Racism it needs to end and you can help!

Crazy. Today is Sunday, July 5th. About two hours ago, I saw a tweet from Bomani Jones about Ta-Nehisi’s piece “Letter to My Son” and read it of course. It was a break from some work I was completing. I saw the request for personal stories about “The Talk.” (One of the commandments my mother gave me: When I get pulled over, pull over in a populated area so there will be witnesses.) I thought I would email a story later this week. I resumed my work but realized I needed a book I had left at the office. It’s about 20 minutes from my house, so I hopped in the car.
The ride there was smooth, as I listened to the new Jazzy Jeff/Mick Boogie mixtape “Summertime Vol 6.” On the way back, I turned onto an arterial road with a speed limit of 45 MPH. Then I saw a police car trying to ride in what would normally be my blind spot. I figured he was trying to check me for speeding, which I was not. He stayed there for a while, then he got behind me, but kept a good distance. I figured he was running my tags and would find nothing. I stopped at the next light. When the light turned green, his lights went on, joined by another police vehicle that had gotten behind him.

I cross the intersection, still not thinking they will pull me over. At the intersection there’s a gas station. I pull into it and adjacent to the car wash. Both vehicles follow me in. I am 35 and have been pulled over plenty of times. Too many times. I am a vet, so I roll my window down, put the car in park and turn off the engine. One of the officers is yelling commands, so I look in my side view and see that he has his gun drawn.

He yells “Put your right hand out of the window.” I already have both hands out of the window. “Open the door with your right hand.” I go to use my left hand, which would be easier given that he wants me to open my door from the outside. He yells it again. I do it his way. Then he tells me to get out of the car.
I get out, face the officers and ask them “What’s the problem? What’s going on? Why is your gun drawn?” Not given any answers, I’m told to turn around, keep my hands up, use my right hand to lift the collar of my t-shirt to show that I do not have a gun tucked in my waistband. Even though I have been pulled over plenty of times, all of these instructions are starting to sound like a bad Twister game.

Then I’m told to walk backwards. The gun is still pointed at me. Then the pat-down ensues. I ask my same questions. I’m finally told that someone, driving a car like mine, pulled a gun on someone in the neighborhood. The other officer walks to my vehicle. He asks for my ID. My wallet is on my front passenger seat, a fact that the other officer concurs from walking around my car.

We walk up to my car so I can get my ID. I am fuming. I get my wallet and slam my door. “Calm down, I could be worse,” says the other officer. I say, “I’m stopped here. Gun drawn on me. You’re right. I could be shot.” He responds, “You don't understand.” I bite my tongue before I go off. I don’t understand? It’s a Sunday afternoon and here I am standing in a gas station parking lot, with my hands on my head, after having a gun pulled on me and patted down by an officer, all while another officer circled my vehicle with his hand on his weapon. He had a point; I guess the threat of being shot is better than being shot.
The officer says to me, “Do you live around here?” I reply “No.” He’s holding my ID, which has my address printed on it. “Do you have friends and family around here?” “Yes.” “Don’t you want us checking out reports of guns being pulled on people?” I don’t answer. Why respond to stupid stuff like that? He hands me back my ID. I get into my vehicle, turn on my car, A/C, Summertime Vol. 6, check my mirrors and drive out of the gas station.
The path I drive to exit takes me past the two officers and their vehicles. They haven’t left yet. The second officer is leaning into the passenger window of the first officer and they are talking. I guess going to find the “real criminal” driving around in a car like mine isn’t that important. Source: https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2015/07/your-stories-of-racism/398117/

This is just one small example of racism. Stuff like this happen everyday and it can be much worse.... This all needs to end. We shouldn't discriminate over our skin color!

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