Chapter 33: Acceptance

 

On the first of June, I shared a personal story of how I was followed, harassed,  falsely accused and disrespected by the LaGrange Police Department. 

I shared my personal story because, one, beit naively, I truly believed we were “friends”. Two, I assumed people really wanted to change.

I have witnessed time and time again, my social media feed get bombarded with the social issues. Discussions everyday. All day.  Discussions of of injustice, racism, policing issues. So instead of talking about it all day. I presented my “friends” an opportunity to, one, help spread the message of harassment, intimidation, and disrespect about a personal “friend”. In  your own  personal neighborhood. Two, to #ChangeTheNarrative. I’m tired of all the discussions, so together, I want to start the change! 

After only 3 people sharing my story. All of which I have known me either all of my life or all of their lives. I received 35 likes. Which over 15 were family members. The rest true friends.  

With those stats, I was quickly reminded of two lessons my mom use to drill. “Everybody ain’t your “friend”, Ramon”. As well as, “everyone doesn’t have your best interest at hand.”

That hit me like a ton of bricks! 

As a child of the Most High, I was reminded of Proverbs 22:6, Train up a child in way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it. So I accepted the situation and moving accordingly. 

But as a man and friend I was HURT. Pissed. Sadden. Dishearten.

This is why. Friendship was defined to me as; state of mutual respect and support. I learned that as a child, so that has not departed from me as a man. 

Trying to gain understanding, I was studying the scriptures and was reminded of Proverbs 18:24. It says “Friends come and go but a true friend sticks by you like family.”

With that one sentence all of my negative emotions left and I realized you guys were my friends at one point. We just never continued to build that. So the support/respect for each other isn’t the same.  That not a bad thing. We just haven’t developed that. You have your own “family” to worry about. 

As a Child of the Most High, I learned that He doesn’t change. So why would I? I was giving many of you a title, you hadnt earned or hadn’t earned a long time ago. As people, we grow. So that is why friends come and go. That’s not a bad thing. What happend is I didn’t let some of you go as friends.  I was giving out love, support and respect to those who grew apart from me but I keep giving away all of my respect and support to those who no longer reciprocated that to me. For my own well being, I can’t do it anymore.

Mural respect and support will be given to anyone who I consider a friends. If we can’t agree on that. We aren’t friends. That’s ok. Momma told me that everybody isn’t your friend anyways.  I understand it.

So I with that, I continue to build my relationships with my friends and hopefully one day they become true friends (FAMILY). Together my family, friends and I will continue our parts to #ChangeTheNarrative, one relationship at at time.

I love you all! 

Ramon C. Lacey

Chapter 33-Manhood!

Life is a balance. Ying and Yang. With the good, comes the bad. I accept that it rains on the just and unjust.It’s just how fast you accept the situation and move according. I know The Most High is still amazing in any situation no matter how dim it looks…

After the Rocket just disappointed me, i decided to take a walk around my block. The same one I grew up on. like I often do, have done and continue to do since I’ve been able to go by myself. My momma doesn’t play nooooo games.

As I was walking, I see 5-6 squad cars coming from at least 3 directions. Knowing I just left out the house, they weren’t coming for me. I continued to walk with no hesitation or fear. I see a flood light turn on behind me and hear a car come to a stop. I keep walking, listening for a question or something. The next thing I hear is “that’s not him”. The light turns off and keeps going. No issues.  I continue on my way. I come a corner and continue heading westbound. Now there are at least 5-6 squad cars that has passed by me . Other than the first small contact we had, the light, all the other police cars drove past me.  Than all of a sudden, another flood light comes on from a police car facing eastbound. In my face. Whatever, I continue walking. The light continues to follow me.

I haved walked to about the middle of the block and came to my alley. Because there was obviously something going on and I didn’t want to be a part of it, I cut my walk short and headed down my alley.

Well…. I became part of it!

As I continue to travel down the alley, the light continues to follow me and now the police truck has joined me in the alley. Now the light is on my back. I walk a few more step and turn around and give a little wave to entice some other kind of communication other that a flood light pointed at me. Nothing. So I turn back around and continue walking home. Now the truck is pretty close behind me. I’m steps from my back yard and hear the police car pull over, someone get out and yell. “Stop”. I’m now right in front of my property and I say “Stop what? “. The officer doesn’t answer that question but yells “we got a call that YOU did something!” and is walking toward me with hand on her gun and flash light pointed at me. I calmly said “You didn’t get a call about me”.  The officer, again repeats herself but louder. I say “no one called you about me. That’s not true. ” Knowing I hadn’t done a thing. Feeling a little uneasy I backed up on to my property. The officer has followed with flashlight in my face and her hand on her gun. I’m now getting a little frustrated. After I’ve been followed, having flood lights on my face and back, being falsely accused AND you literally aren’t listening to my questions. I still stay calm. I know I have to be!  If I want things to go “right”(very blurred line), I know anything I do can be “misinterpreted”,  so whatever I do has to be “right”.

The office again yells at me. “You got into a fight and they called the police on you!”. I said “Again, no one called the police on me.” I’m now about 5 feet onto my property and the officer is right in front of me. I asked the officer “well if they called the police on me, what’s my name?!”. The officers yells. No! I’m not answering your questions, you’re going to answer mine!”

Now I’m not calm. I did everything the right way and STILL. I Stayed out of police business. I wasn’t acting suspicious or threatening (whatever that means). I didn’t run. I asked and answered questions. I did all of that. Checked off all boxes my father, a retired law enforcement officer told me to do.

I assessed the situation and I quickly realized that I’m not being respected. Now I become fearful. I had been mentally and literally getting back into a corner.  In my own neighborhood. On my own block. In my own backyard.

As a Master student of psychology and previous behavior counselor, I learned to apply the concepts I learned in school to my life. I learned and taught, it would be in my your own best interests to separate yourself from people and situations where you feel disrespected or uneasy.

I did just that. But because I was at my house, I asked the officer to leave. I said “If you’re not going to answer any of my questions, not listen to what I’m saying and falsely accuse me of something I didn’t do, we have nothing else to talk about. Can you get off my property?”

At the same time, I had ask the aggressive, disrespectful officer to leave off my property. I was getting into my car, which was parked in the backyard. As i openned the door and sat down, the officer, who’ve I’ve previously asked to leave, has now grabbed my car door. This is preventing me from closing it. All whiles she is flashing her super bright flash light, which was previously in my face, into my car, that is on my property, which I asked her to leave.

I have done everything the right way! Everything! Now you are literally forcing yourself on and into my personal things AFTER all the things that youve already done.

As she is preventing me from closing my car door she yells  “You’re not going anywhere! “I got a call about you!”.

Now, I AM PISSED! To the point I’m about to cry. I was the victim. Yet, I’m made to feel like I’m a criminal. In my own neighborhood. In my own yard. In my own car!” At this time, I see two more police squad cars pull up and get out and stand of the on the edge of my property. Now I’m at the point of where tears were about to fail. Then I got a calm I remembered who I am. I remembered, I am a child of The Most High God! I’m a Lacey!

Yah and family are literally my life. I eat, breath, love, and live those two things. So as a Child if Yah and a member of the Chester Lacey Jr Tribe, that means we stand up for things we believe in. We were born with all fight! No flight. I remembered I have rights and I will not allow them be to violated.

So I yelled at the officer to leave my property. Not once or twice but at least 6 times. Each time getting more aggressive and louder than the previous. In background, I hear one of the officers, who didn’t come on my property say “Yeah. You better leave”.  Which she takes heed to, and leaves without saying a word. As the officers walk to their cars, I hear another officer say “if he doesn’t give a fuck, why should we?” The other officer still must of assumed I was the suspect. So after all that had just happened. All the disrespect and I still wasn’t being respected and looked at as the “criminal”!

As a member of the Lacey tribe, we a groomed not take disrespect lightly. It’s not personal, it’s the principle. We try our hardest to respect everyone, no matter what or who they are. Treat others how you want to be treated! Instructions from The Most High. We stand on that! We live by that!

That’s why I HAVE to speak up. It’s never personal. Just business! Right is always right and wrong is always wrong. Simple.

Again, I’m a Lacey. Even more I’m Ramon Chester Lacey. So, I don’t want sympathy. I appreciate it though. I really do. What I want is a resolution. I want an apology and a promise things like this have to first reduce, and finally stop! I AM A MAN! So respect me as such. And every other man/woman/boy/girl that looks like me.

The most crippling part about this whole ordeal was after telling my side of the story to her commanding officer. I was informed that what the officer did was actually acceptable behavior. I became even more dumbfounded and furious. Again, almost to tears. I thanked the officer because he was very empathetic and apologetic. Having no more to say, because i was so hurt. I said “Thank you for you help, good bye.” He could see the pain and frustration that I was feeling and said “Its still fresh”. I thought about it for a little bit and i said “Its always fresh” and we departed.

This and similar incidents like this has happened to me countless times to me over my life. Over and over and over and over again. It happens all the time, almost everyday. It’s always something. But growing up in my household and in my , community on the East side of LaGrange. I learned to become a competitor. As a competitor, the quicker you learn to accept , adjust and apply it the better off you become. I live my life as a competition. So as soon I can accept, adjust. The better I’ll be. The issue with being black in America, in Illinois, in Lagrange,  on the East of Lagrange. We get hit everyday! By getting hit everyday, our wounds are literally always fresh!

I worked in a nursing home. Wounds was a major topic of concentration. If a wound doesn’t get treated EVERYDAY, it will get worse. No question. It wont heal. In fact, the wound gets bigger and deeper. It starts affecting different body parts and can ultimately kill you! As a competitor, I just learned how to withstand the hits better. I learned to put band aids on a broken leg. Instead of learning to heal my wounds, I learned how to accept getting hit. I’m Ramon Chester Lacey, I’m not getting hit anymore without hitting back. No more!

This sounds crazy looking back at it, but literally RIGHT after the situation happened that night. 10-15 minutes later. I heard a young athlete putting up some extra shots at the same community center I grew up. I walked down their. Still upset. But as soon as I step on the court. It all went away. I went from not being respected as a person, 10 minutes ago. To coaching up the youth 10 minute later.

Let me heel my wounds! No. I’m going to heal my wounds.

Today, I’m changing my narrative. I will no longer accept injustice against me. By anyone. In any form. I’m holding EVERYONE ACCOUNTABLE! I expect the same in return. Wrong is wrong and right is right! No stipulations.

Laced Up Athletics and myself are heading to the front line to help fight this fight to #ChangeTheNarrative. I don’t expect everyone to agree or understand. That’s ok. Just respect me because I don’t disrespect you.

I say this will all love and humility. I’m not upset or mad, anymore. I’m disappointed. I don’t want to be disappointed any longer. So I challenge my community. How can we reduce, prevent and ultimately stop behavior like this from happening, in OUR community?

Laced Up Athletics has some ideas. If you are willing to help change the narrative, in anyway. Let’s talk. Let’s discuss. Let’s build. Email me at LacedUpAthletics@gmail.com and we can see how together we can #ChangeTheNarrative.

I don’t want sorries or apologizes from anyone else that isn’t directly involved. It’s not necessary. Appreciated but not necessary.

I’m a child of the Most High, I am a Lacey, and I am a man! You will respect me as such.