My fear of these 4 words explain my existence as a Black man in America
“I am not anxious to be the loudest voice or the most popular. But I would like to think that at a crucial moment, I was an effective voice of the voiceless, an effective hope of the hopeless.” ― Whitney M. Young Jr.
This is a story about going through life in America as a Black man. On March 12th, 2019 I had a meeting set up for at the restaurant Stone Mill in Timonium, MD. I got there early so I parked in the back of the parking lot to get some work done and take a call.
While I was LEGALLY parked towards the end of the lot, there was a work van parked beside me blocking off the way to go around the parking aisle. 10 minutes later a white woman in an SUV pulls up in front of my car and I assumed she was going to park in the spot in front of me because there were two open right in front of my car. I WAS WRONG. This woman then proceeded to hunk her horn at me then yells at me to “Move out the F&^$*^& way, no one can get around”
Mind you I’m legally parked in a parking space and the actual car preventing her from going around is the legally parked work van beside me. This white woman then continues to berate me for not moving my car out of her way when she grabs her phone and says the 4 scariest words a Black man in America can hear…..”I’m calling the Police”
In that moment I was scared and had so many crazy thoughts running through my head like “am I about to become a viral video, am I going to jail, is this where my jaw gets broken by police again, what should I do, am I about to Die”.
Now I understand that for some of you this is an irrational way of thinking but for me, as a Black man in America, this is my reality. That’s what I’m most upset by. Not that this woman was being a jerk but that the mere mention of the police made me question if that was going to be the day I died.
So what did I do? I got out of my car and went into the cafe I was having my meeting while I finished my phone call. The whole time I kept looking around me and hoping no one was going to call the cops on me for being on my phone. Yup, that’s life as a Black man in America.