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We Shall Overcome and Other Songs for the Oppressed

Updated on December 9, 2014

The Law of Attraction

Thoughts become things; that’s what The Secret tells us. You know The Secret right? That movie about how you can literally think yourself rich, healthy, happy and beautiful? Well, I know its true because I’ve used it but the amount of faith you have to have…

Anyway, so one thing that the Secret says is that everything that happens to you, you attract it. Now I can see you guys in the back getting angry and standing up to leave but bide a minute and I’ll tell you how its true. Yes yes, I know you’re going to cite cases where a baby got killed by some psychopath and demand to know how they could possibly have attracted it…blah blah. The answer is I don’t know how they attracted it and this is not about blame. This is about behavioural strategy. You see when you’re attracting things to you, it doesn’t mean that you deliberately want it to happen. For example when you say, “I hope I’m not late” and keep thinking it and thinking it and giving it energy what happens? You’re late. You’re walking in the dark and you say, “I hope I don’t get raped, I hope I won’t get raped”, and some passing jerk is trolling the streets looking for someone to attack – he could choose anyone but you’re already primed. You’re already fearful. You’re ready for this thing to happen to you – so it does. Even as he comes at you, you’re probably already cowering begging him not to hurt you – giving him energy to do just that.

The Secret

thoughts become things
thoughts become things | Source

Why You Shouldn't

In any case, to get to the meat of this post; I was reading on tumblr about some black mothers who were telling their non-black counterparts about how they prepare their kids to be bullied by police. Now the first time I read it, it was all I could do not to burst into tears in sympathy with those poor mothers and the fear they felt for their kids. But then I thought; no. feeling sorry for people never got anyone anywhere. What is the solution to this issue?

JayZ says in his song 99 problems that he can see the problem coming when the policeman stops him. He can see that the cop wants to make sure he has a bad day – maybe execute a highway chase. But he’s not having it. He knows his rights. He stops the car, he looks the cop in the eye and he says my dash and locked and so is the trunk in the back so if you want to search it you’ll need a warrant. So the cop is kinda taken aback. He asks Jay if he’s some kind of law or someone important or something. Because Jay didn’t come at him with fear. He came at him with confidence, from a place of knowledge, looked him in the eye. Told him literally, I know you’re doing the wrong thing and I’m not going to help you to do it. So if you’re really confident about what you’re up to then here I am. Bring it. Of course the cop backed off. Bullies like easy targets.

I Got 99 Problems

He freed his mind
He freed his mind

Turn the Tables

So back to these mothers and their children. They tell them to be prepared to be stopped and humiliated. To take it with their heads bowed. Don’t run, don’t talk back. Now I’m all for not stirring the pot and getting yourself shot in the street but I don’t agree with the notion that these kids should agree to be humiliated. There was one woman who told a story about her son walking home in very conservative clothes and seeing the police coming for him. He wanted to run home because he wasn’t far but then he froze. And the mother was terrified to think that he might have started running and be shot in the back. Now if it was me, the advice I would give is be proactive. You see the police car coming and you know they’re going to stop you; so stop. Put your hands up even before they ask you to. Look them in the eye and let them know that your keys/wallet/skittles/iced tea whatever you’re carrying – that it’s not a gun. Invite them to search you, let them know that you’re 12 years old and in advanced placement. Force them to see you as a human being. Force them to be ashamed of bullying you. This is the most excellent excuse to be passive aggressive.

Don't Allow It

they can only kill your vibe if you let them
they can only kill your vibe if you let them

Do You Agree?

Would you agree that attitude is important in avoiding police brutality?

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This Problem Goes Back A-Ways

All this talk of police had me thinking of the account giving by the police officer who found Tupac after he had been shot.

Makaveli

Poet, Rapper, Prophet Tupac Amaru Shakur. Born: June 16th 1971 Died: September 13th 1996
Poet, Rapper, Prophet Tupac Amaru Shakur. Born: June 16th 1971 Died: September 13th 1996 | Source

Animals

So someone’s been shot, he knows that. Does he call an ambulance? Does he even look to see who is hurt and who isn’t? No, he just tells everyone to put their hands up or get on the ground. Guaranteed if they weren’t so many he’d have shot them all and called it a day.

Marion Suge Knight

Suge visits Tupac in the hospital
Suge visits Tupac in the hospital | Source

Call 911 First Dude

Okay so people are now frankly bleeding everywhere. Still, no ambulance has been called. In fact the officer assumes that Tupac is the shooter. Suge Knight who has been shot in the head, is seen ONLY as a threat. Just because he’s big and strong then he must be going to attack someone. When all the poor man wanted to do is help his friend.

The worst part is that all anyone could talk about in this account is how Tupac said, “Fuck You” to the cop as his dying words. They never considered that the cop was standing over him, not even trying to stem his bleeding or help him in any way. All he wanted to do is to arrest another black man.

I Know Right?

I am a Human Being
I am a Human Being | Source

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