Convo With the PoPo

popo1We took the family to a parade today.  When we arrived, it was colder than we thought so I took Liliana to the car to add more layers.  We were parked around the corner from our house, so Milton drove home to get my coat and a blanket for Maximus.  Maximus and Nana stayed and watched the parade.  While I waited for him to return, I decided to chat with the police officer that was directing traffic.

I’ll admit, I’ve had very little interactions with police officers.  I’ve had one speeding ticket and that’s really about all.

But, with all that is happening right now with black men being killed (i.e. Eric Garner and Mike Brown) I figured there was no time like today to talk to one.

As I walked up to him, he made a funny comment about Liliana’s legs in her baby carrier.  I told him I had a question to ask him.  I said, “What are your feelings with everything happening in today’s society with the police?” His expression was priceless. I listened to him give his viewpoint on everything, including how to start change.  It wasn’t a time for me to agree or disagree with him (which I did both), but a time to hear his view from his experiences.  He didn’t sugar coat his answers and you could tell he was still uncertain about some things.

Our conversation ended toward the time Milton pulled back up in his car.  At the end of the parade when Nana, Maximus and everyone was were walking back to the car, I introduced him to the family.  He gave Nana a hug and Maximus a high five and a sticker.

I know I didn’t solve all of the world’s problems with that one interaction.  However, I do know that I took one step toward improving relationships.  I know that I started exposing my toddler son to the police.  I know my mother-in-law who screams at the tv while watching CNN appreciated his small gesture.  I know that many police officers are friendly and approachable.

Change starts one person, one conversation at a time.popo2

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Makers Love?

Maker’s Love?

Nov09-1I had to interrupt my scheduled article in order to get some discussion going.

The Courier-Journal posted an article recently about a discrimination suit against Maker’s Mark by one of its employees that says she was told to discriminate against African American patrons and “keep out the darker element”.   I first read it online Friday night and was interested to see it in print the next day.

Bright and early Saturday I opened my CJ.  I looked for it in the front section – not there.  Headed to the Metro section – not there either.  At first I thought maybe it was all a dream.  It wasn’t until I was in the Business section that I located the article.  It wasn’t a headline for that section, if you weren’t searching for it, you may not have found it.

I’m interested to hear people’s opinion.  I will admit I am not one to frequent 4th Street Live.  Part of the reason is the way I have personally seen some of my friends treated.  Another reason is due to the conversations I’ve had with various promoters that have tried to take their urban professional parties there only to be turned down.  (Some businesses actually preferred to go out of business instead of giving our crowd a chance).

I do know that Maker’s has allowed a couple (1, 2 or possibly 3 maybe) groups to have their parties there.  However, I’m pretty sure that none of them were able to charge a fee at the door.  So, they were excited to take our money for alcohol but wouldn’t compensate the promoters that brought patrons to the venue.

I will also admit that Maker’s and many of the places at 4th Street Live are impressive.  I have had some great experiences while there. The location is great, the décor is great, and the food and drinks are decent.  So why is it that discrimination is always been associated with the location?  The fact that a worker is now stating that she was told to do this, seems to take the situation to a whole new level.
I can only imagine what Louis Coleman is up there thinking!

M.Y.  November 2009