It was a typical traffic stop. I had a tail light out.
I guess it was about 15 years ago when I was stopped in the mostly white suburban neighborhood by a cop who said my tail light was out. “Ok, no problem, I’ll get that fixed”. While he was writing my ticket, I sought to maximize my time and get the golf clubs I was delivering packaged. I reached into the back of the SUV I was driving to get the clubs and slide them into the long box. As I turned back around I saw that the officer was crouched behind his car door about 20 feet away with his gun drawn on me.
“What are you doing?!” he yelled at me. And I replied back: “what are YOU doing?!”
The exchange didn’t last long as he quickly realized I only had golf clubs and not a gun. He was as shaken as I was- and quickly told me just to get out of there. I left without a ticket. He was a white cop stopping a white male in an upper middle class neighborhood. If I had been black or in a different neighborhood, the outcome might very well have been different.
If it had happened yesterday, I would probably be dead.
The events of the past week have made me sick to my stomach. I am beyond discouraged at the state in which we find ourselves in America. I am really tired of it. And I’m sad.
I want to say this: NRA, it appears you win. You have said that we just need more guns; you have said you want everyone to have a gun, and it appears that’s where we are in this country. Everyone seems to have a gun and they are carrying them and they are using them. And that, according to the NRA, is supposed to make us safer. Excuse me, but I’m not feeling safer right now. If you’re a gun lover- you’re welcome to your opinion and your “right”, but save it. Keep it to yourself; I don’t want to hear it. I’m tired. Write your own blog or make a Facebook post or whatever- but don’t rebut this with your worn out arguments. I’m just not in the mood.
I don’t have the answers. I’m not sure anyone does. Our politicians sure don’t. I’m just sad that we don’t seem to be able to learn. We are not getting better at this. I’m sad for the loss of life and the pain that accompanies the violence. I’m sad at the anger I see all around me. I’m sad for the world my children and their children are growing up in.
This much is clear: We have a race problem in this country. And we have a gun problem in this country. And if you don’t see that, then it’s because you just don’t want to. At lunch today in a restaurant, I wanted to go to the few black people I saw in there and just apologize to them. I’m so sorry for what this country has perpetrated on their people down through history. It has to change.
I know I have to go on with my life and keep moving forward. But man, it’s hard sometimes when it seems that there is so much pain and anger and hate. I will seek to find the good in everyone I see; and seek to be good to everyone I see. That’s all I can do. That’s all any of us can do.
Oh, and speak up. I can speak up. And I am.