Until now, I have never been passionate about Race and the injustice that some times tags along with it. To live in America and not come across it, politically or socially is an event that one can never succeed to dodge. What followed sometime during the first week of May, twenty sixteen was unprecedented for me as a foreign student in America. A lot of times, most wise men decide not to make use of the Race card for personal or political reasons. For example, Mr. Obama refrained from using the ‘First Black President Card’ before and after the elections; although, ironically he gained public momentum (that secured him in the primary) more for being Black then for being steady and competent.
The debate on Race and Police Brutality against Young Black men is based on a slippery slope: From the shooting of a black teen in Baltimore to a mass shooting at a church in Charleston, Race is often perplexed over time with gun control laws, mental health, and the right to protect the second Amendment. ‘Discrimination on Race’ is so susceptible, that if written like this on an online platform or caught attention by media, the distributor or the author will naturally be classified either as a Republican or a Democrat. You have got to be Fox or CNN, Barcelona or Madrid. One is forbidden from falling in the middle most of the time according to majority of mainstream media. In other words, mainstream media is not a big fan of the word ‘Independent.’
I understand that this is the time in America when news headlines are scorching with the word ‘Black’ and when Washington politicians are tired of fighting for and against the motion. But then again, has this not always been the case in the U.S? Are we now only realising the depth of the cursed dagger? Thanks to social media that so readily has accessed us to videos and other forms of visuals that have led the awakening of Racism on an individual perspective to a whole new level.
On the night two police men showed up:
The condominium, one of the most secluded buildings between Saint Petersburg and Tampa is a great place for older people, especially when they don’t work actively. Around six in the evening, my friends who are predominantly Black started to slowly pour in. Six in the evening is also the time when a lot of tenants return from their walks, and leave and enter the building. As a result, there is no way that people entering the pool goes unnoticed by the tenants. Inconsiderate of the time and scared that nobody wanted to be the first to get there, majority of my friends arrived only beginning of seven.
It was an important night: My freshmen year had officially ended and the joy in being able to gather and call these people “my friends” was extraordinary.
Weirdly enough, they were the ‘whitest’ police officers I had seen since my being in America. They were calm, approachable, and we were lucky. The officers arrived while we were in the midst of pushing each other into the pool. Expressions of bewilderment ran across both parties. Baffled, I had no clue why this was happening. I had gone down to the pool area a hundred times.
I don’t think I was scared at all because I knew we had done nothing wrong. These are the times when I am utterly grateful for being able to speak English so fluently; for being able to use the word ‘reverence’ instead of ‘respect’ because at that moment, I had to represent half a dozen people who were in the area on my invitation.
Police Officers: ‘Somebody from the building made a call complaining that chairs and tables were being thrown into the pool.’
One of my mates suddenly came to the rescue that denied that we were throwing chairs and tables in the pool. Something about the officers made me sympathise with them: They were only doing their job. The scenario was its first of a kind for the officers; they just did not expect me to be there, to see me surrounded by young black men, often a perfect stereotype for ‘delinquent’ in the U.S.
The night came to an end. Reasons of why the women made the call will always differ from our experiences. May be she was only concerned about the security of the building or may be she just didn’t think a bunch of black kids getting together was a good idea.