As was the reoccurring theme between us, I intuitively realized that in the wake of the officers being attacked in Baton Rouge, La., Floyd would find me, if for no other reason than to reiterate his earlier point that the vast majority of African-American males were unpredictable, illogical, and some parts of crazy. I had long ago realized that Floyd lived for the conversations that flowed from such ‘racial incidents’. So I fully expected him to appear at The Breakfast Klub this morning; I was not to be disappointed as he arrived before I did.
I swear that Floyd made his presence known to me before I could even smell the fragrantly enticing food that brought droves of Houstonians, and those visiting the city, into the eatery as if they were Muslims on a Hajj to Mecca. There he was, decked out in all white with his signature shiny shoes, standing at a table in the back of the venue waving his hand as if he were eager to answer a difficult math question that stumping his classmates. Considering that there is no possible means of ignoring a person such as Floyd, I made my way to his location.
Before I could sit, let alone get settled into the empty seat across the table from Floyd, my dear friend started in on me.
“Now what do you have to say now? It took everything in me to not call you the moment the shootings occurred, however, I decided to wait until we were face-to-face to hear your opinion of what YOUR people have done once again.”
Of course it was obvious to me that Floyd was referring to the recent shootings in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; however, I needed for strategic reasons for him to explicitly state what it is that he was raving about. So I decided to act as if I had no idea of what he was up in arms about.
“MY PEOPLE? Brother, what are you talking about? What has happened in the African-American community? The community that you also belong to I might add. It is OUR COMMUNITY.”
I knew very well that the insinuation that Floyd was an African-American would most likely throw him off of the very topic that had him arrive at The Breakfast Klub prior to my arrival.
“First of all, you know Goddamned well that I ain’t no damn African-American; ain’t never been and ain’t never going to no Africa. Second of all, you ain’t gonna escape this argument with no damn Jedi mind trick; old Floyd sees what you are trying to do.”
I just sat back and smiled at Floyd, my way of inviting him the first statement in what was usually a frustrating ‘argument’ for yours truly.
Floyd smiled back and commenced the planned argument.
“You know damn well that I am speaking about that nutty Nigga down in Baton Rouge who done shot up all of those police officers. Oh, let me be very clear. That nutty Nigga that needlessly shot up all of those police officers. What is wrong with these fools out here?”
I exasperatingly related to Floyd,
“I think that you need to take a step back and realize that what happened in Dallas and now Baton Rouge is not only predictable, but also understandable. What do you really think is going to occur after police officers have done untold amounts of hurt, harm, and killing in the African-American community? Floyd, it appears that the people are absolutely fed up with such antics from those who are supposed to protect them.”
As expected, Floyd’s shiny ebony face related that he was aghast at my contention that it was the actions of law enforcement officers who had directly contributed to the hostile climate between officers and the average African-American citizen. Before he could issue a rebuttal, I continued my statement.
“What do people expect to occur after so many centuries, not decades, of abuse? There was bound to be someone who, courageously I might add, took it upon themselves to address this matter.
Now that I think about it, it is a bit ironic that those who have taken it upon themselves to address this matter are ex-military. I could go on and on about how poetic it is that these responses to so-called law enforcement officers’ actions have occurred by former soldiers who have been trained by the U.S. military. I would expect nothing less from most people who can not understand that these men have been trained to identify and eradicate threats. It’s nothing other than a case of what brother Malcolm called, ‘The chickens coming home to roost.’”
I am certain that you can imagine that my ‘statement’ was too much for Floyd to handle. No sooner than the last syllable left my mouth, Floyd began speaking with a deep Mississippi drawl.
“This ain’t no damn case of ‘The chickens coming home to roost.’ Rather a display of why we need to increase both the mental health and police budget in every city that ‘nutty Niggas’ live. Now America is being given a chance to see just how crazy these Niggas that old’ Floyd has got to live with really are. This ain’t got a damn thing to do with no damn ‘historic’ police brutality or whatever you just said. It damn sure has something to do with the fact that the average Black man, oh, excuse me African-American, ain’t got an ounce of common sense.”
I just smirked at Floyd’s illogical rambling statement.
“If they did have any common sense they would be on my side calling for more police presence within our community, because we damn sure need it. Using your logic that it has been police abuses that have led to these killings, well, tell me what is the cause of us killing one another on a nightly basis? Riddle me that!!!!!!!”
As expected, Floyd had become so emotional that he emphasized his final point by slamming his fist upon the table, causing a hush to come over the entire establishment. I knew that Floyd was going to get even angrier at my next contention.
“Come on Floyd. First lower your voice and second realize that the black-on-black crime that we are witnessing is not even in the same category as the actions of so-called ‘peace officers’ who have historically entered our community and behaved in anything but a peaceful manner.”
“What do you expect for them to do? How do you expect for them to behave? Have you ever tried to be peaceful and logical to a group of Niggas? I know you haven’t that’s why you have chosen not to live among them!!!! So really you are talking about something that you don’t understand. Trust me when I say that most Niggas are disagreeable to any form of logic or getting along with anyone else. But you wouldn’t know a damn thing about that from your suburban spot.”
I knew that Floyd was trying to get me riled up, a position I resisted with all my might, so that he could call me disagreeable like all the others. I just stared at him.
“I am telling you that we need an increased police presence in our community. Where would we be without their presence? You think things are bad now, just imagine if there was no law enforcement presence to deal with these gang bangers and thugs who make it so difficult for good people like myself to live their lives; you know the kind of people who don’t have any choice but to live among these fools. Trust me when I say, there may be a few officers who abuse their power, however, when I see an officer putting his foot in some Nigga’s ass, I take it for granted that it is occurring for a good reason. That fool did something to cause it.”
As with most disagreements with Floyd, it was of little use to explain to him matters such as socioeconomic inequality, sociological studies, and whatnot. Floyd believed what he believed and he didn’t give a single care if you or I disagreed with his points. On this particular occasion I just gave up and refused to further engage him on this matter. Floyd naturally considered this a defeat and as usual chose to bask in his victory.
“Another victory for ol’ Floyd. I am telling you, I should get paid for representing the Black community. Maybe I will become a Black Leader like Jesse, Al, or Farrakhan.”
I just shook my head and thought, “God no! Don’t we have enough problems already?”
Dr. James Thomas Jones III
©Manhood, Race and Culture, 2016