I’ve told very few people this, but I was once involved in a police brutality situation. With all that’s gone on in the world today, my confrontation pales significantly in comparison. But there is a lesson that I learned from it. A lesson that is beginning to awaken a vigor in my being for not just my personal life, but also my business and what history I mean to leave this world with.
I will spare you the gory details and go with the cliff note version so I can get to where I mean to go.
One late evening, my then girlfriend and I, arrived back in NYC from a business trip. The trip was rather successful; setting the tone for the highlights of a venture I had nurtured for 28 months since the passing of my mother (a turning point in my career). Despite my high level of excitement and energy, I was suffering from an agonizing bout of sciatica, turning any enjoyment into an absolute nightmare. So it goes without saying, after the trip… touching down in NYC, I just wanted to get settled, iced and rested.
She and I jumped in a yellow cab and proceeded into the city. We originally plotted one course. As we were entering the city from Queens however, we decided on different destination in the city. A location more convenient for my physical ailment. We gave the cab driver the new instruction. Much to our surprise, he refused to take us where we wanted to go. After a verbal joust with the driver over my unwillingness to pay him should he not take me to my destination, I requested that he immediately take us to the nearest police precinct! [Yes… I actually requested this.]
Upon arriving at the precinct, the driver began yelling out of the window for dear life, as if I had a gun to his head. The police ran over to begin assessing the matter. He heard the driver out as he began to proclaim his victimization; stating that I refused to pay him. The officer then stepped over to the passenger window on the driver’s side (where my girlfriend was sitting), looked over at me, and in a passive aggressive tone, directed me to pay the driver… without asking me my side of the story.
I point blank said, “No. Absolutely not.” It stunned the officer. Perhaps it was because I confidently and gracefully enunciated my dissatisfaction. I then proceeded to explain that the driver was violating my “Medallion Taxicab Passenger Bill of Rights.” particularly where it says that, “As a taxi rider, you have the right to: Direct the route taken: The most direct route or one of your choice.” Of course, I cannot expect New York’s Finest to know all of the rules and laws, but it is common knowledge, at the very least, that an On-Duty NYC Medallion taxicab driver, picking up an appropriate fare, must take a passenger to whatever destination requested in the five boroughs. Unfortunately, this officer skipped that class.
He ultimately became aggravated with the fact that I didn’t want to pay whereby I knew wholeheartedly and factually, that I had been wronged. I had not broken the law, and was simply demanding the respect of a NYC citizen.
Well, much to my chagrin, the officer found me to be the wrong doer, and decided that I needed to be disciplined. He then came over to the back passenger side and proceeded to remove me from the car. The pain was agonizing; the sharp pains streaming down my back and legs. I could barely move, much less be jolted out of a car. And that’s when he began to yell those words all men confronting officers hate to hear. “Stop resisting! Why are you resisting?!?” It’s almost like a “call of the wild”, inciting the most raw volatile nature of animals… to hunt and kill in packs. And so it proceeded, a number of cops jump on my weakened body, already shattered by the natural debilitating pain of sciatica, now to endure the pushes and punches… and even the mace. Mace!!
Sad. None of these men and women knew who I was. What I was worth. The success I just had. Nor the good that I actually did in the world just that week alone. No. They just saw… huh, whatever they wanted to see.
Well, as protocol requires, I now get hauled off into the precinct – conveniently 30 steps away –handcuffed, bruised, battered and don’t forget maced; with no rights being read to me. They then proceeded to check for my I.D. and any drugs, weapons, etc. The officer then reached into my pocket and pulled out a money clip of hundreds. Pissed off he yelled, “you had all this money and refused to pay the driver?” I rebutted with, “I told you why! I am not going to pay when I was robbed of a service.”
Not to bore you, after the paramedics get me straightened up, that very same officer, entered the holding cell, looked me right in the face and said, “Mr. Watson, I think we got off on the wrong foot.”
The act of kindness that same officer then showed me was overwhelming and completely unsuspected. Despite what I had to endure the next 12+ hours, because of him I was kept safe, looked after, and at home that morning – a Saturday morning at that – without a hitch.
But I admit, I harbored that incident for the next 48 hours. It ate at me, cutting into my soul so deeply, that despite the nice gesture and olive branch extended, I should have had never been in that situation.
So, I immediately sought counsel and began mentally preparing for war. I had the taste for blood and I wanted it so, so, so, badly.
Counsel looked at me and told me point blank that he nor any other reputable attorney in NYC would take this case. I asked why. “Because nothing happened,” he told me. He continued (paraphrasing), “nothing happened worth fighting for. There isn’t enough publicity in this to summon the support of activist. There isn’t enough money for any counsel to fight it. And most important, you have not been physically damaged enough for you… YOU to personally risk fighting, losing, and going to jail [because at that time, all charges were to be dropped so long as I didn’t fight nor get in trouble for a year].
So, I looked at him and said, “So, you are telling me, that I would have had to have been beaten to within a moment of my final breath, to actually have a case?” Without blinking an eye… “Yes,” he sternly replied.
Well, I was to outdone, as my mother would say….. hmmm
Looking back on that incident, reflecting on all of the police brutality issues publicized today, resulting in loss of limbs, bodily function, and life itself, I get so angry with myself. Knowing on one hand, I would have likely become an unsung martyr. Possibly altering my life… possibly losing my freedom. To fight for a cause, that at that time, people seemingly cared less about. I did nothing. More so because, as my counsel shrewdly pointed out, I was in good health, of sound body and mind to keep living life and achieving more; so why risk it needlessly?
Well… when does enough become enough for you to forgo your own self-preservation, and live for the greater good, for a cause greater than yourself? This is what I tussle with every day, when I wake up, and enter the workplace.
You see, I love what I do. I love what I do so much, even the things I hate most about my job, I genuinely love. The microcap market is a cherished part of my daily existence; just like how the freedom of being able to change my destination in a yellow cab is cherished. And when someone, anyone, wants to fuck with that freedom, it hurts. It makes me angry. Moves me to want to fight.
Yet, as with my encounter with police brutality, no matter what travesties are thrust upon me in my daily walk on ‘the street’, I am so often told to, “let it go…” “it’s not worth it…” “no good deed goes unpunished.” And while I know it is absolutely NO comparison to the lives that are lost and the families that are adversely affected by police brutality, I often feel like it’s time to rise up every time the good people of the microcap market, are subjected to despicable workings of the rich, shadowy, and sometimes powerful few. I feel that it’s time to rise up and take a stand.
Why? Because as startup companies, developing business, and fledgling organizations, the microcap markets should be a place for you to get your chance to pursue the American Dream. And if you’re a smaller investor, looking for that big or just modest opportunity to change your socioeconomic conditions, you too deserve to find solace within the microcap markets to pursue the American Dream.
Yet, every toxic investor or lender, shyster lawyer, pump and dump scammer, biased message board poster, unscrupulous shorter, indifferent paid basher or promoter, opportunistic broker dealer and clearing firm, grossly incompetent or trifling executive management team, and of course, those regulating organizations so carelessly perpetuating the market’s demise through their utter lack of tactful organized planning, is in its part, killing the American Dream.
The dream to live a free and happy fulfilling life, has as much to do with not living in poverty at the hands of a self-imposed gatekeeper meant to protect that right, as it does to do with not living in fear of your life from those very same persons sworn to protect it.
I don’t profess to be a scholar or a philosopher by any means. I’m just a man who is not simply tired of injustices, but just no longer willing not to fight. I don’t pretend to believe that our first Public Accelerator-Incubator (PAI), Digital Arts Media Network (Symbol: DATI), will save humanities. I do firmly stand in the belief however, that Digital Arts Media Network (millennials prefer DAMN), will be among the agents of change.
A change in the credibility of the microcap markets, can make a change in financial opportunities.
A change in financial opportunities, could be the impetus to begin reshaping the socioeconomic outlook of America’s disenfranchised.
A change in the socioeconomic conditions of this America, could mean an overhaul in education, jobs, social services, small business success and other progressive opportunities.
A change in all of this, could truly uplift one’s perception of self-worth and unified spirit with humanity.
And maybe… just maybe… if such a change could occur, then perhaps, we’ll see a stop to not only police brutality, but crimes against life in general.
Isn’t that worth fighting for? Even if it requires sacrifice?
The microcap market is just one streaming river into an ocean of real life. Me… the PAI and Digital Arts Media Network, we are just one pebble, determined to cause a major ripple for a change in the tide. I’m only hopeful, that you will cast your pebble alongside mine, so that together, our ripple may challenge the mightiest of waves.