The knowledge that I live in a culture that is hostile to my existence has been background noise for my entire life. Because, for the most part, I have disregarded that low murmur, I consider myself happy.
What about the time i had to crawl under a car to hide from the rednecks that followed me for five blocks as I walked down the sidewalk? What about the cop who threatened to kill me while I was handcuffed in the back of his patrol car? And the handful of other slights and incidents in the last 40 years? That was the price of admission.
What did I get in return for learning how to compartmentalize these existential threats? I managed to avoid the incarceration industry. I earned a degree, and I lived longer than both my father and grandfather. I have a few gray hairs, a family, and a modicum of wisdom. I am a lucky man.
Clearly, things have chganged. It’s always been open season for black men in America. Now, it’s shameless again. I am an adaptable human being and I am adapting to this radical shift in my environment with a radical shift in posture.
If you come at me, and I don’t know you, I will assume you are hostile to me and my family. As a matter of fact, I’m not waiting for you to come at me. I’m looking for you. When I find you, I will deal with you with no half measures. (Rule #6)
I know this is paranoid. I know this will damage relationships with potential allies. If you can prove me wrong, I’ll apologize, and maybe we can move on to build something. If you are truely an ally, you’ll get it.
There is no longer any room in our lives for softness or willful ignorance.