"I refuse to be your predictable, average, run-of-the-mill, garden variety lover." - Musiq
10 years ago: The brick. That was the most striking thing I saw that day. The brick. I couldn't get past it. It was already surreal watching a man get beaten live in the streets but what jarred me, what made me scared to go out in the streets that day was the brick. Do you remember it? Reginald Denny is on his hands and knees, his longish hair covering his face, his shirt ripped. His back heaves so strongly you know he can't catch his breath. Blood is dripping below him, forming a small pool. And then from the right of the television screen, a guy strolls in. He's wearing a white shirt, blue jean shorts. Another guy had run in the screen before him and kicked Denny in the head. But this guy, he walks into the screen and flings a brick directly at his head. It connects. Denny slumps to the ground. Then, then this nigga strikes a pose.
I was 17 when it happened. 11th grade. It had to have been right around the time I was voted Senior Class President because I think I was heading to the Junior State conference that weekend smugly proud of my achievement. But the conference was cancelled. Curfew was imposed. School didn't happen for a couple days. And the TV was just on and shit was just going down.
But the brick was all my head could wrap around.
Ya know, I was angry too. I mean, I had never and still have never been harassed by the cops but I know it happens. My dad's been stopped several times for 'looking suspicious' (although its usually coupled with his horrendous driving habits) and I'd seen the Rodney King video like everyone else. People were angry. They had every right to be.
But what did smashing somebody's skull in with a brick say about anything. What did 53 deaths, billions of dollars in damage do?
My mother wouldn't even let me go across the street to get some nachos at Rigo's Tacos she was so spooked by what was going on. Things must have been different in the city because shit was not going down in the valley. I just know that brick made me ashamed.
And then those black folks showed up and put Reginald Denny in his truck and drove him off.
I should have been, should be, really happy with that dichotomy of activity. But its the brick that resonates.
The brick. The pose. The bullshit.
And you know, there weren't billions of dollars in charitable donations for those Korean families that lost their businesses, for those black and latino families that lost their homes, for the relatives of those who died during those 4 days.
But I guess the sympathy isn't there when the face of terrorism is American.
And besides there's that brick.
I might not have sent any money either.