From the Pen of an African American Law Enforcement Professional...
"The Accidental Destination of Nowhere"
Imagine, a Young man awakens with the excitement unique to a vacation bound traveler,
Ignited further by the joy of boarding an aircraft and surrendering to its majestic powers of impossible weightlessness and time bending speed.
The young man has his heart set on a destination that welcomes him as a son of its soil and a Proud Page in its history
He suddenly realizes a near crippling reality, though he is financially able to travel to any of the four corners of the earth
The harsh and knowable fact is that there is No such idealistic land for this particular disappointed traveler......
There is No Destination that considers him a son
There is No Destination that gladly awaits his arrival
There is No Destination that has extended any special consideration to his presence
Paralyzed with these realities, the disappointed and aborted traveler
Returns to the Environment of His neighborhood
As he wonders hollowed by truth and abandoned by the fleeting comfort of a sustained legacy he realizes why his shoulder are weary, why his legs are exhausted, why his back aches unexplainably each night when he retires to the recesses of a home void of heritage
He carries with Him Every Day All the Proof that there is that He actually is real
YOU MUST UNDERSTAND THAT:
Where he stands is His Nation
How he behaves is His Culture
What he's experiences is His Past
Where he walks is His Journey
What he knows is His Knowledge
Who he becomes is His Legacy
What he projects is His Dream
The young man moves about with deliberate uncertainty among his peers in an area plagued by the conditions of despair that have historically accompanied the unwanted gifts of economic and social impairment
NOW: Imagine the young man as the subject of an insensitive or unprovoked police encounter
The man is approached questioned and searched.
He is offered limited or no explanation of the purpose of the interaction
Items of his personal property once safe from undue exposure or the unrelenting and uninvited gaze of intruding eyes are now subject to close examination and unwelcome commentary
The items represent an extension of the young man and are perceived by him as having immeasurable value.
The encounter ends without arrest or any further contact, yet there has been done irreparable damage
The freedom of movement that he had been temporarily deprived of was eventually restored
HOWEVER: The indelible scars caused by unfettered bias, quick judgement, and preconceived notions are left behind as evidence of a need for further dialogue ........
- J.L. Michaels