Newsflash - I live in the hood. I grew up in the hood, the hood is my home. Notice I said that I grew up in the hood, not that I AM hood. Some folks might consider me a little bourgeois to be from the hood. But that isn't the point of this post. There are some who live by the hood code. Keep your head down and your mouth shut. You see the D-boys on the block, you know what they're doing. You see the hot girls walking up and down the street, you know what they're looking for. I know these people. We played two hand touch football in the street, freeze tag or run and go get it. For a long time, I wouldn't say anything to the "folks" from the neighborhood. I knew who they were, they knew who I was. There wasn't really a need to mark territory. That was until the hood broke into my apartment. Thankfully nothing was stolen, partially because the hood clearly forgot that I have a BIG baby brother (big and baby are both true, but I love my brother) and he chased them off. But ever since the hood broke into my house, I've been changed, for the better. Before, I kinda just let things happen around the way and as long as it didn't harm me and mine, I was good. That's the wrong attitude to have. Everything that happens in your neighborhood effects you and yours.
Last night I was laying in bed on my way to sleep, tired from the running around that I did that day. And I heard some yelling, which isn't uncommon. Hell some times I feel like I live next door to a 21st century Ike and Tina. But, the person who was yelling said a buzz word, that made me immediately get up, RAPE. She was screaming that she had been raped. I don't know what she was doing in the middle of the street but she was shaken up and scared. I jumped up from my warm bed and positioned myself better to get an assessment of the situation. She was obviously scared. The only thing that I could do was call 911. I explained to the dispatcher that there was a young woman in the middle of the street who said she had just been raped. I described her as best I could. When the dispatcher asked if I wanted to give my name, I declined. After all, that wasn't necessary. A few minutes after I got off the phone two cop cars pulled up to the scene, which is good timing in my hood. I overheard her telling her story, very much traumatized by her recent ordeal. And while I'm listening to this story, I have to ask myself, would this situation get the same amount of attention if the victim looked like me. That the part of the story that I forgot to chime in on. The young lady who said she had been raped, was white. Two squad cars had shown up first, shortly followed by a black Ford Explorer, which I assumed was for the SVU detectives (yeah I might watch a little bit of SVU, but so what).
I sat and waited a few minutes before I retreated to my bedroom again. And even after I got in the bed, I heard sirens that sounded like the ambulance coming to pick the young girl up, probably take her to the hospital where they would probably ask her some more questions and do a rape kit. Before I went to bed, I couldn't help but think, no it didn't have anything to do with me and mine, but it could have been my brother's girlfriend. It could have been anybody. The truth is we are all connected to each other. If something feels wrong, speak up. Even if it isn't wrong, it's better to KNOW it isn't, than to think it is. I hope that young lady is okay.
Now I understand that things are tight around my local police department and I don't want to be cynical. But I can't help but wonder, does the young lady's color, more than her circumstance have an impact on how the police handled the situation. Today on my way to church, I noticed a squad car driving down the street, which isn't too uncommon because I live on a pretty busy street. On my way home from church, a squad car turned down my block. Was the block suddenly hot because a young lady was raped? The block wasn't too hot after there was a shooting 50 feet from my home (I missed it but other folks didn't) a few days prior. It's things like this that caused me to change the title of my blog. At first it was just Real Life SVU, but then I have these other thoughts about the situation which makes me say ain't this some ish. I really want to believe that the police were just doing their jobs regardless of race. But I can not afford to look the other way and act like racism isn't alive in well in 2012. Based on what I was seeing from the young lady, I believe she had experienced some sort of sexual trauma. And based on where she was, it is possible that some men of color were involved in the attack. I really hope she wasn't lying. 1) because that would be a terrible waste of resources in a depleted city but also I'd feel like I got played. I know it's not about me. I know that some of these things that I'm feeling are not rational, but they are real. There is a part of me that feels really bad because this woman was attacked. There's another part of me that says, "She betta not be lyin'". It's a sad state that we live in where people are so jaded that they think someone would make up a story about being attacked. It's also a sad state when someone cries out for help, and no one helps. Well as long as I'm around, if I hear the call for help, I will answer.
But as this scene was unfolding last night, I couldn't help but think, "Damn. This is some real life SVU."