That’s Life – 07/17/2013

I guess I will give my brief take on the George Zimmerman trial.  When I heard the verdict I was sad and probably not for the same reasons that everyone else was.  I was sad because I am going to have to raise another cynical, paranoid, black man like myself.  Just a warning I am pretty random so I don’t know where this blog will go.  Ok, let me give you guy’s a quick background on me.  I was born in a small town, Clinton, NC.  It was in the south, country as hell, we had a garden, land, pretty big yard, etc.  Honestly not any care in the world.  My parents were married but I spent a lot of my time around my father (mainly because, in his words “I didn’t need to hang around a bunch of women”).  Anyway my father taught me to have manners, be respectful of adults, kept me in the church, taught me how to be a man, etc.  One of the things that stood out about him (besides the fact that he was the last man on earth to rock a Jheri curl) was that he never let me go anywhere.  Seriously, if I asked to go anywhere he would say no unless he or my mother accompanied me.  I remember him showing me certain areas in our small town that he would not allow me to go, like where the Mexicans lived, the trailer parks that some of my Caucasian brothers and sisters resided in and some black neighborhoods.  All of these areas were known for high crime rates, drug usage etc. and he basically told me these places weren’t safe for me and if I went there I could seriously get hurt or even worse.  Being the good and fearful child that I was I didn’t really question why; I just said yes sir and followed his rules. Some of you may not be old enough to remember this but in elementary we used to have a program called, D.A.R.E. which was an acronym for drug abuse resistance education or something to that effect.  Well, I was all for that program and damn near a suck up in class (mainly because one of the rewards was a complete box set of football cards & I figured if I was cool with the police officer I could win them).  I’ll never forget Officer Knowles; dude was a short pudgy Caucasian dude that kind of looked like the penguin from batman.  He always stressed that police officers are our friends and that we should say no to drugs, you know the usual.  Anyway as I continued the program I left with the belief that drugs are bad and the police are our friends. The last time I went trick or treating for Halloween I had to be around 7 or 8 and I’ll never forget the place I went to get candy.  All of the houses were nice and big and everybody in the houses was white.  I couldn’t care less because they gave me so much candy.  It was unreal how much candy they gave me, we had bags and bags of that shit.  Needless to say after that interaction I was a fan of white people lmao. Now I’m around 10 years old heading back from New York with my Mom, Dad, sister, aunt, grandmother & all of that luggage in a Chevy blazer.  That damn SUV was packed like crazy & somehow there was enough space for me to fit in the bed of the SUV.  Looking back on it, it was probably a bad idea but whatever.  So as we are traveling back on the New Jersey turnpike my father gets pulled by two Caucasian cops.  He is asked to get out of the vehicle and does without any issues and before you know it they are beating my dad’s ass.  Then more police arrive on the scene and make all of us get out the car.  Of course being caught up in the moment I try to run and help and a gun is pointed at me.  Side note, I’m pretty sure my father got his ass beat almost as bad as Rodney King but we didn’t get millions, smh petty but whatever.  I could be wealthy right now and delusional and not care about what is going on around me like some other rich people.  My father eventually recovered and we went home after the incident. So now I’m in high school, rocking the tight wranglers with the bugle boy and route 66 polo shirts lmao.  I was never allowed to dress like my peers.  I would try to sag when I made it to school (side note, how do you new niggas wearing skinny jeans and sag them? I tried it in my wranglers and all I could do was just tuck my pants into my socks).  I swear I keep losing my train of thought.  Oh yeah, my father was hell bent on me being a “presentable looking, respectable, politically correct, white friendly black man”.  Lmao anyway, all I know is I was a corny looking dude, ironic considering who I am now, ha.  Despite my father being racially profiled, discriminated against, etc. he still stuck to his guns.  If I had the balls I would probably call him out on it but I valued my teeth too much to even go there. Welcome to college, the land of women, alcohol, freedom, and an occasional class.  I went to NC State University, a traditionally white college and lost my damn mind.  I did more partying than studying, unfortunately.  One interesting thing about being at a traditionally white university or hwcu as I like to call it is that I got to interact with Caucasian people.  Growing up my only interaction with Caucasians were a few classmates, teammates, and whatever I saw on TV so this was definitely a change.  To be honest they were pretty cool unless they got too comfortable or drunk.  Never forget when a girl I was dating had a Caucasian friend and she used the n-word in conversation. I was extremely uncomfortable but the girl looked so good I let it slide.  I also noticed that they seemed to be so intrigued by race and the more they drunk the more the jokes got racist…or gay lmao.  Anyway, one big thing I noticed was how we partied and the local law enforcement’s reaction to our parties.  Simply put Negroes party and the cops shut it down, usually for loud music.  My Caucasian brother’s party on some project x type stuff and nothing happened. As I got out of college I realized, even more, differences but one thing stood out.  We are treated differently.  That’s just how it goes.  The “majority” gets all of the privileges.  I feel like I am getting too far off track so let me finish this up.  After all of my years when you combine what my father taught me about people and how I was raised.  Then add my experiences with my peers and my experience with cops, from getting pulled over for no reason to watching my father get his ass beat.  Then add my classmates and the old woman who grabs her purse when I walk by, all of this has made me who I am.  What that is, a somewhat paranoid and guarded man.  Hell, I can go to some majority black neighborhoods and get shot at.  My cousin’s out in California tell me that if I were to go into a Mexican or Hispanic neighborhood my black ass could get fucked up.  At the same time now I can go to a neighborhood like the one I went trick or treating at and get shot because I may be viewed as a threat.  “At the end of the day ” it all boils down to perception.  As a black man, I perceive that no matter where I’m at, how I’m dressed or how I act I’m not safe.  So no matter if I am in a good or bad neighborhood I am always aware of my surroundings and I refuse to let my guard down…as long as I’m sober, ha.  So as I watched the Zimmerman verdict I wasn’t shocked.  I have lived my life this way for years.  We aren’t safe no matter where we go or how we act.  While this sucks, I refuse to move out of this country, this is still the greatest country…well the only country I know.  I just feel bad that my son will grow up the same way and will have to be “just like his dad”.  When he is older I will tell him that he has to always have his guard up and that he can’t “be himself” and yes it is mainly because of his skin color, and when he asks me why is the situation so fucked up or like it is, I’m going to tell him the same thing that I said when people asked me about my reaction to the Zimmerman trial…”That’s just how it goes.

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