When I was a student at Howard, I was at one of the countless grassroots organizing meetings regarding some madness that was going on in DC. I don't even remember what the specific subject was, who got shot, who was wronged, or anything like that. I simply remember that it was about police brutality and a group of us were there to do our part in putting the pressure on the police department.
Rafiki, one of the older adult organizers from the All African People's Revoluntionary Party asked one of his thought provoking questions in the course of our deconstructing what happened and how we were going to resond.
"Why do the police terrorize our communities?" he asked matter-of-factly.
Quietly (and naively) I thought, "Finally! Someone is going to shed some insight on this age-old crisis. I just knew this wise older man was about to open the floodgates of wisdom with a new angle, a new insight. The Party was good for that. They are supper skilled critical thinkers. I flocked to them like a child, wanting to soak up as much perspective as I could from them. My 20 20 something year old simple self wanted him to hurry up with the answer but he savored the moment. It was a surreal moment. Pure theater. We were all like, Why?!?"
"Because they can."
Awwww man! Is that it? I thought. That was too simple. I was looking for a deep answer and expecting trumpets.
Little did I know...