Discerning Media Truth
Close to Home
A group of my son's friends and he worked outside on a hopeless old Oldsmobile as I stopped in our driveway. One of his friends parked his vehicle in my usual spot; so, I parked behind the Oldsmobile under "repair."
Alex, one of the teens, greeted me with a hug, his normal custom. Alex bucked his eyes when he pulled away and told me to turn around. The stern look on this kid's face, uncommon, caused some concern, but I thought he tried to prank me.
“Dad," all my son's friends call me that, “You should really turn around."
I did. To my astonishment, a police officer stood behind me "trying" to get my attention. A Police officer followed me home! This happened in February of 2016. He followed me without my knowledge to my house without turning on lights or trying to gain my attention in any way other than when I exited the car, creepily standing behind me.
The scene in my yard so distracted me, the commotion of teens. I did not notice the patrol car in my rearview mirror approaching. I would've noticed a siren chirp or a light flash. The fact that the office said nothing until my son told me to turn around really creeped me out and still does.
The officer said, “Sir, I just wanted to let you know your right taillight is out.”
“Okay,” I muttered stunned, a bit surprised that someone was behind me--creeped out. One of those fit cop-types too... The one you know knew some fighting style with muscles and knarly strength to catch a criminal who dared to dart away on foot. He looked good, too!
“You have a good night sir,” he said leaving. I think he even smiled. Creepy.
“You too,” I responded.
After the officer left, completely out of sight, I grabbed Alex, hugging him tightly with nervous laughter.
“I am so glad that you are White,” came the words out of my mouth! Alex, I believe, understood me when I said that as I reflect on it. “I do not know how this would have gone if you and all these other kids were not here.” All the kids in the yard identify as White. He laughed, but I was deathly serious.
Making a big show of how dangerous for me as a Black man that situation could have gone, humorously, I attempted to keep the kids' mood from dipping. Cracking a few jokes helped them. I had them laughing as I entered my home. The officer is a White person, by the way. Not that that is a precondition for negative action to occur, because it's not.
One time in my life have police detained me for looking suspicious; and it occurred in Nashville, GA because it rained outside at night and I was running away from the local judge's home, Judge Knight. I had gone there with my cousin to use the phone--no cell phone in 1992. We then ran a quarter of a mile or so to the store where a patrol car pulled up, and the officers told us to wait there for our parents. The officers, local guys, weren't mean. We were kids, and we did what they said.
A neighbor had called out of concern because she saw two people running from the judge’s house when she knew that the judge’s wife was at home alone and ill. That we are Black may have been an issue, since it was a White neighborhood at the time, but I could never know. This neighbor would have called had anyone been running from the judge’s home, I am sure!
Do Not Fear The Police
Fast-forward to February 2016. My first reaction was to thank God White people filled my yard! Never hurt or insulted by police, I felt guilty. The officer could have pulled me over and given me a ticket, but he did not. He waited until I was safely in my yard. He did not even yell at me but tried to gain my attention apologetically, and I returned his behavior with fear and distrust. Creepy is as creepy does, though.
All of this because I hear in the media that police shoot Black men, unarmed Black men!
I live in Arizona where most people seemed armed due to the state laws. So, I could say he was polite in case I was carrying, legally carrying, a gun and he did not want to surprise me.
I could say that he saw the White people in my yard and decided not to harm me due to their presence. I could say many things. He probably didn’t even know I was Black until I exited the vehicle!
I am ashamed though. I am ashamed that I have started to distrust the police due to what I have seen on TV, heard on the radio, and viewed on the internet. This type of fear causes people to believe things that aren't true about others. It causes prejudice. Little by little, I am allowing the influences of the media to take away my trust in the police. Heck, my wife has an uncle who is a detective! He was an officer of the law for years before that. I have acquaintances who are officers of the law!
I have never been arrested. I have received tickets and knew that I deserved them. Thank God I have never met the cops who abuse their position. Even if I did meet an abusive officer, I would be compliant. Why was I afraid?
Trust the Media?
The media, to reach its goal to sell information, fosters a culture of fear and prejudice--taking actual events, atypical events, lambasting them across the information web so much that it creates hysteria.
Media caused the phenomenon that ended up being World War II! Hitler used it to help win an election in Germany and start another Reich.
The same thing happened with Donald Trump. Was he as bad as the media says he is? I am too prejudiced against him now to care to find out. I already did not like him because of his behavior on regular TV. When he ran for president, I laughed aloud. When he won...
No one would vote for him, I thought. I was wrong. I found his rude behavior entertaining. I even found myself identifying with him. I would like to tell someone where to stuff his or her attitudes occasionally.
I then realized that I don’t do that because it is rude. At least half of us enjoyed the change to the politics in Washington for those four years.
Media has me afraid there's going to be a race war! During the Trump years, the media gave me videos of Trump behaving in what they called a racist way preaching that he hates Black people and I believed them. His celebrity is infamy. The media accused Trump supports White supremacists and believes their ideas are what would make America great again. The media told me that.
Does Media tell the truth or sell information? Please comment to explain.
How does that relate to being ashamed of reacting to the police the way I did? Fear begins to enter my heart about the Republican Party, the party of the first free Black people in America. It shows that I allow other people to think for me when I should do it for myself and trust my research.
I did not support Donald Trump as the potential Republican nominee and did not vote for him during the first election because he exhibited bullying behavior. That's the ONLY reason I did not choose Trump. I have witnessed his behavior and decided to go a different direction--though it mattered little, he won. The second time around actually chose him, but immediately became embarrassed by the other people who voted for him deciding not to accept President Biden won. Then there's that whole media show!
Everything else is smoke and mirrors. I fear for the Republican Party no longer stands for what Lincoln created it for, the safety of the Republic of The United States of America.
So, if a good cop or Republican candidate stands before me in the future, all I see is the fear of discrimination. That is not what birthed the Republican Party. Fear should not come to me because I see an officer! Thanks, media--and by thanks I mean no thanks at all.
All Around Information Revolution
We need a revolution in media to be true to its original purpose to further democracy by giving the common citizen awareness of the truth. Well, I suppose the readers and viewers need to revolution also so that we can be ready to hear the truth the revolution media gives so we can have healthy choices from the revolution parties to support for all elected government.
Media, stop supporting fear in my heart and inform me so that I can make a choice based on education and not emotion alone. You have betrayed me Media! Stop making me afraid of the police. Stop polarizing the people!
Thanks to you REAL patriots of the world (all nations) who inform us of the truth—real reporters, journalists, and history recorders. I love my REAL patriots for giving the truth though you are small in number. Thanks for keeping me honest with what is going on in society. Guard against the apostasy of new media.
My Own Mind!
So, is racism alive? Yes, but not in my living room. Are police shooting people? Yes, but not all of them. Is Trump the anti-Christ? I don’t know, but he is a bully, and we have a new president. Is President Biden the anti-Christ? Still, I don't know.
My own mind!
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2016 Rodric Anthony Johnson