Daniel Prude one of the many victims of racial policing in New York.
If you took the time to remove the hood, you might see me.
You placed it over my head ostensibly to corral spit projectiles for fear of infection. Removing the hood would reveal that I was no threat at all.
As happens sometimes, I was amid a mental health crisis: Schizoid, bipolar or just stressed out by the COVID-19 pandemic, my bro called you to help me. Earlier that day he had me hospitalized for a wellness check; they released me within hours because of health care prejudice.
You know, the sort of thing that happens when Black folk or poor folk go to the hospital. They be sent home to die from COVID.
Yeah, that happens! Like other forms of discrimination, it is a real thing.
Take off the hood and you would see my face.
Talk to me and you learn that my skin color is no threat to you. My mind is just not cooperating with this reality; yours, theirs, ours, or the Spirits right now.
I am seeing monsters and goons abusing me right now saying: You have no right that the white man, or for that matter the Black man- empowered and co-opted by state action – is bound to respect.
Ain’t that why they are saying defund the police?
Better still, to reimagine the coppers. RealPolice like my daddy is what we need. Let police do police things.
This instance probably required a mental health professional; might have saved my Black ass. I needed psychological assistance, not your overt over-policing.
If you took off the hood and engaged my humanity you could learn that I am a father, a brother, a son, a scholar, a clown, a professor, or just some dude out on the town of no renown.
Take of the hood and watch me smile not knowing I have days or mere moments to live because you are the one infected with moral bile; your morals are suspect; suspicion of me is a mirror and projection of your inner inadequacy; your historical hypocrisy; your lunacy; your original sin and bastard Democracy.
De Tocqueville pegged it from jump. Your system produced Trump.
Though some protest and scream America is not racist, it is not a newly perceived “phenomenon” that Black folk – men in particular – are treated differently in encounters with your officers – off-i-cers- OVERSEERS.
Small wonder we do not all have mental breakdowns.
Yet we suffer from depression, hypertension, drug abuse, self-hate and the attendant infliction of pain, and self-annihilation and murder in our communities with guns we do not manufacture or run, and sometimes borrow.
Just take off the hood and look at me.
Ellison won the National Book Award trying to explain. No. I am still invisible.
I, Daniel Prude beseech y’all: Just take off the hood and look at me.
Take it off and really see me. See that I am no different from you.
The blood in my veins is red like yours. I breathe the same air to survive.
What you say? You are a blue life, so you different?
Ain’t no such thing.
Take off the hood mother-sucker and see me. No, not the one you just put on me.
The one you are wearing!
Neville O. Mitchell, Esq. [email protected] Cell: (347) 224-9880
The author is a Homicide lawyer for the Legal Aid Society of New York