than any of the SmartPhones on the market today.
As a child growing up, outer space captured my imagination. Mr. Armstrong was a hero to many like me, people who will never have the chance to do what he did. He should be applauded for a life spent pursuing a dream that so many of us have.
When the will defies fear, when duty throws the gauntlet down to fate, when honor scorns to compromise with death – that is heroism.
– Robert Green Ingersoll
Rosa Parks was the queen mother of a movement whose single act of heroism sparked the movement for freedom, justice and equality. Her greatest contribution is that she told us a regular person can make a difference.
– Marc Morial
One maxim that is bound and determined to keep rearing its head is that people who forget history are bound to repeat it. Today’s pictures serve to remind me of this. Seeing a dilapidated Air Force C-119 Flying Boxcar sitting on the side of the road reminds me that we have a rich history in our country.
When I look at this picture, I wonder to myself, “Who sat in the cockpit? What sights did they see? Where has this great beast flown when it took wing?” This, dear friends, is why I love pictures, and history. We forget things like this, and when I see a sight like this I am inspired to write about it (even if it’s just a blurb on a blog – oh how I hate the word blog, but that is for another day).
I’d like to write a short story about this picture, I think. Perhaps when I have a bit more time, I will and perhaps I will post it here for you to read, if you are interested.