The story they won’t cover…

At 5:00 this past Sunday morning, Cpl. Keith Heacook of the Delmar Police Department responded to a call for an assault in progress. An elderly couple was being beaten and this officer put himself between them and their attacker. According to reports, Cpl. Heacook was then violently attacked, overpowered, and kicked in the head repeatedly until he fell unconscious. 

A quick search shows that the “person” arrested in connection to this murder has a criminal record dating back to 2010, when he was 19 years old. Thirty-six items returned in a search of his involvement with criminal court cases paint quite a picture… although I’m sure great effort will be expended to portray him as victim of the system, result of a bad childhood, a young man who just needed a hug, or whatever touchy feely excuse for people who choose a life outside the law is in vogue today.

You won’t hear hours of reporting every day dedicated to the murder of Keith Heacook. You won’t see protests in the street or riots and looting of local downtown business districts. His death at the hands of a known criminal doesn’t match the popular narrative of violent police officers. It will be downplayed and ignored in favor of those reports that highlight only the story of race and policing the media is determined to sell. 

We’ll know the truth, though. Keith Heacook, a badged and sworn police officer, laid down his life in service to his community and in an attempt to protect the vulnerable. There’s no truer definition of hero.

What Annoys Jeff this Week?

1. Forgetting Thursday. Most weeks, by the time Thursday rolls around I have a laundry list of potential topics to pick from. The annoyances range from monumental to petty and all are perfectly suitable for taking up a hundred or so words in print. Occasionally though, you run into a week where nothing exceptional happens and grievances are too petty to even be worth mentioning. Mercifully they don’t come along all that often or this whole effort would come to a painfully sudden stop. It’s been my experience that good times tend to make for piss poor writing.

2. Satellite Radio. I dearly love my SiriusXM radio, but it occurred to me yesterday when they renewal notice arrived $273.22 seems awfully expensive. I’m perfectly willing to pay for the joy and convenience of not needing to change a channel from one side of the country to the other, but honest to God shouldn’t something called a “Music Royalty Fee” be included as part of the standard bill for a device whose purpose, largely, is to play music. An entirely separate $33.34 line item for this does seem a touch excessive me. I like Sirius. I want to find a more reasonable price point so I can justify keeping my subscription. As it stands, though, there’s too much competition online that’s free or cheap for me to fork over the better part of $300.

2. “Christians didn’t do anything about the KKK.” In response to the question “Why don’t Muslims do more to stop the radicals among them,” the immediate response seems to be “well Christians didn’t do anything about the KKK.” Except that’s not true at all. In 1954 President Eisenhower federalized the Arkansas National Guard to ensure the integration of Little Rock High School. In 1964 the FBI under Director Hoover flooded into Mississippi to break the grip of the KKK on the local justice system. Federal agencies have continued to infiltrate and prosecute all manner of hate groups from then right through to the present day. The second half of the 20th century was never my primary area of study, but I do seem to remember a fair number of whites who went south to register voters, help organize boycotts, and generally be part of the process. With that being said I’m assuming the counter question being asked is really “what did ‘white people’ do to curtail the activities of white hate groups, I think the answer you’re looking for is “a lot.” I can’t speak for anywhere else, but when the KKK shows up “on parade” here in Cecil County, it’s mostly six old guys on the courthouse steps. They might not be dead, but they’re sure as hell defanged compared to where things stood in 1950, dontcha think?

Identity…

Far be it from me to tell anyone who they feel themselves to be on the inside, but it stands to reason if I go about telling everyone that I considered myself to be an African American woman, no one would buy it. That could lead me down into a long, painful discussion about perception, self, and identity, but I don’t want to go there.

The national offices of the NAACP were quick to point out over the weekend that there was no requirement for leaders in their organization to be black. That’s probably true. At the same time, it makes about as much sense as having someone who’s never owned a firearm in their life serving as president of the NRA. Sure, you could do it, but it feels awfully disingenuous.

I’m not saying anyone should give up their calling to campaign for civil rights or any other cause… but I am saying if you’re going to put yourself forward as a poster child, you’d damned well better be doing it from a place of personal authenticity because the truth will out. And Murphy being the ass he is, it will do so at the most inconvenient moment.

I can walk around town all day calling myself the King of the Andals and the First Men, but no matter how strongly I believe, believing doesn’t make it so. Like it or not, identify isn’t just how we feel on the inside, but is also in large part how we are perceived by those around us. It’s perfectly normal for those two identities to be a little different from one another, but generally both are at least tied to some shred of reality… in this latest case, not so much.

Joe… just joe…

Dear Starbucks,

No one loves your cup of joe more than me, but really I wish you’d just stick with providing coffee and a scone without offering up a side order of social commentary. I’ve come to your establishments across the country secure in the knowledge that I could order a venti vanilla latte extra hot with a shot and have it delivered up consistently from coast to coast.

What I’m generally not looking for with my jolt of hot caffeine is a debate or discussion with the staff on same-sex marriage, or gun control, or race relations. God knows there are enough venues available where those topics can’t be escaped. I hate to think your shops are just another place to avoid now.

Look, I know coffee shops have a long history of being a hotbed of radical thought and gathering points for critical discussion of the issues of the day… but for the love of God that’s what the internet is for now. I’m begging you to just be a place I can go to get a reliable cup of coffee. If I want politics with my caffeine I can always swing by McDonald’s every morning and listen to the old men bitching and complaining.

Regards,

Jeff

Read the inspiration for this post here.

Milestone… But not the way you think…

There’s a lot of talk today about the milestone of inaugurating a black president. Yes, it’s definitely a remarkable bit of history and not something I expected to see in my lifetime, but there hasn’t been much talk about the more important event that happened with the transfer of power to President Obama. In a time when the United States is at war in two countries, when entire sectors of the economy are collapsing, and when we the people are hell bent on hating one another for simple political difference there was a peaceful transfer of power from on leader to another. At a time when a Caesar or a Napoleon grasped the reins of power more firmly in other places and in other times, the Commander-in-Chief laid aside his powers and followed the long unbroken line of past presidents in the example set by the nation’s first chief executive. Instead of raising an army,

Of course today is a milestone in that it’s no longer acceptable to set limits based on race or to use it as an excuse , but it’s more important still in that we learned once again that the Constitution works; That our republic, despite its warts, remains strong. Could any of us really ask for a better milestone?

P.S. Could the Chief Justice at least have memorized the Oath of Office… Geesh…

Location, Location, Location…

The old saw of the real estate trade is that the only three things that really matter are location, location, and location. Not surprisingly, it’s the issue that my own decision has come to hinge upon.

Houses in the town of Covington can be divided roughly equally into two groups… those that have been either refinished and maintained over the years and those that are about to fall down. The line of demarcation between the two is stark and you will know immediately when you’ve passed over it. The house I’ve been toying with is close to that line… very close. The house I have been looking at is on a corner lot on one of the town’s main thoroughfares… make a turn onto one of the side streets and by the time you reach the end of the block, you’ve crossed the line… That’s how close it is.

Plenty of people, especially here in the south are going to say it’s a racial thing, but you’re going to have to take my word for it that it’s really not. Living in Howard County for so long has basically given me a level of ambivalence about who or what lives beside me as long as they leave me the hell alone. The reality is, however, this is still the South and that is a consideration I need to make when thinking in terms of ease of resale when the time comes to move on or up…

I suppose I could always build a giant privacy fence, put in a top-notch security system, ignore the neighbors down the block, and just pay attention to the amazing Georgian across the street…