Monday, September 7, 2020

REST IN POWER Daniel Prude!

I can't tell you when I exactly met Daniel Prude, simply because our families go way back. If I had to guess I'd say around 6 or 7 years old is when I met Daniel Prude, and that's putting it conservatively. Daniel's mother and my mother were best friends. Daniel's father and my father were also good friends. Our families have known each other for decades. We remained close friends up until around college age, so I'd say around 17 to 18 years old. The thing is we didn't see each other as just friends. We saw each other as family. We introduced each other to strangers as cousins. And even after we entered adulthood we still talked with each other from time to time. You have to keep in mind we both had children and other responsibilities, so we weren't with each other every day in our adult age; however, we were family. I have blood brothers that I don't see every week, month and so on, but we're still blood brothers and there's no love lost. That's how it was with me and Daniel "Rell". We remained family no matter the fact that we didn't see or talk to each for months as adults.

 As a teenager Daniel loved to play basketball, he loved music (R&B, New Jack Swing, Hip-Hop and Rap). I remember when he got his first car (I forget what make and color it was) we'd ride around listening to Jodeci and Tupac. The year was circa 1994, could of been summer 1995. I'm not really sure, it's been so long ago. 

When we hung out as kids, a typical day would be watching movies or sitcoms. I'd eat whatever his mom made, or some quick food he would make. Then we'd go to the Boys and Girls Club located in the Lawndale Gardens housing project. We'd play basketball. Talk about school, talk about girls we liked. Crack jokes on each other and on other people. It was always an exciting time with Daniel. We respected each other. We had a great childhood and adolescent relationship. As well as an adult relationship that was spaced out in proximity, but never any love lost.

What made Daniel happiest to me in my opinion was just being around good people. Daniel was a good kid. He didn't start fights. He wasn't a troublemaker. He was a good kid who loved having a good time. He loved comedic things, such as cracking as jokes and making people laugh. He had a big heart for making people happy. His smile could light up a room. He was for sure an alpha type male, as was I, yet we never bumped heads. We never had a fight, or even argued with each other. He was happiest being the center of attention and making others happy. 

I'd say Daniel was most passionate as an adolescent about dressing nice, looking good, having a nice know, his appearance. Daniel loved style even as a teenager. He loved being squeaky clean with a fresh pair of sneakers. Daniel and his older brother Joe "Scoop" Prude could dress to the nines. They were some sharp brothers, in fact they were some of the sharpest brothers in the projects. As an adult he was passionate about his children and looking out for his immediate family, relatives and friends. Daniel loved his children, being a good father was what he was most passionate about.

What exemplifies who Daniel is I'd say is his courage and boldness to tackle any challenge. Daniel wasn't afraid to try new things. He was a renaissance man. His ambition and love for life challenged me and inspired me as a child and teenager. Daniel dealt with tremendous loss, pain and trauma in his lifetime from his second older brother Timothy dying in a car accident at a very young age, to his younger brother Byron being killed, to his mother passing. I doubt if he ever got clinical help for his trauma. And to add on top of that food insure, healthcare insure, job insecure neighborhoods that we both grew up in. Daniel Prude shouldn't of lived past 25 in the neighborhoods we both grew up in. But Daniel beat the odds. He made it to adulthood and beyond. He wasn't killed on the streets of Chicago like most Black men born and raised on Chicago's gritty West Side. Sadly and unfortunately Daniel was killed by 1st responders, by police whom taken an oath to serve and protect. That's the most horrific thing about all of this. Daniel was mocked, laughed at, made fun of, terrorized and then killed by police officers. Yet even in the cold grip of death he stood strong, prayed in Jesus name, obeyed the officers initial commands and died like a warrior while being treated with utter disrespect, negligence and unconscious bias simply because of the color of his skin and the idea that Black people aren't given medical treatment or painkillers even when in the hospital. Why? Well because we're able to endure higher levels of pain is what most White doctors and nurses FASLEY believe. So as Daniel was screaming in pain, the unconscious bias of the officers probably made them feel like "Oh he's fine, he's BLACK. They can take much pain!" Daniel Prude died by the hands of every negative stereotype that was once legally supported during Jim Crow. This racist society that birthed the idea BLACK LIVES DON'T MATTER since slavery, reconstruction and legal segregation was manifested through the Rochester police officers who's unconscious bias led to Daniel's untimely, unfortunate, and wrongful death!

Every time there's a mass shooting in the United States of America, White politicians, including President Donald Trump blames "Mental Illness". The odd thing is this same benefit of the doubt isn't given to African-Americans relative to fatal encounters with the police.

President Trump targeted mental illness as the cause of the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton that killed 31 people.

• James Eagan Holmes, White male mass murderer. Killed 12 people and injured 70 others at a Century 16 movie theater. Taken into custody ALIVE! (Mental Illness Plea).

• Dylann Storm Roof, White supremacist and mass murderer convicted of killing 9 Black people at a Charleston church. Taken into custody ALIVE! (Mental Illness Plea). 

• Daniel T. Prude, Black man having a real mental illness breakdown. Had no weapons. Wasn't a threat to anyone. Didn't kill anyone. Yet Daniel was handcuffed, mocked, tortured with a bag over his head, and killed by Rochester police officers. 

It's interesting how White mass murderers are arrested ALIVE, fed a cheeseburger with fries and taken into custody for the judicial system to handle. However, unarmed African-Americans are killed on the spot by White street cops who seem to think they are JUDGE, JURY and EXECUTIONER.

This is the unconscious bias of the American legal and medical systems. It's a system still infected by chattel slavery and legal segregation. It's a system that legally supported the idea BLACK LIVES DON'T MATTER!

Daniel T. Prude was more than the minutes of degradation at the hands of Rochester police. Daniel Prude was a man of dignity. He was a man of respect and honor. He was a true overcomer and champion.

-Min. Jim Allen