3 A.M. in the Morning…

ghetto birdGroggy eyed and half asleep, when I saw that bright light in the sky beaming down on my house coupled with what sounded like a spacecraft preparing to land on my house, at 3 a.m. in the morning I did think the Rapture was finally happening.  Turns out I was wrong.  It was just the L.A.P.D.’s friendly and seemingly daily West Adams wake-up call, albeit a bit early or late (I’m not sure which just yet).

So there I am awakened from my sleep, no easy feat itself, lying on my couch staring up at the sky and listening to the L.A.P.D. police scanner trying to figure out what the hell is going on—this time.  Every day now it seems someone is being shot or shot at.  A Blood one day, a Crip the next.  At this very moment on Jefferson and Crenshaw in front of the Arco station—yes that station—there’s a memorial of candles wrapped in blue flags for someone who obviously got caught slipping.  Retribution I think for a shooting that happened the same day or one before right behind my house that sounded so close I thought they were shooting in my backyard.  Yes, the daily stresses of living life in America’s gang capitol.  But hey—this is L.A.  Right?

Two and half hours later, the L.A.P.D. I think has successfully just about awakened everyone within the vicinity of Adams and Crenshaw Boulevards.  The ghettobird has hovered in the same spot since about 3 a.m. even at one point prompting me to go outside to make sure it really wasn’t landing on my roof.

ghetto birdNo point in going back to sleep, the sun is on its way up and you I know how if you go back to sleep you’re going to oversleep to compensate for the hours lost, in my case, after the L.A.P.D. ascended upon my neighborhood. And while normally, I try to look at Sundays as the beginning of a new week, a fresh slate, a chance to get stuff done I procrastinated about, and most importantly take on a more positive outlook on life and all—not this Sunday.  There’s something about being awakened in the middle of the night with bright lights and even louder sounds that has a way of ruining your day.

Now I’m not going to say that this is the type of shit that only happens in our neighborhoods—but at the same time I can’t help but wonder if the L.A.P.D. would hover over one of those Westside neighborhoods for 3 hours in the middle of the night waking up all of those good taxpaying white folks and scaring the crap of their kids like they do ours.

jasmyne cannickAnd in the spirit of community relations, it might be worth the L.A.P.D. considering an investment in several of those silent black helicopters.  You know the kind that you can use to sneak up on a mothafucka and at the same time—wait for it, wait for it—not wake up everyone within a ten-mile radius.  I’m just saying.  I don’t know about you, but that’s one donation I’d happily start.

All I know is that it was 3 a.m. in the morning and I should have been and wanted to be asleep.

Jasmyne Cannick
JasmyneCannick.com

Published by the LA Progressive on May 24, 2011
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About Jasmyne Cannick

Jasmyne is a critic and commentator based in Los Angeles who writes about the intersection of pop culture, race, class, and politics as played out in the African-American community. An award-winning journalist who previously worked in the U.S. House of Representatives as a press secretary, Jasmyne was selected as one of ESSENCE Magazine’s 25 Women Shaping the World and is a regular contributor to National Public Radio’s “News and Notes.” She is currently working as a political consultant in California on local and state campaigns.