We were lined up zip-tied in Santa Rita, the seven of us searched, stripped and patted down. 23 was the only other person of color arrested with me that day, a young black man who spent the bus ride over heckling the California highway patrol officers to the best of his ability. I told 23 in the bus ride over, “If you think CHP are a bunch of fucking pricks, wait till you meet the correctional officers. If you talk shit to them like you just talked shit to the CHP they will drag your ass into a little room and beat the fuck out of you.”
He said, “I appreciate the advice, but you do things your way, and I’ll do things mine, if I die in here, tell them my name is 23.”
When we were marched out and lined up, 23 resisted, a cop laughed, and slammed his face into a wall, seven or so officers grabbed him and dragged him kicking and screaming into a little room. “I’m not resisting!” he screamed through the sound of beatings. Consecutive sounds of flesh smacking against bone and concrete like a round of applause, their microphones’ were on, and connected to the sound system in the hallway we were kept in. We heard everything. The screams echoed through all of the halls of the cell.
The cops were laughing, yelling to one another, “Turn your damn microphones off!”
One officer paced behind us and calmly said,
“Me, I hate violence. Honestly, I am a pacifist. But if you give us trouble, you’ll end up like him. Now if you just behave, you won’t have to end up like him. What else can I do? If me or my officers are put in danger, I’ll have my hands tied, I’ll have no choice.”
Interesting that he said “hands tied” eh? Oh yes officer. Never has the narrative of the state been so clear to me. Oh officer, I praise your honesty. Your lynchings do not go unnoticed. Black is the bottom; it is of no coincidence that you made an example of 23, just as you did of other black youths. My upward mobility as a yellow fellow depends on how far I can push black people down. Black is perpetually made example of. I am juxtaposed to black objecthood. If I decide to join them, my wretched little lot and I will end up like them. I get it now. Never has your message been so clear to me. Oh yes, my honest pig, preaches nonviolence. Maintaining order depends upon systematic black death, that is the central logic of anti-blackness, of black objecthood of black social and material death. My assigned API identity is dependent upon the example made with black death. The line is drawn.
A new political climate, the stage is set.
Yes, do you hear it? The background is moving, the stage props are shaking, they are growing feet, little beady eyes taking form, they are living now, and taking center stage, and devouring the actors alive.
Slurp their fucking intestines up like noodles.