Question: How does one prepare for arrest, shackles, public humiliation?
I am honored that my input is sought on any subject. It is a shame that I have no answer to justify someone’s belief that I know something that could benefit them. Nevertheless I said:
You cannot prepare, specifically, for something you do not know is barrelling towards you on the road of fate, about to slam into you. We are all on collision courses with the unimagined and unimaginable. The first time I was arrested it was bc my ex husband said I had slapped him before I left the house on foot. We had argued but it was not physical (on my part.) However, my ex knew he could have me manhandled by proxy. I was in my early twenties and he was 25 years my senior. As I left he shouted that he was the man, I was “just” a woman, and the police would arrest me on his say so. I heard the pride in his voice that he represented society’s winners and this victory was his weapon should he choose to weild it. Officially, publicly he was an egalitarian liberal. But if he needed to reach into his back pocket for the weapon of superiority he was always ready to club me. I did not believe I would be shackled at his request, as if the police did his bidding. Mature, white male vs young black female. Husband vs wife. I was confident when the police car pulled up behind me that I would resume my walk in a few minutes after a brief colloquy. Within minutes after he called to report a slap he did not have to prove, I was not walking but riding–cuffed and perched on the hard plastic that serves as the back seat of Honolulu’s police cars in the 1990’s. I never imagined that my self importance was not recognized by the authorities. They did not know by looking at me that I was a recent Harvard grad. They saw what my color, age, and gender meant to them and it was not a pretty picture. I was not a pretty picture. Today, I know what people think they see when looking at me. I am no longer surprised by the contempt of law enforcement. It does not shock me when police arrive on the scene and lose their urgent manner when they see I was the person who called. .The cuffs, the shackles are there for me if I say the wrong thing. It is simple for them to arrest me, release me 12 hours later with a gruff, “get out of here,” and nothing shows on my record. I cannot prove this happens. I still feel helpless rage and I loathe myself for not making them see me, exactly as I did during my first arrest. But I am never surprised. Is that preparation?