I am a black man too

In these times of unrest when faced with racist acts; what are you going to do about it?

When things quite down and the streets empty out, do you go back to normal or have recent events changed the way you think

We can all see in colour, but some people just live in a black and white world with no shades of grey in between. They refuse to see our beautiful world in all of its wonderful colours.

As a brown bro, I know what it feels like to have eyes upon you, eyes that judge the book by its cover, eyes that smile as they lie to my face ñ what do they think, that I can’t see them for what they are?

It’s because of this kind of treatment throughout my lifetime that I can speak to it from an ‘Injun’ point of view.

As fast as these feet could carry me, I fled the reservation and turned my back on my own culture, because I didn’t want to be seen as an ‘Injun’ anymore.

Can you imagine being a brown man trying to be white? Looking back on it now, it makes me laugh at how hard I tried to hide the colour of my skin.

As a kid growing up in the United State, I was fortunate that my best friend was Johnny Woodard Jr, and his dad was the richest man in the county; so no one ever looked

down on me or dared to call me an Injun.

That’s when I learned about people’s stations in life.

It went something like this: there was rich white people down to the poorer white folks then came cowboys, Native cowboys, Natives, Mexicans then Black people.

It’s not easy being green

— Kermit the Frog

As I ride into the sunset my shadow grows longer; I’d like to think that my shadow represents hard-earned lessons.

I know that in any group of people there is at least one weirdo; even among your own friends and family, there’s always that one odd-ball.

The odd thing about odd-balls is that you never know what makes them tick (as in the ‘ticking’ of a bomb).

What makes the police any different from any other group — we’re all

human — the difference is humanity.

Police are trained to be as wary as a soldier or a hunter.

All it takes is a spark of confrontation for some odd-ball cop to start shooting before asking questions, like: “May we just talk?”

I think that once the pleasantries have been observed, and some odd-ball is still being a jerk — then by all means necessary, serve and protect the public.

Can you imagine putting up with jerk’s day in and day out? I commend these officers for their restraint; if it were me, I’d be the one who’d need to be restrained.

Our peace officers stand between us and the odd-balls — and how are they repaid ñ the court system fails them, lawyers who can jump though

loop-holes and the public calls them pigs.

Putting up with all this crap leads to frustration, and that leads to led in the air.

I know that talk is cheap, and put your money where your mouth is; is exactly what my advice is.

Instead of defunding our defences, maybe relocate and invest in negation and de-escalation classes.

Maybe think: “I’m a black man too!”

Email Bernie Bates at beeinthebonnet@shaw.ca