When I first saw the footage of the North Hollywood bank robbery shootout I was waking up at female friend's home after a long night at the casino.
'Damn, that looks like (the movie) 'Heat'', I said as I sat up to watch.
What was most notable about the shootout was that the felons seemed well protected in their homemade body armour while po-po seemed under-armed.
These guys showed up ready to do damage.
Sure, I have a few weapons around the house - what Texas guy doesn't?
With the state's Open Carry laws about to go into effect in the new year, I don't plan to be one who walks around strapped-up.
In all honesty, I'm more scared of scared people with weapons than I am of criminals with weapons.
Being in the nightclub business it would seem like a no-brainer for me to carry a pistol.
But the thing is that even without carrying a gun I seem to have plenty of guns 'on' me.
The po-po park across the street to make sure I drive away safely, street bosses deploy their crews to make sure no one messes with the only legitimate Black-owned club in the city. (My club is like the Intercontinental in the movie 'John Wick'. It's neutral territory and the street has determined that no 'business' is to be handled on club property.)
But I won't carry a gun. When I was a kid some old Italian man told me to never carry a gun because one day I would have to use it.
He told me to never put myself in a situation or position where I would have use for a gun. (I've remembered that ever since.)
But being in the scared/conservative South, maybe I should walk around with a full suit of body armour.
' Are you kidding me?', I replied to a customer after she stated that she is afraid of all Arabs and Muslims and that she cannot trust them.
'That's like white people thinking that of you because they've seen too many news stories and television shows about Black gangs and crimes.', I concluded.
It was more upsetting to me because the woman is supposed to be educated and she is in a political position to affect the lives of others.
IMOHO - If you're a racist (regardless of your race) then you deserve any racism directed towards you.
Depending upon one's socio-economic status, Southern California offers the best of everything and at the same time the worst of everything.
Perhaps no place in region exemplifies this better than the Inland Empire area. Even though the metropolitan area is the 13th largest in the country, few people have ever heard of it.
I grew up in Riverside - in the middle of nowhere.
But in the middle of everywhere. In 45 minutes, depending on direction, I could be in Newport Beach, the deserts Palm Springs, the mountains in Lake Arrowhead or L.A.. Vegas is only a 45 minute flight out of Ontario.
But there is also a lot of crime and poverty in the area. Smog, gangs (Asian, Black, Hispanic and white-supremist) and drugs are as common as grass in many towns of the region.
Especially in San Bernardino.
While many surrounding areas have rebounded and even flourished since the housing and economic market crashes, San Bernardino seems to be getting worse.
Being one of Riverside's traditional sister cities (from downtown to downtown is only ten minutes), I am very familiar with the town.
Syed Farook (one of the alleged shooters in San Bernardino) is said to have gone to high school in my hometown at La Sierra (often referred to as 'Lousy Area' by those who live in better parts of the town). The shooting took place just blocks away from the Friday's at which I worked many years ago. Loma Linda hospital (the hospital to which the shooting victims were taken) is in a town which I once lived. The killing of two of the shooters in Redlands happened in another town in which I once lived. Police officers, Sheriffs and dispatchers in the area are still my friends. (In fact, it was from tweets and Facebook postings that I first learned of the shootings.)
But what of this terrorist attack?
(Yes, 'Terrorist' - as the media, citizens and law enforcement in my current town (2000 miles away) are all scared as shit thinking that the next event could happen here.)
I think it was a personal attack that will be claimed or spun to have political or religious motivations.
A Christmas party with co-workers isn't exactly a high-profile target.
San Manuel Casino (a few miles away) would have had a larger negative financial impact on the area.
The Mission Inn's annual Festival of Lights (a few miles in the other direction) is a much bigger party.
The area is filled with colleges and universities and some type of shopping mall can be found at most freeway offramps.
If the goal was to disrupt the most lives possible, there were clearly more visible targets in the area.
While searching facebook for Syed's page, I came across another man with the same name who was advocating the celebration and recognition of Muslim holidays by the government. Apparently some Muslims wish to be treated as equals in America.
IMOHO - This attack was one derived from personal motives.
At least since the time of Capone, the ability to tell the differences between criminals, politicians and the police has been getting harder and harder to define.
Chicago cover-up/Benghazi cover-up, Guantanamo/Homan Square,...
I guess Rahm learned a lot from the Clintons and Obama.
Concerning to whom the fault of oppression belongs; "We are not all equally guilty but we are all equally responsible" - Rabbi Abraham Hescel
Concerning blaming others for the problem; "...And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?... - Matthew: 7 1-5
Concerning how to fix the problems concerning oppression; "Someone once said that the word 'motivation' should never be used in the singular. Some combination of motives always exist and it's impossible for anyone to qualify the proportion of each that is involved in any given act" - Warren Buffet (in an interview in the USA Today)
Please take into account that the views expressed on my blog are prefaced with; in my opinion, in my experience or even (sometimes) random observations and/or thoughts. Please make your statements without the endless litany of cross referenced materials. Source information is fine but I'll just assume that you've done due diligence and that your statements are correct or an accepted editorial. Thank you, UBJ
Other People's Blogs About Politics, Race, Social Change
Although I'm pretty tired of the "Race is King" mantra usually put forward by past and current polemics, race-relations (and the improvement of such) is always a good topic of civilized conversation. I've been called "Uncle-Tom" more times than I've been called "N-----". When I volunteer at the local Habitat for Humanity, I'm often the only black working who's not trying to get a house. When I volunteer at the local shelter, I'm usually the only black on the giving end. Something is wrong or deficient with Black-culture (as it is practiced today). Don't say that I don't know the ghetto, I'm originally from the ghetto. My ghetto-pass wasn't pulled, like my middle school I.D., it expired. I graduated. Now, I say middle school because too many blacks haven't graduated from high school. (Detroit, anybody ?) Please feel free to bring up any topic but please refrain from misusing epithets and downgrading others. Thank you, UBJ