Q&A: Kingman

(Image via Kingman @kjfromoc)
Q:  Tell me about yourself.

My name is Kingman. I'm a single Christian man. I'm a Godfather of 3, mentor, volunteer, and therapist. I'm a recent resident of Long Beach after over 40 years in OC. I love the NFL football, horror movies,  and wrestling. I'm a big nerd. 

Q: As a Black Christian man , how do you walk that fine line between your  personal experiences and religious beliefs ? 
That's a good question. I've been having this personal battle already  between what it's like to be Black and deal with these issues and the anger that comes from that and also how to maintain my Christlike-ness and my focus on honoring God while still being mad about the injustices in the world. 

It's a pretty big struggle. I don't know how to deal with both at the same time right now. I don't have an answer really. I'm still trying to figure it out. It's okay to be mad about injustice and figure out the level of anger I get. 

My delete button is working on Facebook and Instagram is working. Separately myself from people who are in another world from justice. Other people say don't delete people. It's just social media. I don't want to be your social media friend anymore. It's a struggle, I don't know. I have to figure out acceptable level of anger in regard of injustice. 

One of the big issues I speak about is child molestation and pedophiles. Why do we interview pedophiles ? Have you seen or heard about Latina or Black pedophiles ? Do they have documentaries or 2020 specials like Mary Kay Letourneau ? People in the media said it's just a woman. We wouldn't have the same response if it was a man. 

I stand up for what is right, even if I am not affected like people putting kids in cages. 

Jesus flipped tables at church. I think it's okay if I flip tables emotionally to honor God. 

Q: You recently moved from Orange County to Long Beach.  How has your experience living in Orange County differ from Long Beach?

I lived in Fountain Valley for ten years and was renting rooms because I couldn't afford own apartment. 

I took a social media fast two months ago and let God talk to me. I now had the energy and focus to find an apartment. I saved up. I was sick of the noise in the house and roommates. I could  afford it and finally do this. 

What I like about living in Long Beach is there's a gym I can go back to when it opens. I'm three miles from my home office. The place I live in is always cool and I'm a half mile from the water. 

I do miss good parking in Orange County. 

I have more emotional freedom and physical freedom. I don't feel like I'll move back to Orange County. Even with random people yelling at 4am and random fireworks, I don't want to give up on having this freedom.  

Q: Tell me about your experience on Sunday, May 31 as a  Long Beach resident . What were you doing ? How were you feeling ? What can you hear outside your window? 

It was odd for me and only lived in Long Beach for 2 to 3 weeks.

There were protests I couldn't see since it was in downtown. Knowing that was happening was cool.

Having the discussions on social media with people in Fountain Valley and Huntington Beach.

I heard helicopters circle for hours above my apartment. In the middle of protest, looting, unrest, I kept hearing booms. Will something fly into my window? I saw a drone - was it a personal drone or police drone?

It was unnerving and unsettling. I got a lot of text messages checking on me and offers to stay at their house.

We had curfews Sunday to Wednesday from 6pm to 10pm.

It was scary for me. Glad it didn't get worse. I feel bad for people who lost their businesses, but that's why you have insurance. I blame the government for taking too long to arrest 3 other police officers and upgrading the charge for the first officer.

This could have been prevented. You knew something would happen. They didn't know this many people will care.

I like that there is justice.  This country is built on violence and change.

Q: Are the LA and Long Beach curfews fair? Is it for the community’s safety or suppression of political unrest ?

I think to a degree they made sense. It was definitely for the safety of the businesses and things in the various cities as well as trying to stop people from being out and protesting.

Q: Do you have a key racist episode that stays visible in your mind to this day? How did that make you feel? What did you do?

First time being called an n word - I was seven years old. A kid younger than me called me the n word  while we were playing. I told my brother later that day. We talked to my parents and had a discussion about that word. My mom talked to his mom. The mom said we don't say this at home. She blamed it on the father. There was no accountability. 

Former football teammate - I had a high school football teammate. We played softball . The older teammate had a baseball bat in his hand and was already harassing all school year. He walked up to me and said "I don't like you. You're an n and I don't like n. " I said, "Do what you got to do." 

But, the coach saw this and intervened. I told the coach what happened and he said go play. I'll talk to him. The kid called me later and apologized. I was treated differently by the coaches and players the rest of the year. 

I saw this guy years later. I was pulled over in Costa Mesa by the police for an illegal u-turn. The second police officer came up and cleared me from getting a ticket. 

I would see him at church at Saddleback and at restaurants. He came up to me once and said,  "I didn't give you a ticket. I felt you owed me." I said, "You did owe me, but I forgave you years ago."

We don't talk. We tried being Facebook friends. He said I was paranoid when I posted on social media I was being followed by a cop. 

I'm not associating myself with people like that anymore. 

Cop in Newport Beach - I was going to dinner at Benihana's and was lost. I ended up in Fashion Island. 

I circled Fashion Island for a while and a cop pulled me over asking if I was lost. I said yes and asked if he knew was Benihana's was. He didn't and asked for license and registration. I supplied it. 

He asked to search the car. I asked why and he didn't have a warrant. The officer said he would be later to dinner if we waited for warrant and said he needs to search the car. I let him search the car and of course he found nothing. 

I thought about that incident and said if I was a Blonde white woman, would that have happened? 

Winter formal date in high school - I had a crush on a girl. I remember asking her to winter formal. She said yes. Before winter formal, she had to break date because her parents wouldn't be okay going to formal with a Black dude. 

I'm not sure if it was true or not. The cousin said our family isn't like that. Maybe she was lying, but ouch. 

Q:  We have heard on social media and the news ways to solve systemic racism and police brutality. How do you think we can address this complex and multifaceted issue? 
  1. "8 Can't Wait" can reduce violence by 72% and proven by a study, based on an article on Vox.com
  2. Harsher penalties for brutality including lost wages/pension and/or being sued
  3. Death sentence for killing unarmed person 
There is an article called "75 things White people can do for racial justice". Read article here
1. Google whether local police department and see if officers are wearing body worn camera. A camera should be on and turned off when you are done with your shift. 
2. Google whether your  city or town if your police department employs evidence based de-escalation training. With duty to intervene, if evidence based de-escalation training, use those tactics to reduce people getting killed. If you want to  save city tax dollars, you have to invest in this to use it in the long run. 

People who want to help will find out ways to help. 

Q: Are you hopeful  for the future? Why or why not? 

I text my mom and asked "Does this feel like change?" It's a start. The three officers got charged and one officer's charge got upgraded. His wife has left him. If he became a cop again, he might become a target. 

I hope change continues and hope it's better for everyone in the future.  Change doesn't happen overnight. The less police brutality, the better. It'll save lives and save the city money. 

I do what I can to do what's right. 

How do I reconcile Christian and being Black? I have to be okay with being pissed off and doing something actionable. 

I work with kids and therapy. I feel like I am raising these kids to a degree to become men and deal with emotions. Society will teach them to ignore emotions. We're human. We're allowed to cry. If things happen to them, they can stick up for themselves. 


Editor's Note: Kingman is my friend, and former co-worker and carpool buddy. 



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