Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Black and White in Eastern Kentucky


My smart, handsome, kind son made an important trip to Washington, D.C. over the weekend.  It all went so well that the trip was golden….or was  until he began his trip back to his college in Eastern Kentucky.  Somewhere along the road it turned to black and white. Real white, a little black.

It doesn’t really matter how many books I read to my three little black children about injustice and bigotry, hoping to steal them against a world they knew little of.  This mom is never truly prepared for the object of degradation to be one of her own.  And I pray that they never get used to it either.

In a perfect world, moms don’t have to tell their kids to just keep their mouths shut, to not question or challenge, to just stay quiet and keep peace if they are cornered.  But in a perfect world there would not be people ignorant enough to believe  that skin color gives them entitlement, or that bullying is enjoyable.

In a perfect world, my son would not have seen a police car in his rearview mirror and watch it following him for miles before finally turning on his lights.  In a perfect world, the officer might not have made him sit there on the side of the road for an eternity, just sitting there, only to return and give back his license and registration with no explanation as to  why he had been detained.  And when asked, “you were going a little fast, son”, would clearly not be an acceptable answer.  And when asked how fast, it would be inexcusable for that officer to admit to not having even clocked him.  

In a perfect world, no one would ever ever have the right or inclination to just make my son sweat for the pure pleasure of it, simply because they could.  In his wisdom, he didn’t say a word- just took his stuff back and followed the officer back onto the road with nothing but some time lost. 

I want his badge number!  I want to know why or how a  Commercial Vehicle Enforcement officer has the authority to pull young black men over at whim for no offense.   But the truth is, my son drives that stretch often.   There is nothing to be gained and a lot to fear in making an issue of this.

My son is wayyyyyy nicer than I am, and probably forgave this man of his ignorance before he hit campus.  But I’m not quite there yet.  I just want to give my boy his golden day back.

1 comment:

donna said...

Now I love your son even more. Proud of him, too.

We had a bad experience last spring with a State Trooper...nasty, nasty man.