I think that part of the problem is that we as a community feel like we deserve it.
Or we have it coming.
Even as we march for Martin, Brown, Garner, Rice, Bland, Gray, Sterling and now Castile; even as we know in our hearts that what happened to them and many unnamed others was more than likely unjust, I truly believe that many of us still feel like we are at fault for how the police treat and relate to our community.
And that’s why many of us are out here now, boo-loving up on the supposed “good” cops.
I say this because of The Game and his son Harlem’s GoFundMe campaign to raise money for a Little Rock, Arkansas-based cop Tommy Norman.
If you are unfamiliar with the name, you might have seen one of the viral videos featuring Norman, who is White, playing around and goofing off with some of the neighborhood Black and Brown children while he is on patrol.
Here is compilation of some of his more entertaining moments:
Well apparently, the son of the Compton rapper, who is fresh off co-leading a rally (with his partner in crime and apparently peace, Snoop Dogg) of Black men and former gang members to a special meeting with the LAPD, thought so too. And thus far, he has raised over half of his $50,000 goal.
And as The Game writes on his Instagram account about his campaign:
“Good afternoon world…… So as I told you yesterday, I had conversations with my oldest son @hvrlemtaylor about good cops & bad ones & he did his research & found officer @tnorman23’s page & i was touched by how active he is in the black community where he polices. My son said, how does he help all of these kids & stuff, is he rich ??? I said I don’t know if he’s rich but sometimes it doesn’t take much to help those in need son…… Being that my son is on vacation with his mother visiting relatives in Atlanta, Arkansas & Louisiana he wanted to do something for officer @tnorman23 in Little Rock so he delevoped [sic] a #GoFundMe to try & raise $50,000 & in 5 hours were over 1/2 way there…. so that officer @tnorman23 can continuously stuff his trunk with toys, goodies, food & other things to help him continue contributing to the kids & people in Little Rock Arkansas….. (& BEFORE SOMEONE NEGATIVE PUTS IT IN THE COMMENTS BELOW, YES I COULD’VE GIVEN THE 10K MYSELF BUT THAT WOULDVE STOLEN THE JOY OUT OF MY SONS IDEA & HIS COMMITMENT & DEDICATION FOR SOMETHING & SOMEONE HE FELT TOUCHED BY). But as I type, I AM GOING TO DONATE THE 1st $1,000 !!!!!!!! Not only am I proud of my son for taking initiative, I’m thankful that I’ve raised him with such a pure heart regardless of the negativities he’s seen me over come…… So please CLICK THE LINK IN MY BIO & donate anything as small as $1 to the officers mission & together we will help a good soul continue being a super role model for other law enforcement & a life saver for the children of tomorrow…… As soon as the $10,000 goal is reached… The funds will then be transferred from my @therobinhoodproject account by my charity’s manager @ilndprncss to officer @tnorman23. “It takes a village to raise a child” & this good cop is going the extra mile for a lot of young African American children… #BlackLivesMatter to more than just #BlackLives #AGoodSonForAGoodCop #StayCommitted [Tag as many people to this post as you can & FOLLOW officer @tnorman23 NOW….. I’m really amazed by what he is doing !!!] again… PLEASE CLICK THE LINK IN MY BIO & contribute ANYTHING you’d like… THANK EVERYONE THAT HAS DONATED SO FAR !!!”
The mere fact that his son had to go on a long extensive Google query to find an example of a “good cop…”
I mean, I get it: nothing good comes from walking around hating cops when most of them are just trying to do their jobs. And there is no denying that Norman’s community relations game is on point. For all intents and purpose, he is what a good cop looks like.
But if I am to be real here, with everything that is happening to Black men in particular, it is also kind of weird that the son of a former gang member would feel most empathetic (to the point that he is raising funds) to a police officer in this entire situation.
Granted, giving kids toys and popsicles is cool and all, but why are rewarding a cop for doing what is exactly in their job description to do (i.e. have good community relations). They are supposed to interact with the community they serve. They are supposed to treat us like human beings.
Helping a cop do his job better is cool and all, but no matter how good Norman does his job, he is still charged with enforcing laws and rules that are largely unfair to Black folks. Laws like broken window policies. And rules like the quota systems that many departments around the country secretly use for ticketing and arrest.
Toys and community relations are good and all, but what about using his platform to support a campaign aimed at the demilitarization our police departments? Or more specifically, raising funds that could go towards the development of an actual community policing programs so that we don’t need officers like Norman (or the bad ones) in our communities to begin with?
I mean, I’m pretty certain that one of those gang members and men who The Game and Snoop marched down to the LAPD headquarters with (and used as props), would appreciate a real job as “officers,” giving back to the community for which they had taken so much from.
But for some reason, some of us don’t think like that. Instead, what we usually get is a bunch of noteworthy folks with the influence and power to change things, using both their time and platforms to keep things exactly the way that they are.
Honestly, I feel that part of reason is guilt.
The Game, who again is a former gang member, probably has been involved in some dirt he probably should have gone to jail for. And the only way he sees fit to cleanse his soul, is if he hugs a cop.
Charing Ball is a writer, cultural critic, free-thinker, slick-mouth feminist and queen of unpopular opinions from Philadelphia. To learn more, visit NineteenSeventy-Seven.com.