alcalloway.jpgWhen you are told that what you see and know as real is not reality, you, my friends, are victims of what is euphemistically called a “snow job.”

In effect, you are being conned! And, if you happen to be Floridians of African descent, you are definitely getting a snow job in sunny Florida.
Miami Police Chief John Timoney’s “Operation Overtown Getters” project makes my case, most expertly. After arresting 50 people in the once-dynamic black community of Overtown recently for allegedly selling drugs, Timoney and his public relations apparatus held a press conference in which the chief called the action “good news for Overtown.”

All the arrests took place in a two-block area, and police officials say officers worked for more than two months to catch these so-called, low-level drug dealers who, collectively, had a record of more than 1,300 arrests.

Timoney, taking a page out of former Broward Sheriff Nick Navarro’s playbook of making dramatic drug busts in black neighborhoods with the press tagging along, producing great action TV and print media shots and point-of-view stories, tried to have a similar effect. Today’s somewhat more progressive public, though, is at least a little wary of the show biz approach to drug enforcement.

If no other entity will, the residents of Overtown should indict the Miami Police Department for dereliction of duty based on its sloppy, unprofessional, so-called police work. Why? How can a professional police department admit to working for more than two months to catch dope dealers without even one seizure of drugs destined for Overtown, nor the arrest of a real drug distributor network?

What were they “observing” for more than two months? You mean to tell me not one police officer followed the easy trail to the drug distributor?

And what about the money trail? Timoney and his crew do not know where the money went, either? Come on; stop giving black people a snow job in sunny Florida!

And those ex-offender drug peddlers arrested who work the streets maybe 14-16 hours a day, seven days a week, they certainly are not lazy, they will work. What has to happen is twofold: Simultaneously, law enforcement agencies have to keep drugs out of black neighborhoods, while training and job opportunities must be given to ex-offenders and court diversion projects provided for potential offenders.

A 44-year-old black man was among the 50 arrested in the Overtown sweep. The man had 95 arrests. Another black man is 30 years old with 27 arrests, and then there is a 15-arrest record belonging to a 25-year-old.

As these and others are again incarcerated, the revolving door ejects more broke, unskilled, angry, poor, black ex-offenders back out onto the streets, welcomed by abject poverty – and crime.

So long as black communities submit to the shenanigans of criminal justice operatives and systems, and the black middle class continues to shun inner-city exigencies, the politics of containment will rule. Yes, President Barack H. Obama can help, but only where black communities help themselves. Black people must organize from the bottom up.

Organizing is educating. The process is called sharing. Everybody has something concrete to offer. It is a matter of individuals and groups learning to place round objects in round holes – putting workable people and resources together to achieve an objective. Who is computer literate? Who writes great letters?  Who can cook really well? Who speaks well on the phone? Who can talk to neighbors, door-to-door?

There are so many component parts to an inventive, righteous struggle. When people come together to create, everybody learns.

The politics of containment relies upon discord, inertia, a psychology of dependency and fear. It is through such negativity that aspects of the status quo work diligently against the best interests of black communities and individuals, and thereby maintain power over the people.

Do not let Timoney or anyone else give black people a snow job in sunny Florida.

Organize, organize, and organize.