I’m driving to Florida for vacation on Saturday and it bothers me that I feel a sense of relief to think I’m not likely to get pulled over and shot because I’ll be traveling in a vehicle full of white people. And for what it’s worth, every time I see flashing lights, I automatically slow and open the voice memo app on my phone. This is my reality. I am a six-foot plus, 320 pound, dreadlocked and tattooed black man. I am the ultimate suspect. I look threatening. and I fear for my life with every interaction with law enforcement. I know there are people that would tell me I have nothing to be afraid of but these people have never been pulled over because the car you’re in is too nice. Those people have never been pulled over five different times over the course of a weekend for a dim headlamp or have the officer’s attitude visibly change after the stop when he realized there were white people in the car.
There is a status on airlines for children traveling alone – unaccompanied minor. They used to get special treatment, their own flight attendant, early boarding, early de-planing, for their safety. Is this what we’re getting to? Maybe I can design on of those baby on board-esque tags that reads – Unaccompanied Negro. Don’t Shoot!