I was in there a while because that spot is action packed and going through the line can take a minute. When I left the store and walked back to my truck, the drunk santa white man was no where to be found, but no sooner than I drove off did I notice a black and white unit pulling out several spaces behind me. The patrol car pulled in behind me, tailgating me. Like most African people, I knew what this meant. I calmly drove the four blocks and made my right turn to head in the direction of my residence. The police lights went on and I pulled over.
Two city cops walked up on each side of my vehicle, shining flashlights inside. The one on the driver's side asked for me driver's license and insurance which I provided to him without a verbal response. A lot of so-called police rights advocates teach against just handing over your documents, but every African knows what this moment is really about. The driver's side cop took my documents back to their car. The passenger side cop didn't move. He continued to shine his light on my vitamin C on my passenger's seat. When the other came back, this was our verbal exchange (give or take a word or two):
Him: "Where you headed Mr. U-mee?"
Me: "It's Oh-me." i glance at the vitamin C on my passenger seat. "You followed me from the 7Eleven. I don't think its a mystery what I'm up to."
Him: Hands me back my documents. "Well, we had a report of a suspicious character downtown so we were following up."
Me: "I think that was the white man in the santa hat peeing on the sidewalk that you should be looking for..."
Him: Ignores my comment. "Carry on." And they both walk off. Now compared to many traffic stops we endure, and even many I've had myself, that one was an extremely minor one, I admit. My purpose for highlighting it this evening is because I'm sick of not being able to go to the damn store for some medication without being harassed for living. And, the hypocrisy of a fake holiday that is supposed to represent humanity, but in actuality, represents mass materialism, is like an annual thumbing on the nose at all those who experience this oppression on a daily basis.
Please don't get me wrong. If you celebrate Christmas, more power to you. I sincerely hope you were able to have one tenth of the positive day that I did (before tonight). I don't wish any negativity upon you and your Christmas. In fact, to be completely honest, I don't really believe it possible for me to care less what you do. My beliefs, and any efforts to express them, are based on a desire to maintain my own sanity and have little to do with any of you. Especially when a simple trip to the convenience store could easily result in tragedy.
I'm going to spend the next hour or so trying to regain that relaxing mindset I was in. I can't help, but think though. If myself, and people like me, don't have the right to enjoy our peace and tranquility without being harassed on your holiday, why the hell does anyone have the arrogance to think that the hypocrisy of it all shouldn't also interrupt your day? It sure interrupted mine.