Date of Performance/Collection: April 11, 2017
Primary Language: English
My informant is Slim, a homeless man from downtown Los Angeles who often hangs out outside Spudnuts Donuts on Figueroa Street. He was born and raised in Los Angeles, never straying too far from the South Central area.
Hey Slim, do you have a joke for me?
Slim: “Um… yeah. Yeah, I know a joke. Uh… what do ya call a police helicopter in LA?”
I don’t know. What do you call a police helicopter in LA?
Slim: “Ya call it a hood vulture! They just… uh… flyin’ over lookin’ for some brothas to eat!”
Slim here illustrates what I would think many people growing up and living in South Central feel not only whenever they see a police helicopter in the sky but also whenever they see policemen on the ground in the city. Obviously, there are countless police brutality scandals that happen every year, and Slim’s joke represents what many of the subculture of inner-cities are worried about. When asked if South Central has its own culture, Slim replied, “Um… yeah. I would say definitely yeah. We have our own way to do things, I think.” So as a result, this joke comes to display the inner-city and, especially, the South Central mindset towards police.