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I Fit the Description Of…


Howard

 

…I know what it’s like to fit the description of…
…Like all of the times I was stopped while driving to work, coming from school, heading to football practice in Bakersfield…. Like every time a cop followed me all the way to the driveway of my house. Like the time I was tailed and stopped while driving through the California State University of Sacramento campus while I was a student. Like the time I was given a sobriety test during my lunch break while in a suit and tie. Like the time I was stopped by 3 cop cars and 5 cops with their weapons drawn while dropping off a video at a Sacramento video store…

…Even today, every time I see the police I know in my heart that I might be stopped, questioned, detained, drawn down on, or even shot. That constant antagonism and terrorism from those that are supposed to protect and serve its American citizens, yes I was born and raised here, is the reason that every encounter is potentially explosive. It’s the reason why emotions constantly run high in our community. It’s the reason you see very little remorse when cops are killed or shot at. There is always a bit of rage bubbling under the surface of the focused demeanor and outward love. I’ve been working on controlling it my whole life; but it’s always there…

…My mother understood this, my grandmother understood this… so instead of raising me to buy into the illusion of equality and justice for all, they raised me to understand my reality. They raised me in a way that would allow me to find happiness and success in spite of the injustices I would face throughout my life. Racism is the reason my mother was adamant about me leaving Bakersfield as soon as I could. She could see the cycle working to derail me. The system working to kill my dreams, purpose, hopes, and eventually me…

This is my reality. This is my truth and where I come from. This is the truth of many of the black men in my family, in my city, in my country.

Like I said, I know what’s like to fit the description of… a murderer, a strong armed robber, a gang member, a rapist… because at one time I have been questioned and accused for all of the things that I have never done… ~ Sean King

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