The news is full of stories of cops and robbers, race, class and justice. Now when it comes to class ain’t no more humble folks than the homeless.
Peace to you folks, Hobo John here.
When I was on the streets I was deeply concerned about justice, because I did not feel I was getting any.
But with time, hopefully comes wisdom, and as that wise man from the Bible, St. James tells us, “mercy trumps justice,” anyhow. I am beginning to understand that just a little.
When I was hitching my way across the South anytime I’d showed up in a new area, the police would roll up within hours wanting to see some identification. I get that now. If a great big, fat, homeless guy starts wandering your streets out of no where; even if he is just looking for doughnuts, you are going to want to find out about his background to see whether he is safe or not.
But at the time I was irate because, as the constitution says, the police must have some kind of probable cause I was doing something wrong before they can see my ID. Now had I been relatively clean and wearing a suit, an officer might have been more inclined to hear my point of view, but my constitutional arguments generally got me thrown in the back of a patrol car and off to county lockup.
That was the case in Tallahassee. That is a nice jail in Tallahassee by the way, there are some cushioned seats for your tushy. Most jails let you bide your time on concrete and steel. The food, while bountiful, lacked variety. My seven day stay saw nothing but baloney sandwiches on white bread for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This created some blockage believe it or not, to the point I wondered if I was ever going to go again. But on the streets that can be an upside as toilets are not always available when you happen to need them most.
Anyway as the officer was driving me off to jail, me bitching into his ear about my rights, he got a call from his wife. I quickly surmised it was not her first call of the day and that things were not going well at home. I then deduced that maybe he was so hot to arrest me as a way of getting his frustration out for him and his wife not seeing eye to eye. At the time, this made me angry and started me feeling sorry for myself. You have a tough day at home and I get arrested. But isn’t that how the world seems to work sometimes? We end up passing around our hurt instead of our love.
I have matured some since then, and by that I mean in a lot of instances I am able to see beyond my own hurt and into the pain of the other person. Had it happened again I would have told him a joke and tried to cheer him up a little bit, instead of yacking on about my rights. Being able to see the hurt of the person that is trying to hurt you, it gets a lot of labels from the spiritual folks, but I like to call it Christ’s compassion. Now, I ain’t perfect at it, just ask my girlfriend, but my heart always feels a little gentler and warmer when I am able to take this approach.
Everybody has an opinion about what is happening around the country when it comes to black folks and the police, race and justice. Me?
This brings us to the Hobo Metaphysic of the day which is the wole point of all this rambling: Come off your point of view and love somebody