I have never been of the eff the police ilk. I actually remember growing up thinking that police were out to protect and to serve. I joyfully joined DARE and knew the police officers that patrolled our neighborhood by name. But, this isn’t Kansas anymore.
Today, my husband called to let me know he had been pulled over for allegedly having suspended license plates on our new car. He was noticeably frazzled and then abruptly hung up the phone. I frantically called him back, while I prayed. We unfortunately live in a country where routine traffic stops turn into murder, where the very presence of black skin is a threat, in and of itself.
He finally called back. Everything checked out. He was cleared to leave. But I can’t forget the fear that gripped me for that moment. How do I keep the anger at bay, when I know the world is so unjust? How can I keep pretending to be the pleasant, pacified and non confrontational black woman, when I feel my sense of security threatened so often?
I remind myself daily that the actions of some do not represent the beliefs of all cops or all white people. I must hold on to that hope. It is this faith in the goodness of us all that gives me the courage to hold my head high.