It’s been about three weeks since the NFL championship was decided on the gridiron in Santa Clara, CA. After the first half, the aptly named “halftime show” occurred. You see, I love football, and I happened to be watching the game. I took the opportunity to assist the Mrs. in wrangling the sugar donuts into pajamas and bedtime routines during this break and missed the performance. Missing the halftime show is as much of a tradition in my house as any other part of our big game routine. That’s not why I tune in, and they’ve yet to select a musical act that would peak my interest.
I learned of the uproar about Beyoncé and the performance after the fact while reading articles “on the line”. My reaction was much the same as every other time a high profile figure makes some ridiculous, politically driven statement…”I don’t care”. I understand that most would reason that I should be somehow butt hurt and offended. I’m not. The reason is simple. People are given the right to speak their minds in this great nation. If they produce a product of some variety and I do not agree with their stance on whatever issue it may be, I simply do not purchase or partake in the product.
Couple that idea with a mantra that was imbedded in my psyche as a child, which is that actions speak louder than words, and it becomes very apparent that Mrs. Hova is a hypocrite. As during all performances with big name folks, she received a police escort to and from the venue. She wasn’t escorted by a crack team of Black Panthers or thugs. Nope, the very same folks that she obviously denounced provided her security so that she did not have to mingle with the common folk.
There was never much of a danger of me making a purchase of her music to begin with, but now there is absolutely no way it will happen. She has entered the category of hypocritical celebrity types that I will not support. It’s an ever-expanding group that includes but is not limited to the likes of Samuel L. Jackson, Spike Lee, Quentin Tarantino, Jane Fonda, and Michael Moore.
Do I expect an apology from any of these people? Absolutely not. You see, they are entitled to their beliefs as much as I am mine. Why should I care what some pampered and out of touch celebrity has to say?
Perhaps, given that Beyoncé’s performance may have suggested that violence on police officers is acceptable, I should be more offended. I am not. The fact of the matter is that if someone is more prone to act based on what some dipshit celebrity says or does, he or she is already lost.
The vast majority of our citizens are not comfortable with the idea of violence. This is best summed up by the testimony provided by Jack Nicholson’s character Colonel Jessup in the movie “A Few Good Men”:
“You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that wall-you need me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punch line. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said “thank you” and went on your way. Otherwise I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand the post. Either way, I don’t give a damn about what you think you are entitled to!”
The bottom line is that violence is an area in which I am intimately comfortable. I train for it. I expect it during every encounter at work so I am not surprised should it happen. I maintain a heightened level of vigilance because I have a family to return to at the end of my shift. If my life or any other life is threatened in my area of operation, it is an expectation that I will deliver whatever force is necessary to end the assault while preserving the lives of the innocent.
While I’m at it, I’ll be the first to admit that I discriminate while on duty. I discriminate as to whether or not the person I am approaching poses a threat to me on every call and incident I encounter. This has nothing to do with race, sex, color, or creed. It’s body language, responses to clear and concise lawful orders, and most importantly what that individuals hands contain and are doing at the time that play into my discrimination. I accepted the fact that I do not have the ability to control everything that happens in these encounters. In a best case scenario, I get about a 50% measure of control in a one-on-one encounter.
Most of the time, compliance is readily given and my actions continue to be dictated by the other individual in the encounter because that compliance can turn into a lethal encounter immediately. Being lulled into a sense of complacency is something that I am not willing to do. I will make myself the most difficult target of violence as I can, and I will continue to hone my own personal skills in that area so that if an encounter turns bad, I win.
I do have very real issues to deal with during any given shift, be they internal or external. I have dedicated my life to serving others and will continue to do so in a manner that allows me to look at myself in the mirror at the end of the day and be satisfied with the man who is staring back. I am more concerned with my wife and children knowing that on a daily basis that I love them more than anything, because there may be a time that I gear up and leave my house and do not return. They know that if that is the case, and I am confronted with the fight of my life and I happen to lose, I will fall in a pile of my own shell casings because I will not go willingly and without one hell of a fight.
Perhaps if my exit from this life occurs to the soundtrack of one of Beyoncé’s horrible auto-tuned attempts at a song, my opinion will change. Maybe then I’ll decided to haunt her from beyond. For now, she can continue her “Bootylicious” contributions to society and I’ll continue to contribute in my own way. I was raised with and continue to abide by the idea that actions are more important than words. I provide safety and security. She shakes her ass and tries to drum up hatred of the police before cuddling up under that very same blanket of safety and security provided by the men and women whom she insults.
I admittedly do not have the most pleasant outward appearance as my years make themselves more apparent in the form of wrinkles, scars, and a reduced number of productive hair follicles. In spite of my physical flaws I continue to pass my daily mirror test. Even though I may be confronted with 99 problems, I will lay my head down and snuggle up to Mrs. Donut under the blanket provided by my brothers and sisters knowing full well that Beyoncé ain’t one.
That’s all for now, time to go patrol the Donut…