By L.K Davis
Welcome to Tampa! A city on the rise. No city encompasses the American Dream quite like Tampa. This city dreams big, right? Why else would Tom Brady and Gronk come here? We have beautiful neighborhoods like Tampa Heights, Seminole Heights, Hyde Park, Palma Ceia, Davis Islands, and Carrollwood. Safe and sanitized for the whole family. Soon, the investors will bring us a cleaner, whiter Ybor City. It’s already in the works. All those years of over policing will soon pay off as the dirty degenerate criminals of Ybor are erased from the neighborhood their families built. You can find them with the rest of the faceless, voiceless, powerless, houseless souls on Nebraska Ave. Make sure Mr. Brady and the Gronk don’t see this part of town. We don’t want them to leave before they lead us to a Superbowl victory.
Editor’s note: L.K Davis is “just a peaceful protestor that has spent this summer witnessing TPD's physical and mental intimidation tactics and infiltration of our space in order to stop our movement.” CL welcomes expanded letters like Davis’—and others with opposing viewpoints. We’d love to read them and consider them for publication online or in print.
The movers and shakers in this town, those that make money by the minute, also dream big when it comes to Tampa. Oh, the opportunities of exploitation are limitless in our sweet and innocent Tampa. Just don’t say anything racist on social media and the money will flow! In their dreams, one phone call and the houseless are swept away. How dare those dirty animals sully our beautiful parks and scare young white couples away! See that piece of land that is occupied by black people? There must be some crime going on right? Let’s send the bulls on parade to overpolice, inflate the crime stats and devalue the land. Cha-ching. And in our reality, Tampa PD happily obliges and makes all their dreams come true.
Our mayor is quite the dreamer too. Yet lately, her dreams are turning to nightmares. In her restlessness, she tosses and turns wondering why all her empty gestures do not placate the savages protesting her dear and precious police force. She has a right to be confused. You see, she did give the people a BLM mural and even marched alongside her bourgeois friends Dave and Titus. All very sanitized. Her evolution from the Chief of Police during the Biking While Black scandal to liberal mayor was buoyed by her ability to sniff out a good photo op when she sees it. Nobody does it better! Not even Brady.
See in Tampa, the police do not work for or answer to Lady Jane. Oh no, she works for them. Backed by police unions and lobbies, the Queen of Empty Gestures has decided to flip the national conversation on policing and community reinvestment into a way to increase the TPD budget by an additional $13 million. Her police benefactors applaud her bravery. A few more empty gestures and she’ll dream that we will move on and the white liberals will love her again.
Oh those feisty white liberals. The living embodiment of the American Dream. They dream of a day with no more Trump. They long for a politics-free brunch and an overpriced meal at one of Richard Gonzmart’s restaurants. They dream of a return to the status quo and why not? Truly, it’s the only way for them to dream peacefully. Until then, they soldier on for the social change needed to realize their dreams. These brave warriors have risked everything by changing their profile picture to a black square and posting sad face emojis on every Breonna Taylor meme they can find. They dream only of a Biden win. The savior who will vanquish Trump, restore order, end poverty, and save their Facebook feeds from the daily dose of blatant racism that dulls the taste of their $15 cocktails. What a privilege it must be to believe in fairy tales.
There are many other dreamers in Tampa, so many. But there is one group that does not dream in Tampa. One group that cannot afford to dream much less go to sleep. Those poor souls that were born without dignity are too busy fighting to sleep, much less dream. Denied their dignity because of skin color, gender, sexual preference, and income, they chose to fight the institutionalized racism and colonialism perpetrated on them by both liberals and conservatives. Armed with only their words, ideas, and love for one another, the protesters took to the streets and were met with all manner of warfare by the authoritarian dreamers. They thought tear gassing and shooting them with rubber bullets would stop them. When that did not work, they sought to arrest them and use the threat of trumped up charges to get them to go back to sleep. Life in prison for protesting, you say? That’s not a threat. It’s a Promise.
Yet, when faced with the threat of imprisonment, they maintain their right to life and dignity by refusing to relinquish the only weapon they and all of us have. Our collective voice. Our ideas. Thoughts so scary that instead of listening to us, our mayor and her forces would rather unleash weapons of war upon us. Ideas so frightening, our coward chief of police not only runs to Fox News to garner sympathy, but advocates vehicular vengeance. A man of his word, he protects the brave drivers of Tampa that used their cars to injure the terrorists that are destroying all of his values. Half the city seems to applaud while the white liberals are enjoying their overpriced cocktails. Just another day in Tampa.
We do not fear any of the tactics because what do we have to lose? Our lives never belonged to us. Only in death will our ideas truly take root, bringing a tree of life for all who hunger for righteousness, justice, and equality. Dream of a city where education and mental health were made a priority. Dream of a city where the school to prison pipeline does not exist and poor black children are well-fed at school instead of being held hostage over lunch debt. Dream of a city where the houseless were fed and sheltered instead of brutalized for being poor and having the audacity to sleep in a public park with the only community and safety they know. Dream of a city that reinvests its tax dollars in viable public transportation, allowing the poorest of our communities freedom of movement to seek out new opportunities. Dream of a city that envisions the bigger picture of our communities instead of the tried and untrue methods of giving more funds to the police department. And finally, dream of a city that chooses its citizens over investors. Until that day comes, we, the people denied dignity in this life, unable to dream, will walk in the nightmares of those that oppose equality and justice.
Power to the people,
Tampa Resident, American Citizen.
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