I Wear a Number of Different Hats

Tiny - Posted on 01 December 2011

Karl Start

December 1, 2011

I am Karl Start. I reach out and I speak out.
I do these these things because I want to make a contribution…
I was eleven the first time a cop pointed a gun at me.
An L.A. County Sheriffs Deputy held a 12 ga. shotgun aimed at me
while he crouched behind the open door of the squad car.
His partner covered my father with a .45 automatic.
I remember wondering, who the heck they had mistaken us for.
What I didn’t understand then was that Chavez Ravine
was a barrio or low-income neighborhood and
that was just the way it was.
I do these things because they let me use the telephone…
While I was still young I was regarded as a precocious lad
and my parents had high hopes for me.
I, on the other hand, had gotten it into my head that the secure,
middle class lifestyle was going to be boring. I had little enthusiasm
for tasks which seemed to lead in that direction.
I do these things because the way the Government treats folks is deplorable…
In my youth I enjoyed movies such as “The Sting” and “Paper moon”.
With heroes like Butch & Sundance, Moses Pray and Charlie Varic
my work ethic was severely challenged. Even if it hadn’t been,
it only seemed to lead to places where I was not interested in going.
I knew I wanted some sort of alternative experience,
and I knew that following the instructions on the side of the box
wasn’t going to make that happen. So, I stopped following instructions.
I did not lead a carefully planned life.
I did not pursue a career.
I got a job.
I did what I would and hurt no other.
I do these things because I want to influence policy…
I have one “job title” that I built myself, largely out of the hierarchy of organizations for which I volunteer.
For just over three years I have been the “Lead post-court documentation data entry clerk for
the Citation Defense Program of the Civil Rights Project of
the Coalition on Homelessness, San Francisco.”
I wear a number of different hats and I change them as needed.
I am also a “Civil Rights Advocate” and an “Outreach Worker”
I do these things because I want those cops who victimize those who are indigent and therefore vulnerable
barred from ever practicing law enforcement anywhere ever again…
And one thing I really want is to document the Human and Civil Rights violations
that are perpetrated on a continuous basis by those who have
taken an oath and been entrusted with the duty to Protect and Serve
so incontrovertibly that a cop gets fired, their “enforcement first” policy gets changed and
the abuse is abated, even if only for a moment in a place.
I do these things because I want to see an end to cutthroat global corporate capitalism profiteering
at the expense of human suffering…
We are not televised,
We are the Revolution.
I do these things because if we won’t at least start speaking out for some situations safe from
these changes that have been taking place for years, then y'all may as well just…
However, I haven’t been able to quit my day job yet.
I am an amateur race car driver and wanna be spice smuggler,
on a night shift. I don’t pack a .44 or trip on “are you talkin’ to me?”
Just get ‘em in, start the meter and put the pedal down, because
“Time is money and I am not here to waste yours”


This is an Empathy Exercise for Poverty Journalism 101 @ PeopleSkooL

...how long before you take on the career of convicted felon...?


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