I will readily admit that most days I go about living my life in a happy and deliberately insulated bubble. Bad things generally happen to other people, crime takes place far, far away from me; and gangs exist in a world that has little to no bearing on mine. Okay stop, I know all three of those statements to be false. I'm bougie, not naïve. It's not that I don't know what's real; more like that I don't want to be slapped in the face with it every second of the day.
A few years back, I watched a reality show on A&E called Dallas S.W.A.T. and was able to suck my teeth and shake my head at the takedowns as long as they happened on the other side of town. The minute they showed a kidnapping/ hostage situation/ gun battle less than ten minutes from my spot… I was done, son. TMI – Too Much Information.
Back to Gangland. At this point, common sense should have said Chele, turn it off! Someone was surely redecorating on HGTV and those were nightmares you could live with… but no! I decided I really needed to know. That was the scariest half-hour of television I have seen in a while. These Neo-Nazis are EVERYWHERE and they are not playing. Recruiting, organizing, hellraising and whatnot… around my favorite parts of Dallas. When they got to the part about gangs being like a virus that affect unsuspecting communities, I had to get to Googling.
Okay, seems as if they were really starting to expand and then Katrina happened. A few N'Awlins boyz joined up with some Dallas ruffnecks and the ABT started catching some beatdown. Membership decreased for awhile then Obama took office and they are rising up again. (Haters! No seriously, they HATE him.) So now the New Black Panther Party of Dallas is stepping into the fight. Yeah, I don't feel so much better. Seems to me if you add gun powder to gasoline that explosion will be twice as big when someone lights the fuse. And someone ALWAYS lights the fuse.
Yesterday, I gave my barista (seemingly non-threatening white guy) the squinty side-eye the entire time he whipped up my 2% half-caramel, half-white mocha frappacino with no whip. Last night I dreamed I was racing down the street away from unknown pursuers and BougieMom was in the passenger seat saying, "Floor it, baby- I didn't survive the 60s to go through THIS bullshiggity." I woke up sweaty and exhausted, positive there was a cross burning on the lawn. It's the imagination, ya'll. Equal parts blessing and curse.
My moral to this story is the following question: Is it sometimes better just not to know these things? Or is the best defense a good offense? Forewarned, forearmed? What do you think?