Pre-Camera Days

precamera-days-zine-layoutIn our pre-camera days, before Lucas County Sheriff’s Deputy Thomas Hillabrand was in the Toledo Blade*
We’re told to believe there was justice for Emmett Till
That the Deputy Sheriffs, the OHP
Those officers on the beat
Had nothing to hide under white sheets
That there was never any deceit
That Tamir and John Crawford and all those lives that
Hadn’t known they’d brought a toy to a gun fight
Hadn’t mattered
That peace through strength is the peace officer’s mantra
That to peace officers – protest may never be – Peaceful
That protest – may never be – Permitted
Beyond the pen
Of the free-speech- zone
As if the freedom of speech isn’t speech at all – when no one can hear the call
In our pre-camera days
On line at a Toledo Taco Bell
Online on Facebook
Thomas Hillabrand doubting the police brand is – Respected
That he objected to employee protest
To standstills and gridlock and highway barrier – Respect is a two-way street
Reminds us that “a traffic buster” could clear the clog
How he’d remove the “monkey wrench” from the cog
A truckload of destruction – the cow-catcher made for animals – Not human
Of Black lives that do not matter
To Thomas Hillabrand, “In the pre-camera days, you know what would’da happened!”
Because in the pre-camera days
Whites like me didn’t have to be afraid
That what we weren’t seeing was part of the system we constructed here
To be clear –
What so many still aren’t willing to say
Is that they fear the day our privileges finally go away