Lately I used to be driving down a Hartford Avenue in my white crimson and blue paramedic response automobile once I noticed a single black man strolling on the facet of the street with a bicycle. He raised his center finger and stared at me with out smiling as I went previous.
I used to be perturbed. I believed for a second that I ought to pull a U-turn and confront him, asking why he gave me the finger. Me, of all individuals. I ran by way of a foolish dialogue in my head the place I gave my pro-black credentials (2 black wives (one present, one ex), three black youngsters (1 black, 2 biracial), a life-size standup poster of Obama with a Bob Marley tee-shirt on (“Hit Me with Music”) that has been in my kitchen since earlier than Obama’s first inauguration. Plus I’m at present enrolled in a anti-black racism the place I’m studying a shit load I didn’t find out about how black historical past and what it means to be black within the US of A. Additionally, for twenty-five years I’ve served and cared for individuals within the predominantly black north finish of Hartford. I’ve by no means worn a MAGA hat or buddied as much as white supremists. I’m pal, not foe.
I didn’t, after all, flip round and confront him. I didn’t as a result of at 62 years outdated, I do know sufficient to know that he possible wasn’t giving me the finger. He was extra in all probability giving the finger to the Man, to the expertise of being black in America that possible included private expertise of being handled badly as a result of colour of his pores and skin slightly than the character of his character. I’m speculating after all. Possibly I handled a member of the family of his who had a nasty final result or I minimize him off in visitors as I raced lights and sirens to a name.
As a father I’ve skilled watching my daughters be handled in a different way based mostly on the colour of their pores and skin. I gave my eldest daughter, who’s the darkest, my bank card to choose up a pc on the Apple Retailer for her schoolwork. Not solely did she not come again with the pc the shop cancelled my bank card and known as me as much as see if it had been stolen. It took me all night to get my card reactivated, and even then the shop wouldn’t promote me the pc except I got here down and picked it up in individual. A 12 months later, my center daughter who can move for white, went by way of the identical experiment on the identical retailer. This time there was no downside. No bank card cancelation and he or she got here again with a shiny new pc. I can solely think about what it may be like for a dad or mum to be informed their youngster was yanked from a automobile and cuffed for doing nothing mistaken apart from being black. I consider all of the instances in my youth I had experiences with police, and by no means as soon as was roughed up or handled unprofessionally. I’ve had it straightforward.
You possibly can’t take heed to CNN’s Van Jones discuss what the election meant to him and never really feel emotion.
My spouse got here house final evening with as massive a smile as I’ve seen on her in recent times. “I really feel like a burden has lifted,” she mentioned. “It’s like we are able to breathe once more.”
She added, “And the girl is vice-president. Think about that. Consider the women now. What futures they will have.”
My spouse was born in Jamaica. For a few years she was a single mom, who labored her manner by way of college first as a nurse’s aide, then a R.N. I attended her citizenship ceremony. The tiny American flag she held that stood stood for a dream and nice promise, not for hatred or intolerance for individuals who are completely different.
With all of the deal with Trump – Biden, an important story is Kamala Harris as a black girl, daughter of a single mom rising to the second highest workplace within the land. No small accomplishment.
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Everybody in my family went to the polls on election day. My youngest daughter, who’s 12, accompanied me and stood at my facet as I crammed in my poll.
I desire a better America for her and for her two sisters.
Peace. (Two Fingers).