Saturday night, long after the Zimmerman verdict was released, I was on my way home and got pulled over by a couple of cops on foot. We had just pulled off and the driver who was a black man was adjusting his seat belt. I guess the cops thought he had been riding without it and wanted to reinforce the fact that he needs to wear it at all times. My first thought when they shined their lights in the car was, “Oh sh*t, not tonight.” Majority of the world was very emotionally charged after the verdict. My mind started projecting worst case scenario images. What if the cops that pulled us over were crooked? What if they resorted to violence for no reason? What if my friend didn’t comply and things escalated into a situation where our rights were ignored? Flashes of fear. I have never encountered cops who abused their power but I’ve heard so many disheartening stories.
Luckily we were respectful and these cops were really just doing their job and we were let go with just a ticket. But for those 5-10 minutes while I felt that fear of what could happen, I realized that we, and by we I mean black people, are conditioned to think this way. Thank goodness I didn’t act out of my fear and cause things to go left. I felt targeted, angry, and frustrated initially when we were pulled over. All because it’s in my blood to automatically become defensive and on guard when dealing with police.Fear is taught to us..
What if things were different? What if I and others were taught to relax and stay with an open mind even in situations with cops? Complying with police does not mean you are any less of a person. Unfortunately, rebellious spirits sometimes feel otherwise and those feelings can take over and create rash actions. Our next steps should be teaching the youth compassion and empathy and the best way to do so is to lead by example. A lot of the youth don’t have proper guidance but if you and I can teach at least one person to act with regard to the next person’s well being, slowly but surely this world will change. I saw a few people tweet that in a perfect world Zimmerman would have offered Trayvon a ride home instead of taking his life.What a beautiful thought! Increasing the peace is our objective. It may not feel like justice has been served right now. But in the long run, it will be. Let’s do what we can to improve our future. Every action, no matter how small you think it is, causes a reaction. We are all in this life thing together. Let all actions stem from love and don’t ever say impossible. Let this event move you toward playing a part in the betterment of this world.